Marriages fail for many reasons and often from a combination of reasons. Any of the issues listed here should give cause for concern and care. Unaddressed personal and spiritual issues will affect both partners, even if one is unaware or innocent. If you’re wondering why your marriage is failing, this list may have the answer.
While there is little difference between Christian and non-Christian marital woes, a Christ-follower has the power to recognize issues in the light of God’s Word and experience the transforming power of His Spirit. Marital bliss is fictional, but marital happiness can be a reality.
Here are 20 reasons why marriages (even Christian marriages) fail…
1. Unforgiving Spirit
Learn to extend forgiveness because it’s critical to harmony. Instead of obsessing about how you’ve been wronged, treat your spouse how God treats you. “Bear with each other and forgive whatever grievances you may have against one another. Forgive as the Lord forgave you.” (Colossians 3:13)
2. Financial Pressure
Don’t spend your life trying to earn more and spend more, or you will enslave yourself to a life of dissatisfaction, materialism, and endless stress. “For the love of money is the root of all kinds of evil. Some people, eager for money, have wandered from the faith and pierced themselves through with many griefs.” (1 Timothy 6:10)
Lust always leads to infidelity of the heart, mind, and body. No sexual experience outside of marriage is okay. God will never lead you to fall in love with someone other than your spouse. “You shall not commit adultery.” (Exodus 20:14)
4. Insecurity and Worry
Take your eyes off the world and its illusion of happiness; you will never find peace from anyone or anything the world offers you. Trust in the Lord. “But seek first the kingdom of God and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well. Therefore do not worry about tomorrow.” (Matthew 6:32-33)
5. Secret Sins
If you hide a sinful fantasy or habit, it will grow stronger; pretending something doesn’t exist or isn’t wrong gives it greater power over your life. “You have set our iniquities before you, our secret sins in the light of your presence.” (Psalm 90:8)
6. Parenting Differences
The Bible is the best parenting source available; seek to follow Christ and point your kids toward Christ, and parenting details will fall into place. “Do not exasperate your children; instead, bring them up in the nurture and admonition of the Lord.” (Ephesians 6:4)
7. Interference from Others
Dysfunctional or controlling relatives and friends will put tremendous pressure on your family unit; seek God’s wisdom and perspective about how to handle your decisions. Then draw necessary boundaries with everyone outside God’s will for your life. “Respect one another out of reverence for Christ.” (Ephesians 5:21)
We all look out for ourselves, especially when someone challenges our desires. Begin considering your spouse’s perspective first; winning an argument only weakens your marriage. “Do nothing out of selfish ambition or vain conceit. Rather, in humility, value others above yourselves.” (Philippians 2:3-4)
Self-pity, disillusionment, and frustration come from an “I-deserve-this” attitude. Watch for these feelings—the core problem is self-worship. “You covet but you cannot get what you want, so you quarrel and fight. You do not have because you do not ask God. When you ask, you do not receive because you ask with wrong motives, that you may spend what you get on your pleasures.” (James 4:2-3)
10. Spiritual and Emotional Immaturity
Maturity takes a lifetime, so give your spouse room to grow without ridiculing or reprimanding for him/her for immaturity. Surround your marriage with godly, mature role models. “I press on toward the goal to win the prize for which God has called me in Christ Jesus. All of us who are mature should take such a view of things.”(Philippians 3:14-15)
Susan Egbe-Tanyi, MD is a board-certified family medicine physician. She is also the founder of Empowered Women Faith Club, where she writes to empower women to live confidently knowing who they are as daughters of God and encourages weary moms to find strength in God through the journey of motherhood. She is a wife, mother of three treasured kids, a passionate follower of Christ, lover of nature and a servant at heart. She practices medicine in North Carolina, where she lives with her husband and three children.
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