Summary: What causes conflict and how to handle it in your marriage
Title: Handling conflict in marriage
1.We are in week 2 of a 4 week series on marriage.
2.Week 1 – We looked at God’s design for marriage
A.God designed marriage to show the world the image of God
“In the image of God he created them. Male and female he created them.” Genesis 1:27
B.God designed marriage to meet our need for companionship
“It is not good for man to be alone. I will make a suitable helper for him.” Genesis 2:18
3.This week we want to look at the subject– How to handle conflict in marriage
Conflict in marriage is not necessary a bad thing. There are certain conflicts that strengthen a marriage.
Here we want to look at -How to handle conflict that hurts the marriage.
Today’s sermon has two parts.
Part one: How to cause conflict in marriage
Part two: How to handle conflict in marriage
1.How to cause conflict in marriage (James 4:1-12)
“What causes fights and quarrels among you?
“What causes fights and quarrels among you? Don’t they come from your desires that battle within you?
The #1 cause of Conflict is Selfishness (v1-2)
, (name), take you (name), to be my (wife/husband), to have and to hold from this day forward, for better or for worse, for richer, for poorer, in sickness and in health, to love and to cherish; from this day forward until death do us part.
So often the issue is simply "I want to have my own way".
James says we all battle with selfishness.
C. When one spouse does not get their own way conflict happens
2.A second way to cause conflict in marriage is found in v3-4
3 When you ask, you do not receive, because you ask with wrong motives, that you may spend what you get on your pleasures. 4 You adulterous people, don’t you know that friendship with the world is hatred toward God?
Worldliness is another big cause of conflict in marriage.
Why: Because it is a form of adultery.
Anything - except God that we put before our spouse is a form of adultery.
An affair with your job, hobbies…
James address two areas where worldliness can creep into our marriage
1.The area of finances
“When you ask, you do not receive, because you ask with wrong motives, that you may spend what you get on your pleasures.” (v3)
The reality: Money is a huge source of conflict in a lot of marriages
Here in verse 3 the issue is -Where the money is being spent…
2.The second area where worldliness can show up in a marriage is the area of Friendships
You adulterous people, don’t you know that friendship with the world is hatred toward God? (v4)
Is there anything wrong with being friends with non-Christians? No! Jesus was a friend of sinners.
When is it wrong to be friends with non-Christians? When they influence you or your spouse to turn away from God’s design for marriage.
1.To show the world the image of God
2.To meet our need for companionship
3.The third way to cause conflict in marriage is Prayerlessness (v2)
“You do not have, because you do not ask God. “
You are quarreling and fighting with one another - because you are not praying together.
Statistics- Spouses who pray together stay together
We should pray about everything. – the kids, the finances…
Summary: How to cause conflict in marriage
Part 2: How do you handle conflict in your marriage (v5-11)
1. The very first thing to do is Humble yourself. (v6)
6 But he gives us more grace. That is why Scripture says: "God opposes the proud but gives grace to the humble."
A. What I need in times of conflict is more grace
What is grace?
“For the grace of God that brings salvation has appeared to all men. It teaches us to say no to ungodliness and worldly passions, and to live self-controlled, upright lives in this present age.”
We need grace to break the conflict cycle with an apology and forgiveness.
And the only way to get more grace is to humble yourself.A lot of people who are married don’t know how to humble themselves.Why? Pride!
Who should humble themselves first? The man or the woman? Context of scripture: The man should be the first to say "I’m sorry please forgive me."
2. I must repent for my past failures.
7 Submit yourselves, then, to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you. Come near to God and he will come near to you. Wash your hands, you sinners, and purify your hearts, you double-minded. 9 Grieve, mourn and wail. Change your laughter to mourning and your joy to gloom. 10 Humble yourselves before the Lord, and he will lift you up.