[Yesterday I wrote I Want a New Marriage-8 ways to improve your marriage. Today I thought I would write on I Hate You: 8 ways to damage your marriage.]
I Hate You: 8 Ways to Harm Your Marriage
1. Lose Your Temper
Losing one's temper often leads to saying things you don't mean and doing things you normally wouldn't. This results in the other person feeling afraid, hurt, lonely, cornered, and confused. The Bible warns against losing one's temper (Proverbs 14:17; Proverbs 15:1; Proverbs 16:32; Proverbs 21:9; Eph. 4:26-27; James 1:19-20).
2. Hold A Grudge
Just as forgiveness can improve a marriage, holding a grudge will destroy a marriage. Holding a grudge is the opposite of forgiving others. If we do not forgive others God will not forgive us (Matthew 6:15). All men have sinned and fall short of the glory of God (Romans 3:23). It isn't a matter of if one party makes a mistake, it's a matter of when. When one party makes a mistake, the other must learn to forgive, let go, and remember no more.
3. Use Hateful Speech
Paul reminds us to use our speech for building up, not for tearing down (Eph. 4:29; Col. 4:6). Using hateful speech is extremely damaging to a relationship. Once words are given, they can never be taken back. Proverbs 12:18 says "There is one whose rash words are like sword thrusts, but the tongue of the wise brings healing". When we use hateful speech directed at our spouse, it is like sword thrusts in the very soul of the person.
4. Withhold Affection
Withholding affection is a great way to damage a relationship. Paul warns about this in 1 Corinthians 7:5. Part of a marital relationship is to have affection--both emotional and physical. Remember a man shall leave his father and his mother and hold fast to his wife and they shall become one flesh (Genesis 2:24, Ephesians 5:31).
5. Avoid the 3 C's: Commitment, Communication, Conflict.
By avoiding the commitment made to one other a marriage will fail. Marriage takes commitment and hard work (Ephesians 5:22-33). A married couple has vowed to protect, cherish, and love each other until "death due us part". Avoiding communicating with each other is another good way to grow apart. As far as I know, neither men nor women are mind readers. Men and women have to communicate to their spouse their feelings, desires, wants, and needs. Good communication helps hold together a relationship. Avoiding all conflict is not healthy either. One should not seek out conflict, but one should not run away from conflict either. Jesus reminds us to solve our conflicts before coming before the Lord (Matthew 5:23-24). A problem ignored only gets bigger.
6. View/Participate in Sexual Perversions
Sexual perversions are all around us--magazines, television, movies, internet, at work, everywhere! This is not just a male problem, but a female problem too. Sexual perversions include watching movies with inappropriate sexual content, wearing immodest clothing, talking to another individual in a sexual way, viewing pornography, lusting, having an affair, and more (1 Corinthians 6:18-20; Hebrews 13:4; 1 Timothy 2:9-10; Proverbs 11:22; Matthew 5:28; 1 John 2:16). Pray to God asking Him to "Turn my eyes from looking at worthless things; and give me life in your ways" (Psalm 119:37).
7. Neglect to Spend Time with Each Other
We must spend time with each other. Neglecting to spend time with one another results in feelings of loneliness, loss of value, loss of interest, and intimacy. In order to practice all the characteristics of love found in 1 Corinthians 13:1-7, it will take a lot of time. It takes a lot of energy, prayer, and time to establish and keep a healthy marriage.
8.Leave God Out
God should be our light (Psalm 27:1; Psalm 119:105). If we leave God out of our relationships, they will fail. Everything we do should be rooted in our faith in God. Growing closer to Him with each other will create a healthy marriage. Leaving Him out of the marriage will create a weak marriage. Remember a marriage relationship has 3 parties-husband, wife, God.
We should remember to follow His Word imitating The Son. 1 Peter 2:21 reminds us to always walk in His footsteps.
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As always, God loves you and so do I.