As a Pastor and Biblical Counselor for many years, I have counseled many people about their marriage.  Several years ago, I could see that so many of the people we counseled for marital problems (and other problems) all had a common issue. I would ask what is your relationship with the Holy Spirit?  Almost always it was a negative answer.  They did not know or how to know.  That is a sad state of affairs. The Holy Spirit will always get along with Himself.  So, the conclusion is that if a married couple are not getting along, then one of them or both of them are not walking in the Spirit.

Most Christians are Not Walking in the Spirit

The overwhelming issue of many of the people we counsel is they are a “doer mentality” person rather than a Spirit controlled person.  Listen carefully, the last thing you want to do is marry a doer mentality person. In essence, they think that what they do makes them spiritual rather than what they be.  Ephesians 5:15-21, See then that ye walk circumspectly, not as fools, but as wise, (16)  Redeeming the time, because the days are evil.  (17)  Wherefore be ye not unwise, but understanding what the will of the Lord is.  (18)  And be not drunk with wine, wherein is excess; but be filled (controlled by) with the Spirit; (19) Speaking to yourselves in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing and making melody in your heart to the Lord; (20) Giving thanks always for all things unto God and the Father in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ; (21) Submitting yourselves one to another in the fear of God.

I have found that it is not possible to draw closer to Christ and not draw closer to each other.

James 4:7-8, Submit yourselves therefore to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you.  (8)  Draw nigh to God, and he will draw nigh to you. Cleanse your hands, ye sinners; and purify your hearts, ye double minded.

Many people do not know what it means to have a real, intimate, personal, passionate, and truly Spirit filled life.  They substitute things for the Holy Spirit.  Activities, friends, leisure, travel, entertainment and work.  In church for them it is about what they do, not what they be.  If you have a real relationship with God, what you “be” will determine what you do.

To learn what it means to be a truly Spirit controlled person click on:

Couples who are struggling in their marriage need to understand that in all their attempts to solve their marriage problems, they must learn to be Spirit controlled people.  So often, they are trying to find commonality in mutual attraction or personal interests, instead of endeavoring to enjoy the unity that can be found in a Spirit controlled life and marriage.

Many People are in Love With the Idea of Being Married

They do not have the right idea about marriage.  Because of the lack of a real relationship with God or lack of fellowship with God, they think “I have to get married.”  Many of the young people today are not willing to wait upon God, so if either party says they are saved they are ready to go. Sadly, many never even ask God is the person that you have for me Lord?  Are they a Spirit controlled person? Are they a faithful person?  Do they have the qualities of a spiritual person?  They are willing to settle for anyone rather than the right one. Therefore, tragedy takes place very soon.

I counseled a young couple that both had attended Bible College.  The young man decided to go out and get a job.  The young lady stayed in Bible College.  Every weekend he would go to see her at the Bible College.  They would go out to bars and were heavily involved in immorality and many of their friends at the Bible College were as well.  They were involved in other wicked activities as well. On the one hand they talked about loving each other and on the other hand they were fighting all the time.  They did not understand that they were in love with the idea of getting married, they were in love with their lusts!  They had no idea what it meant to treat each other with mutual respect, common courtesy, spiritual respect, and what it meant to have a Spirit controlled life. They were in love with having a good time and partying with their friends.  Disaster was written all over this relationship.  They were both selfish people and it ended in disaster.  They did not understand that Christ said in John 15:5, “…with out me, ye can do nothing.”

Most Couples Live For Their Lusts

James 4:1-10, From whence come wars and fightings among you? come they not hence, even of your lusts that war in your members?  (2)  Ye lust, and have not: ye kill, and desire to have, and cannot obtain: ye fight and war, yet ye have not, because ye ask not.  (3)  Ye ask, and receive not, because ye ask amiss, that ye may consume it upon your lusts.  (4)  Ye adulterers and adulteresses, know ye not that the friendship of the world is enmity with God? whosoever therefore will be a friend of the world is the enemy of God.  (5)  Do ye think that the scripture saith in vain, The spirit that dwelleth in us lusteth to envy?  (6)  But he giveth more grace. Wherefore he saith, God resisteth the proud, but giveth grace unto the humble.  (7)  Submit yourselves therefore to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you.  (8)  Draw nigh to God, and he will draw nigh to you. Cleanse your hands, ye sinners; and purify your hearts, ye double minded.  (9)  Be afflicted, and mourn, and weep: let your laughter be turned to mourning, and your joy to heaviness.  (10)  Humble yourselves in the sight of the Lord, and he shall lift you up.

So, the Bible tells us here the reason people fight in their marriage is they are fighting for their lusts.  This passage is to Christians not lost people, but here are people who live like a lost person.  They live for their lusts, their own way.  Therefore, they fight and argue for what they want.

Romans 6:11-19,  Likewise reckon ye also yourselves to be dead indeed unto sin, but alive unto God through Jesus Christ our Lord.  (12)  Let not sin therefore reign in your mortal body, that ye should obey it in the lusts thereof.  (13)  Neither yield ye your members as instruments of unrighteousness unto sin: but yield yourselves unto God, as those that are alive from the dead, and your members as instruments of righteousness unto God.  (14)  For sin shall not have dominion over you: for ye are not under the law, but under grace.  (15)  What then? shall we sin, because we are not under the law, but under grace? God forbid.  (16)  Know ye not, that to whom ye yield yourselves servants to obey, his servants ye are to whom ye obey; whether of sin unto death, or of obedience unto righteousness?  (17)  But God be thanked, that ye were the servants of sin, but ye have obeyed from the heart that form of doctrine which was delivered you.  (18)  Being then made free from sin, ye became the servants of righteousness.  (19)  I speak after the manner of men because of the infirmity of your flesh: for as ye have yielded your members servants to uncleanness and to iniquity unto iniquity; even so now yield your members servants to righteousness unto holiness.

Again this is a passage that is to Christians.  Spirit controlled people learn to serve one another rather fight for their lusts. If we live like a lost person we have no power.  When we submit to the Holy Spirit then we have power.  One of the marks a Spirit controlled person is submission.

Ephesians 5:21, Submitting yourselves one to another in the fear of God.

I can hear some now say, “yeah, yeah, but when do you get to fixing our problem.”  DO NOT LEAVE GOD OUT OF YOUR MARRIAGE!  MAKE HIM THE FOUNDATION OF YOYR MARRIAGE!

Galatians 5:22-25, But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, gentleness, goodness, faith,  (23)  Meekness, temperance: against such there is no law.  (24)  And they that are Christ’s have crucified the flesh with the affections and lusts.  (25)  If we live in the Spirit, let us also walk in the Spirit.

If every person started exhibiting the fruit of the Spirit as outlined in Galatians, we would see a drastic decline in marriage issues.  If two people are going their own way and are distancing themselves from each other, there is only one way they will ever be together again.  They must focus on going together to the same spiritual destination of a Spirit controlled life.

1 John 1:7, But if we walk in the light (of the Word), as he is in the light, we have fellowship one with another, and the blood of Jesus Christ his Son cleanseth us from all sin.

This verse makes it plain.  It is not so much about focusing on getting back together, but getting back to God.  Then they will find their way back together in a right relationship.

Being Led by Emotions is a Serious Problem

Most people get married for the purpose of happiness.  Many times it turns into a night mare.  If a person marries only to find happiness then they are chasing a dream or illusion.

Most people make decisions in their life by their emotions rather than Biblical principle. Today they will do one thing and the next week it is exactly the opposite of what they said the week before.

They are led by their emotions.  When parents are emotion led they teach by example to their children to be emotion led.

Many people act like children.  They are children in adult bodies, because they have never grown up emotionally.  So, when they are angry they talk angry.  They say what they want when they want.  They do what pleases them rather than God or anyone else. They are rebellious people to the authority that God has placed in their lives.  Many times I have shared a spiritual principle with a rebellious person and they twist it and turn it. They desire, compromise, rationalize, and spiritualize their choices.  They will argue with you about the spiritual truth you have shared with them.  When disaster comes they rationalize what happened rather than realize that they are led by their emotions and their own way ends in disaster.  They rationalize that what they are doing is biblical.  Farthest thing from the truth because they think they always have the answer and their pride has put them in a disastrous place again.  Chaos is the order of the day with their lives and their children.  They are devastated when their children defy them, but are blinded to the fact that they have taught them how to be rebellious people who are led by their emotions. They do not listen to wise counsel because of a rebellious lustful spirit. People with spiritual discernment scratch their heads and ask why in the world did they make that decision?  When the bottom falls out, and disaster strikes again, they blame their authorities rather than their sinful life of being led by their emotions.

Let me ask you.  Do you wake up happy despite the behavior of your spouse?  Or, has it been your thought to go through the day thinking if your spouse would make the changes, then you could see yourself being happy?

If you are waiting for your spouse to change before feeling happy and content, then you are chasing something that is not a reality but a fantasy! Your spouse is not going to be able to be your sole source of emotional and spiritual maturity and growth.  Your spouse is too small in comparison with God.  The promises of God concerning your happiness and joy only rely on the faithfulness of a loving God.  Any other approach will be a huge up and down experience.  Thus being led by your emotions

After the wedding day people often start to see the reality of who they married and who they really are. We see areas in ourselves, the other person, and in the relationship that are often lacking. Therefore, the person starts to be unhappy. The unhappiness grows and each fight, lust living, and wicked thoughts, put another brick in a wall between you and your spouse.  Pretty soon that wall is too big to get over.

Marriage should be a joyful existence, but it only comes to a person who has a real, intimate, personal, and passionate relationship with God.  When two people have that they can have great joy in marriage.

In the next article I will deal with some more problems in marriage.  May God help you to desire a Spirit controlled life of joy and His peace.  Your source will determine your course!