Do you remember hearing your parents argue and yell as a child?
For a few of you, that might not have ever happened. Others, upon reading my opening sentence, felt a flash of heat stretch across your neck and face because the memories of your parent’s conflict flooded your mind (and heart). I’m somewhere in between. I had two great parents who still got into it loud enough for me and my brother to hear them argue a few times a year.
It’s revealing how when we think back on our parent’s interaction with each other, vivid emotions and memories appear so quickly and clearly. As a child, like a dog who’s scared of the thunder, I would run and cry when my parents argued angrily. Now, as a husband and father, I too have regretfully sent my kids running when I’ve lost my temper.
Hopefully in your home, there was… the other side. The side where love and grace overcame the darkness of shortcomings and insecurities displayed through anger. Where wrongs were made right and bonds were made stronger through perseverance.
That other side, in it’s truest form, is the way of Christianity. The Scriptures explain why we argue and quarrel and our sinful hearts being the root cause of such things. Yet, the Scriptures continue further to reveal a greater hope that overcomes our sins with love and grace. That hope is the birth, life, death, resurrection, and ascension of the perfect one, Jesus, who atones for our sins. Not by our own contorted works of self-righteousness are we set right, but by His works of true righteousness, we are saved when we trust in Him by faith. In this life we all fall short, and, on our own, deserve to be punished. But, as Romans 8:1 states, “There is therefore now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus.
Ignoring our sinfulness is a recipe for marriage failure because it breeds resentment, strife and anger. On the other hand, understanding God’s love, grace, and mercy given to us then allows it to flow through us to our spouse. Only then can husband and wife partner as one to worship God and walk in His truth and freedom by the power of His Spirit at work in us. That journey together won’t be perfect because our own sinful desires are still at war inside of us causing conflicts in our marriages. But by His grace we will overcome and learn evermore of the goodness and beauty of our beloved Father in Heaven.