Treating COVID-19 Marriage Conflicts

I heard someone say years ago when asked how long he had been married, “38 years, . . . and 36 of ‘um have been good ones.”

So, has COVID-19 stretched your marriage like a rubber band? Has it created additional conflict due to being together too much? Has the stress of the quarantine created some tough times?

Well, let me encourage you about something. The issue is not the quarantine or the coronavirus. The issue is that two sinners are living under the same roof.

Recently I heard about a book that intrigues me in regards to pre-marital and marital counseling. (I have not read it yet.) Authored by Dave Harvey, the title is When Sinners Say “I Do”: Discovering the Power of the Gospel for Marriage. Harvey says, “Marriage is the union of two people who arrive toting the luggage of life. And that luggage always contains sin.”

The coronavirus cannot cause strife in your marriage. The cause was there before COVID-19. The cause is your old sin nature which is full of pride, selfishness, criticism, harsh words, envy, jealousy, anger, fear, and much more. It stands in constant opposition to God and has a downward gravitational pull.

Let me give you a challenge. I could offer suggestions, but only the Word of God has the power to transform you, your situation, and your marriage in tough times. Therefore, here’s the encouragement, and men, take the lead. As a couple read Romans 5:1 – 6:23; 8:1-39; and Ephesians 4:17 – 5:33. Pray before you read the Word, then read it together. Read it slow. Read it out loud. Ask the Spirit to reveal Christ to you through the Word. Ask each other after reading a verse or two or more, “What does this passage say to us about our marriage? What do we need surrender? How do I need to change?” Take off the face masks and be transparent before the Lord and each other. Soak your soul in the Word of God and lay aside every weight, and the sin which so easily ensnares us, and let us run with endurance the race that is set before us, 2 looking unto Jesus, the author and finisher of our faith, who for the joy that was set before Him endured the cross, despising the shame, and has sat down at the right hand of the throne of God (Hebrews 12:1-2).

There are still many unknowns about the coronavirus, but that is not the case with marriage. God created marriage and has given us the manual for marriage if we will just read it, obey it and trust God for His way in it.

Be as willing and proactive to protect the gift of marriage from the sin virus as you are the coronavirus.

Sneak Attack

Today is one that has gone down in infamy in the history of this great land of ours.  I remember exactly where I was the morning of the first strike on 9/11.  Even as I write this, there is sadness in my heart for all who lost their lives and were injured as well as anger toward the aggression of our enemies. There is much to be said about these attacks that came without warning.  This was a day that changed our country forever.

Every day, marriages are also under the aggressive attack of the Enemy.  Since marriage is the first divine institution created by God (Genesis 2:18-25), is a picture of Christ’s relationship to the Church (Ephesians 5:18-32), and is the very foundation of society, Satan will do all he can to destroy it!  His devilish plan—sneak attacks.  He doesn’t just “show up” at your front door and say, “I’m here to destroy you!”  He worms his way into your relationship in small ways along with his accomplice, your old sin nature.  Before you know it, your marriage is weakened and eventually gone forever.

What are some of his sneak attacks (temptations):

  1. If you are a believer, you did not read God’s Word and spend quality time in prayer this morning. And you think that just one morning without meeting with God won’t hurt anything.  Then, the next day the same thing happens.  Before you know it, you have gone a week without spending time with your God. You cannot have a great relationship with your spouse unless you are involved in an intimate, heart, life-changing relationship with Christ.  You think you can get by, but unless your vertical relationship is right, your horizontal relationship will not be right.  Don’t think you can outbox God on this one! (Luke 10:38-42; 2 Timothy 3:16-17)
  2. You let that small irritant in his or her words or actions go without being resolved. You dwell on the offense through the day, and that small thing becomes huge in your sight.  You start adding up offenses.  Instead of attacking the problem, the enemy has you attacking and blaming the person.  In the words of Barney Fife, you must “Nip it in the bud!”  If not, the enemy has built up a stronghold in your marriage, and down you go!  (1 Corinthians 13:4-8a; Ephesians 4:25-32).
  3. You think the grass is greener on the other side! When you were pursuing each other, dating, and absolutely enthralled with one another, you believed that life would just be an empty existence without the other person by your side forever!  Now, you are just two individuals existing in a marriage without any spark, life, fun, enjoyment, edification, and commitment.  Now, instead of her being your “drop-dead gorgeous honey,” she’s the old lady.  Instead of him being that “hunka, hunka hunk of burning love,” he’s the old man!  No more terms of endearment.  No more hugs.  No more passionate kisses.  No more opening the car door for her and treating her like a lady.  No more respect and encouragement given to him.  So, that girl at the office or that man next door starts looking enticing.  BE CAREFUL!  No marriage is beyond repair and restoration in the sight of God (Romans 5:20-21)!!!!!!!  This whole decline started small.  There is hope (Genesis 18:14; 1 Corinthians 10:13).  Run to the cross, humble yourself and repent (James 4:6-10).  Confess your sins to each other and start praying together again (James 5:16). Go back to your dating days and do the things you used to do and the things that God intended for you to enjoy in marriage.

9/11 was a day you will never forget in American history!  The day your marriage is history because of those sneak attacks that you never took care of is a day that will go down in infamy.  Just as America is constantly trying to ward off those sneak attacks, do the same in your marriage.  Start today!