God created man in His own image and likeness. He wants husbands and wives to reflect His nature and character through marriage all the way to the end. But sometimes family relationship not so strong us we want or totally destroyed.
The home is the building block of the church and family. When spouses allow behavioral differences to get out of control in marriage, then the marriage will be void of the companionship and happiness planned by God. No one sets out to damage their marriage intentionally. “What therefore God hath joined together, let not man put asunder”(Mark 10:9).
However, let’s look at those things that destroy a family relationship:
1. Absence of Communication
Possibly, it could result from the petty argument that got way out-of-hand or a worse situation of spouses talking without ever making any significant connection. Lack of communication among spouses breeds unhealthy family relationship. It builds emotional block between partners. When communication is absent in a relationship, it destroys the flow of positive affirmations and hinders its growth. Jesus said in Luke 24:17: “And He said unto them, what manner of communications are these that ye have one to another, as ye walk, are sad?”
When partners neglect the discussion of sensitive issues in the light of avoiding an argument, resentment creeps into the relationship. Couples might think that they are headed in the direction of making meaningful progress in their relationship when they deliver or experience bad communication until it becomes obvious they are headed towards a crash. Conflict sets into the once peaceful Christian family when communication is undelivered, intentions are thwarted and expectations are unmet.
Criticism is almost inevitable in a family relationship because couples have differences in characteristics. In our motivation lies the difference between sharing one’s feelings openly and regarding a person with a sense of criticism. Marriage is recurrent practice in submission, so it doesn’t always matter if you are right or not. Sometimes, you might feel you’ve been right to criticize your spouse, but your criticism has created a gap in intimacy with your spouse which might definitely not lead you to the right goal in marriage.
Criticism, on the other hand, can also act as an encouragement if the person who criticizes speaks out in a respectful manner a dislike of what the criticized does or did. A good family relationship can be disturbed if the spouse who was criticized has the inability to give a positive response to criticism. Before you think about criticizing your partner, first take time to pray and take the issue to Christ. Ask God to cleanse your heart of any prideful or selfish motives and to help you see the situation in His own standpoint. As Romans 2:1 says, “Therefore you have no excuse, O man, every one of you who judges. For in passing judgment on another you condemn yourself, because you, the judge, practice the very same things”.
3. Inability to Accept Individual Differences
All family members can never be the same. As earlier mentioned, husband and wife have different characteristics. Accepting these differences in one another creates a strong family relationship. It is unnecessary and hurting to be excessively forceful that your spouse should share the same beliefs, values, viewpoints, etc as you do. We tend to see our spouses the way we want them to be seen, not as who they really are. This attitude can result to a ‘disconnect’ between partners, thereby destroying the relationship. Everyone has both good and bad behaviors. Accommodating them, means we respect them for what they are. Welcome differences without any hurtful attitudes.
4. Holding to Resentment
In a situation in which one spouse still feel resentment towards the other partner because of something that took place in the past, implies that the family relationship is headed for the rocks. People make mistakes, and if you can’t let things go or forgive even after they apologize, you’re going to struggle in being happy. Forgiveness is a paramount aspect of maintaining a good Christian family relationship. Let go of wrongs to forge your relationship ahead. If you refuse to forgive others, your heavenly father will not also forgive you.
5. Being Manipulative and Overriding
A natural man is defensive and desires to protect himself. Couples can oftentimes be indirect about their wants and needs. They may portray manipulative tactics to get what they want. This can be seen in cases in which a partner is being intimidating or trying to control a situation by yelling, crying or blowing-up. For instance, if you are domineering and controlling, while your spouse acts submissive, it yields unwelcome aspects in the relationship (1 Peter 5:6). People might assume specific roles in a relationship out of familiarity or as a way to feel secure, but this weakens their capacity to relate as two equal personalities. Couples should learn to see each other as friends and companion the way God intended marriage relationship to be.
6. Lack of Trust
All relationships are built on trust and confidence. When spouses base their family relationship on suspicion and distrust, it is the worst possible crisis which pushes their relationship to the edge of failure. When your spouse behaves in a monitoring and suspicious way, you feel your faithfulness towards your spouse is suspected and your honesty is questioned. Suspicion in relationship tarnishes your marital happiness. It makes the home void of peace. Trust is very important in building the perfect home that God wills (Proverbs 31:11).
As Christians, ignoring issues that arise in our marriages will result in a dilapidated relationship. We must work diligently to build the broken places and strengthen the weak points in our marriage.
Four Steps in Building a Strong and Godly Family Relationship
1. Pray and study the Bible together
You should set out time each day to pray and read the Bible with your spouse. We’ve heard testimonies of how this brings couples together and helped them in building a long-lasting relationship. The family relationship goes beyond the physical realm to the emotional and spiritual realm. It helps spouses develop true affection with each other and with God. This is one of the foundations that build lasting family bonds.
2. Drive in a spirit of love
It is crucial for spouses to operate in the spirit of love in little or more serious things to move with their family relationship. The bible says that love covers a multitude of problems (1 Corrinthians 13:5). Love springs from the ability to remember your spouse heart in the matter and it is what propels you to turn a blind eye to their faults or shortcomings. The bible says in Ephesians 4:2-3: “With all humility and gentleness, with patience, bearing with one another in love, eager to maintain the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace.”
3. Make important decisions together
As a couple, you should discuss your finances on a daily basis with each other and come to mutual decisions on how the finances or other aspects of the family is handled. Doing this would strengthen the trust between you and your partner. Avoid keeping secrets or making a domineering decision that might disrupt the family relationship. Let your partner share in your thought and opinion. “Two are better than one; because they have a good reward for their labor. For if they fall, the one will lift up his fellow: but woe to him that is alone when he falleth; for he hath not another to help him up. Again, if two lie together, then they have heat: but how can one be warm alone? (Ecclesiastes 4:9-11).
4. Spend quality time together
After God, your marriage relationship should come first before your kids, work or other things. Discipline and effort are required to spend continuous and committed time together with your partner. It won’t happen if you wait for it. Set special time aside to continue nurturing your relationship. The couple is first in everything. Continue to hold hands, hug, kiss, laugh and enjoy your time together. This will be a bold testimony to the strength of your Christian marriage.
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