by Beverly Hyles
Through the years, my husband has counseled many couples. He has noticed that four areas seem to be the main culprits of most problems in marriages. The following are these four areas of friction (given in the order of frequency in which they occur) Be aware of these areas and avoid them.
- Finances are the leading source of controversy. Even the secular world has concluded that finances are probably the greatest cause of divorce and trouble in marriages. As a wife, you need to learn to live frugally and to handle money wisely. “She looketh well to the ways of her household, and eateth not the bread of idleness.” (Proverbs 31:27)
- The second area of conflict revolves around the physical relationship between marital partners. I do not believe it is necessary to elaborate, except to say that every wife ought to be a warm, loving woman even when she does not feel like it. “Defraud ye not one the other, except it be with consent for a time, that ye may give yourselves to fasting and prayer; and come together again, that Satan tempt you not for your incontinency.” (I Corinthians 7:5)
- The third source of friction comes because of in-laws. Problems in this area actually cause divorce. It is very important that a wife realize she can love no matter what. She must not let in-laws come between her and her spouse. “But from the beginning of the creation God made them male and female. For this cause shall a man leave his father and mother, and cleave to his wife; And they twain shall be one flesh: so then they are no more twain, but one flesh. What therefore God hath joined together, let not man put asunder.” (Mark 10:6–9)
- The fourth cause of problems is disagreement over the discipline of the children. When it seems to you that your husband is being too hard on the children, it is usually best to bite your tongue and say nothing (assuming there is no physical abuse involved). There are bound to be times when he does not agree with your methods either. The contention usually occurs when the wife attempts to defend the children in the midst of her husband’s correction. Allow each other the freedom to discipline without fear of presenting a divided front to your children because of disagreement over disciplinary methods. “Every wise woman buildeth her house: but the foolish plucketh it down with her hands.” (Proverbs 14:1)
We do not have to have fussing and controversy in our homes. We should study God’s Word to determine how we are to behave in our homes. The Bible says a whole lot more to wives about the home than it does to husbands. The Bible tells the husband to love his wife. At the same time, wives are addressed many times in Proverbs. Wives set the atmosphere for the home and therefore have the most responsibility for avoiding a home so full of contention that neither spouse can be effective in the ministry. Wife, you cannot help others when you have a guilty conscience because you just had a big fight with your husband. Following God’s plan can make all the difference!