Solving Common Problems


            Almost every couple approaches marriage with idealism. With our hearts all a flutter and the excitement of the approaching wedding day, it is hard to imagine anything going wrong. The world is full of roses so it is easy to overlook the thorns.

            No marriage is without problems. There are problems that come from without as well as problems that come from within. Sin remains in the world, even if you are in love. Bad things are going to happen to you and your spouse simply because you live in a world full of evil. However, problems also arise from within a marriage. You are two independent people who have lived the majority of your lives doing things your way. With the statement of “I do” you are going to begin the process of blending those two independent lives into one life where both of you are dependent on the other. Do you think that it will occur instantaneously? Do you think it will happen without a hitch? Not a chance!

            In the book David Copperfield, by Charles Dickens, the lead character, David, enters into a marriage of youth. His wife is lovely, but obviously is not a serious thinker or a capable housewife. It takes a while, but David begins to realize that everything in his marriage is not as he dreamed it would be. He asks his aunt for help, but she refuses to come between him and his bride. However, she offers the following advice to her nephew she had nicknamed Trot:

            “These are early days, Trot, and Rome was not built in a day, nor in a year. You have chosen freely for yourself and you have chosen a very pretty and very affectionate creature. It will be your duty, and it will be your pleasure too – of course I know that; I am not delivering a lecture – to estimate her (as you chose her) by the qualities she has, and not by the qualities she may not have. The latter you must develop in her, if you can. And if you cannot, child, you must just accustom yourself to do without ‘em. But remember, my dear, your future is between you two. No one can assist you; you are to work it out for yourselves. This is marriage, Trot; and Heaven bless you both in it, for a pair of babes in the wood as you are!”

            Marriage is not about avoiding problems. It is about solving problems. And the key to a successful marriage is where both of you want to improve your relationship and are willing to work on that relationship. At times the desire to improve a marriage will require you or your spouse to give up something you prefer to have. However, unless both of you are willing to make sacrifices for the sake of your marriage, the relationship will not improve.

            Consider our Savior, Jesus, as an example. He came to this world to pull mankind out of sin. For him to come, he gave up the honor of his position as God to take on the form of man (Philippians 2:5-8). He was willing to even give up that life so that we might have a chance at salvation. Without sacrifice, there can be no improvement.

            I will not be able to cover every possible problem a couple will encounter in their marriage – as if such a list of problems could be written. Instead, I will discuss several common problems that almost every married couple faces at some point in their marriage. Hopefully the methods used to solve these particular problems can be used to solve other problems as well.