Did you know there are sins that can cripple every marriage? Yes, there are.
You realize there are no perfect marriages because there are no perfect people. Right?
Let me repeat that. There are no perfect marriages because there are no perfect people.
Every marriage will have seasons that are more difficult than others. I often encounter couples in our church that think they are unique. Because we tend to put on our happy faces at church, they believe theirs is the only marriage in a bad season.
In fact, I'm convinced not understanding how many couples have weathered through these rocky places in marriage may be a reason many couples give up on their marriage. If they understood how normal they are, they might be more willing to raise the white flag—ask for help—and work to restore the marriage.
I have observed over the years there are some issues in marriages that, if not addressed, can be crippling to the marriage. These are the "biggies." They may manifest themselves in other ways, but if you could trace back to the origin, you would find these to be at fault.
And let's not sugarcoat. They are sins. We have all sinned. We all sin. Every marriage is comprised of two sinners.
This is the real reason there are no perfect marriages.
Left to fester on their own, these sins will eventually be the destroyer of the marriage or certainly keep it from achieving the oneness God commanded.
So, what are these damaging sins? I'm glad you asked.
Here are seven damaging sins that can cripple every marriage:
1. Selfishness – Marriage won't work without mutual submission. Read Ephesians 5:21. Marriage is not a 50/50 arrangement. Ideally it's to be a 100/100 bond—where both spouses willingly yield their all. (I used the word ideal, because your marriage is not there and neither is mine.) When one spouse demands their way or will never work toward a compromise the relationship can never be all it should be. One person is happy—the one who got their way—the other is miserable.
2. Discontent – I've said before—boredom is perhaps the No. 1 destroyer of marriage. There will be seasons in every relationship that aren't as "exciting" as others. Some days you will "feel" more in love than other days. But the key to a long-term relationship is a commitment beyond emotion.
3. Pride – When one spouse can never admit they are wrong or see their own flaws, it opens the door for a wedge of bitterness in the other spouse. Pride is also destructive when the couple is too proud to admit their struggles or get the help they need.
4. Unforgiveness – Holding on to past hurts not only damages the marriage bond, it destroys the person who refuses to forgive. Trust can't be developed until forgiveness is granted. Isn't grace received expected to be extended?
5. Anger – The Scripture is clear: We should not go to bed in anger. There is a reason for that command. Anger is a wedge, one that only grows wider over time when not dealt with.
6. Complacency – As soon as you think you're marriage is above the problems of other relationships, you're in trouble. The enemy loves to attack the unaware.
7. Coveting – Couples who compare themselves to other couples will almost always be disappointed. There will always be people with more—and it likely isn't making them as happy as you think it does. Keep in mind, many times people disguise their struggles well. The couple you think has it all may wish they had what you have. Every couple is unique. Comparison only leads to frustration.
Ask yourself this question: Which of these sins is most prevalent in my marriage today? Which is causing the greatest harm? Which of these, while it may not be an issue today, could become an issue if we don't get serious about it soon?
Be honest with yourself—and ultimately—with your spouse.
Ron Edmondson is the senior pastor at Immanuel Baptist Church in Lexington, Kentucky. For the original article, visit ronedmondson.com.
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