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The Heart of Problems and Conflict in Marriage

Pastor of Iglesia Conexiones, a baptist church in Jessup, MD. B.A. in Bible, B.S. English Ed., M.S. in Educational Leadership.

Adam and Eve

"Therefore the Lord God sent him out from the garden of Eden to work the ground from which he was taken." (Genesis 3:23, ESV)

"Therefore the Lord God sent him out from the garden of Eden to work the ground from which he was taken." (Genesis 3:23, ESV)

Science and The Bible

Science tells us there are many reasons why marriages can experience problems and conflict:

  • Different personalities
  • Different communication preferences or skills
  • Lack of good role models
  • Trauma (for example, the person was abused)
  • A variety of mental health problems (PTSD, anger, etc.)
  • Holding values that are wrong

There are also different strategies for resolving these issues, including counseling and therapy.

Nevertheless, Christianity does not primarily consult with science, but with the Bible, because (we believe) the Bible is God’s revealed word.

However, when we look in the Bible for information about problems and conflict in marriage, we won’t find an entire book, or even an entire chapter, on the topic. Instead, we need to intimately know the Bible, understand its theological system, and consult with key passages.

That said, from a biblical perspective, the source of problems and conflict in marriage is sin.

Just a Note

At this point, you’re probably thinking that you’ve heard it all before and that you know where all this is going; but, in this series, you’re going to see that you really haven’t understood and apprehended what it all means, and that you have been missing out on precious principles that, when applied, will completely transform your life and your marriage.

Just like a counselor and a therapist, a Bible-believing pastor (like myself) has a theory that provides an explanation of human behavior and a solution. The difference is that this theory is not based on science but on God’s word, and it addresses spiritual and moral issues.

So, before you can apply the principles I will share with you in a series of articles, I need to explain to you that theory, otherwise the principles that I share with you won’t make any sense at all to you and you’ll assume they won’t work.

Now, here’s something you may want to know: what science says causes problems and conflicts in marriage does not contradict what the Bible says about sin, but complements it (I’ll elaborate on this a little further ahead).

Introduction to The Concept of Sin

So, what’s the big deal with sin? What is its relevance? The relevance is that sin corrupts the human heart and causes it to produce more sin.

God is the Creator and Sustainer of everything that exists, including the multiverse (if there is such a thing as a multiverse), the universe, planet Earth, life on Earth, and humanity. And, not only is He the Creator, but He is the King and Judge. Yes, God is the One who created all things that exist, the One who sustains their existence, and therefore He is also the One who rules them and the One who assigns punishment and rewards for how they behave.

Here, I want to give you a little help with this concept. People often struggle with the concept of God because they see Him as a sort of Merlin, a flawed human with super magical powers. But God is not Merlin, God is everything we love about Merlin combined with all his super magical powers. In other words, God is a sentient being who is also a lot like energy and the forces, natural laws, and principles that govern energy. God is perfect!

Often we don’t see His perfection because, in the Bible, our perception of God’s perfection is obfuscated by His interaction with imperfect beings.

So when you read the Bible, you need to keep in mind the truths predicated about God in order to understand what the narratives (the things God does) and the Law (the instructions God gives) truly mean.

Picking up where we left off, God is the Creator, Sustainer, King, and Judge of all creation, and there’s nothing anyone can do about it. He is like sunlight, air, water, and food to all life on Earth, especially us humans: He is even our moral compass and the source of endless love and beauty.

And God (this wonderful energy-force-law-principle-mystery-being we call God) has told us, humans, that there are some things we ought to do and some thing we ought not to do (those things are in the Bible). And when you do the things He says you ought not to do, that is sin; and, when you do not do the things He says you ought to do, that too is sin.

And God says the consequences for sin is… it’s actually several things:

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  • The loss of his blessings in this world (this Earth, this universe, this life)
  • The experience of pain, suffering, aging, and death in this world
  • The condemnation to an eternity in the Lake of Fire (whatever the Lake of Fire may be… but it doesn’t sound good)

You can disagree with Him, you can argue with Him, you can get mad at Him, and you can try to run from Him: but you cannot escape His decree.

It's Worse Than You Probably Think

As bad as sin sounds, the problem of sin is worse than you think.

  1. You can't undo your sins. Once you sin, it's GAME OVER.
  2. Your good works will not compensate for your sins: God is not going to put your bad works and your good works in a balance to figure out what weighs more. Your sins will condemn you for all eternity.
  3. Like every human who has ever walked on this Earth, not only have you sinned, but you can't stop sinning. Just as you sweat everytime you work, you also sin everytime you do something.

Why We Can't Stop Sinning

We all sin, every human sins: humanity is a race of sinners. Consequently, we all have lost God’s blessings in this world, we all experience pain suffering, aging, and death, and all of us who are alive are on our way to being cast into the Lake of Fire.

But what got us into this mess? Why are things so bad when God is so good, and why are we all sinners?

To answer this question, the Bible tells us a simple story. It tells us that when God created the first humans, a man and a woman named Adam and Eve, He created them to be good. However, He gave them the freedom to choose whether they would believe God’s word and obey Him, or whether they would disobey Him. Unfortunately, they chose to disobey Him.

Their disobedience not only brought about all the consequences of sin upon them, but it also caused all humans to also disobey God and experience the consequences of sin.

Wherefore, as by one man sin entered into the world, and death by sin; and so death passed upon all men, for that all have sinned: (Romans 5:12, KJV)

The problem is that sin is transmissible, it is contagious. Sin is the greatest pandemic the world has ever known. It is like a cancer that spread throughout the body, humanity itself.

And science has several ways to explain this (ways that are not exclusive of each other, but complementary to each other); and two of these ways are trauma and epigenetics.

What Is Trauma?

According to the video above, the different kinds of traumas that exist can produce a variety of negative beliefs, feelings, and behaviors: and we believe that many of these negative beliefs, feelings, and behavior sare sinful.

In the context of marriage, for example, it is quite possible that one spouse abuses the other because he/she was abused as a child.

Epigenetics: Nature vs. Nurture

According to the video above, negative experiences can modify our genes, which modicfication in turn has a negative impact on how we (or our descendants) behave. These behaviors too are sin.

The point is that Adam and Eve’s original disobedience had a powerful impact on themselves and their descendants, and it set humanity on the path of disobedience.

At this point you can get extremely philosophical about this and ask, why did God create us in such a way that Adam and Eve’s original sin would impact us so? Answering this question goes beyond the extent of this article, but let me give you the short and to-the-point answer: God is God, and He thought this was best. There really is no point in debating this one because we’re not going to change His mind and we’re not going to change reality.

But who are you, O man, to answer back to God? Will what is molded say to its molder, “Why have you made me like this?” (Romans 9:20, ESV)

Now, while many Christians believe this Bible story to be historically true, different views exist about this issue. You can read more about this matter in another article.

The point is that, a long time ago, humanity disobeyed God, and that has placed all humanity on the path to the Lake of Fire. Humanity turned its back to God, and therefore God is presently judging humanity and sentencing every human being to the Lake of Fire.

18 For the wrath of God is revealed from heaven against all impiety and unrighteousness of people, who suppress the truth in unrighteousness, 19 because what can be known about God is evident among them, for God made it clear to them. 20 For from the creation of the world, his invisible attributes, both his eternal power and deity, are discerned clearly, being understood in the things created, so that they are without excuse. 21 For although they knew God, they did not honor him as God or give thanks, but they became futile in their reasoning, and their senseless hearts were darkened. 22 Claiming to be wise, they became fools, 23 and exchanged the glory of the immortal God with the likeness of an image of mortal human beings and birds and quadrupeds and reptiles.

24 Therefore God gave them over in the desires of their hearts to immorality, that their bodies would be dishonored among themselves, 25 who exchanged the truth of God with a lie, and worshiped and served the creation rather than the Creator, who is blessed for eternity. Amen. (Romans 1:18-24, LEB)

Like the rest of humanity, you and your spouse feel, think, say, and do things that are wrong because you are sinners—and the problem is that the more wrong you do, the worst you and your marriage become. It’s all a big bad snowball rolling down a mountain, then turning into an avalanche that results in death.

And therefore, the Bible says that the heart of every human is wicked.

“The heart is deceitful above all things, and desperately wicked: who can know it?” (Jeremiah 17:9, KJV)

The problems that you’re experiencing in marriage stem from your wicked heart(s). Yes, some hearts may be more wicked than others, but we are all wicked, and the main problem is that we are living in rebellion against God. Deep in your heart, you are living in rebellion against God, and the problems that you have in your marriage are the symptomatic behaviors of that wickedness.

The Good News

However, praise be to God because He is good, loving, merciful, and gracious. God isn’t just a judge passing sentence on all of us, He is also a Father who loves us deeply, and He wants to save us from our sins, from the Lake of Fire, and from this present evil world.

Therefore, approximately two-thousand years ago, He sent His Son (the Christ, Messiah, or Anointed One), Jesus of Nazareth to save us. Jesus, who came out of the essence of the Father (God), became a human, lived a sinless life, taught God’s will, performed miracles, died on a cross, was put away in a grave, came back to life, showed himself to his followers, and went back to heaven, where he sat on God’s throne to rule as God’s right hand.

Now, God offers forgiveness of all sins, entrance into heaven (His kingdom), and eternal life in fellowship with Him and His Son, to everyone who (1) repents of living in disregard and disobedience to God, (2) trusts the bibliczl account of Jesus, and (3) acceps Jesus as his Savior, Lord, and King to follow him.

This, then, is how you can be saved from the Lake of Fire, and this is also what will set you on the path to solving problems and conflict in your marriage.

But how will living for God and Jesus Christ set your marriage on the right path? Find out in my upacoming article.

My Upcoming Articles on Marriage

This article is the first of several articles I am writing on marriage. The articles are based on a series of sermons I am presenting at church. My goal is to help people with the truths of God’s word.

In these articles, I will discuss principles that will help improve your marriage and resolve problems in your marriage. To receive a notification of my future articles, follow me at

What will you do?

This content is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge and is not meant to substitute for formal and individualized advice from a qualified professional.

© 2022 Marcelo Carcach

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