By Pastor Donald Parker
Through out the Bible, God gives us instruction to follow to make a “HOME-WORK.” One example is found in the book of Ephesians chapter 4. Paul writes to the church in Ephesus about keeping the unity in the Church and living a Christian life…Even though Paul is writing to the church, the same principles he gives the church can also be applied to our marriages or any relationship we want to last.
In every marriage, in every relationship, we must learn to resolve conflict and anger for the relationship to work. Sooner are later in every relationship you’re going to hit a bump and if the conflict isn’t resolved then anger will spill out everywhere and anger will destroy a marriage. Anger will destroy any relationship.
Paul writes in Ephesians 4:26, “In your anger do not sin. Do not let the sun go down while you are still angry.” The Living Bible paraphrase says, “If you are angry, don’t sin by nursing a grudge.”
First, you need to understand that feeling angry isn’t a sin but what you say or do when you’re angry can be sin. Sinful anger lingers, it holds a grudge; it looks for way to retaliate or get revenge. So, what do you do? Paul says this in Colossians 3:13, “Bear with each other and forgive whatever grievances you may have against one another.” You see, un-forgiveness is sin, and the longer you have un-forgiveness in your heart, the more destructive it becomes.
So, the question is, how do I make my “HOME-WORK?” How do I make this relationship work? Based on the Scripture here in Ephesians chapter 4 you do these three things. First, to make a home work, to make a marriage work, to make any relationship work, you must have a forgiving heart. If you don’t have a forgiving heart, then you’ll in up with a heart condition in your relationship that will tear your marriage apart.
If we don’t sit down and work out our difference to resolve the conflict and forgive each other, then all the things we said, all that anger spills out everywhere and we get mad and storm of to bed with a bruised hurting heart. The next morning, we wake up still mad because we didn’t stay up late and work out our problem and apologize and forgive each other. Then, after a few days of unresolved conflict, we find our marriage in serious trouble.
If we don’t deal with our anger and apologize and forgive; then it’s not long before we have the; “I just don’t care anymore, I have no feeling toward them anymore” condition of our hearts. And when you find yourself in that condition, your marriage is in serious trouble! So, it’s important that get rid of the anger before the sun goes down; apologize and forgive. Why?
Paul tells us in verse 27 “do not give the devil a foothold.” When anger is allowed to
smolder and burn, overtime it can eventually burst into a flames, giving the devil a foothold in our marriage. His purpose is to still, kill and destroy. He wants to still your joy and destroy your marriage. He knows that if you don’t apologize and forgive each other then, eventually you’ll fall out of love and your marriage will begin to crumble and fall apart.
The second thing to make a “HOME-WORK is that we are to build one another up. Paul writes in verse 29 “Don’t use foul or abusive language. Let everything you say be good and helpful, so that your words will be an encouragement to those who hear them.”
Foul and abusive language in no way will help your marriage work, it will only destroy it. Paul says, instead of all the screaming, cussing and throwing a fit, use words that will be helpful and encouraging. If you want to make your home work, if you want your marriage to work, then you must practice building one another up.
Then third, if you want to make your marriage work, you must, start with Jesus. Without Jesus at the center of your marriage, when you have a bump in the road, when you face conflict, when anger takes over, without Jesus, you’ll become statistic and throw in the towel and call it quits.
Paul writes in verses 31-32 “Get rid of all bitterness, rage and anger, brawling and slander, along with every form of malice. Be kind and compassionate to one another, forgiving each other, just as in Christ God forgave you.”
How do you make a home work? How do you make a marriage work? Is it possible for a man and woman to fall in love and stay in love forever? Absolutely! When we put Jesus Christ first in our lives and the center of our marriage and follow the instructions He has given us in His Word.