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What Causes Marital Conflict?

James 3 & 4 teach us that there are three contributing factors that create conflict in marriage:

  1. The first characteristic is an uncontrolled tongue. (James 3:2-4) James writes, if a person can control his tongue that man is a perfect man or she is a perfect woman. He illustrates it two ways: 1) like a bit placed in a horse’s mouth and yet the bit controls the muscular animal, and 2) like a small rudder that directs a large ship sailing into strong winds.James gives some powerful metaphors for the tongue: fire and poison. (James 3:5-8). We will not always see the effects of a small fire or small doses of poison, but over time the tongue can kill.
  2. The second characteristic is an unmet expectation or an unfulfilled desire. (James 4:1-2) According to James 4, when expectations are unmet and desires are unfulfilled, we kill. We kill in a rather 2017 domesticated fashion. We kill with our eyes. We kill with our words. We kill with our body language. We make sure to manifest every form of visible disgust.
  3. The third trait that contributes to conflict is: unrepentant pride.

When you mix unrepentant pride, unmet expectations and an uncontrolled tongue that is a recipe for a deadly cocktail to any relationship. Sip on that long enough it will kill you.

If you’d like to hear the message that Pastor Joel preached on resolving conflict from James 3 & 4, you can do so here:

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