Session 2: The Root of Conflict

Session 2: The Root of Conflict

As we saw in Session One, the enemy of your marriage is at work. When we go back to the Garden of Eden, we find that Adam and Eve’s sin created shame, guilt, fear, blame-shifting, and a battle for control.

Beneath all conflict in life and marriage is a conflict of desires deep within us. And those stem from the real bad news: our own sin.

But there’s hope.

In Session Two, we see how Christ came to free us from our addiction to self and our slavery to sin.

Major Points:

  • Selfishness and sin affect every marriage.
  • There is Good News that brings healing and reconciliation.
  • The underlying aspect of all conflict is that we have rejected God’s authority and leadership.
  • Christ came to free us from our addiction to self, our slavery to sin.
  • The Cross promises fresh starts and new beginnings for every marriage.

Things to Consider: 

James 4:1-3 explains,

“What causes quarrels and what causes fights among you? Is it not this, that your passions are at war within you? You desire and do not have, so you murder. You covet and cannot obtain, so you fight and quarrel…”

Our desires — which often begin as legitimate longings and hopes — swell beyond what’s appropriate, to become what we

must have.

And if we don’t get it? We judge. We punish.

Beneath our unmet desires are ways we’ve decided we can’t trust God with our cravings, the “passions are war within”.

Just disciplining ourselves to be more loving or less selfish will never be enough. Our problems arise from sin-infected hearts that at their core, can’t change on their own.

In the midst of these overwhelming desires, we need a Rescuer: someone to change us, and our marriages, from the inside out. 

It’s been said that trusting in Christ is as simple as this:

    1. Agree with God that we have turned away from His plan. We’re sinners who don’t measure up to his perfection: “all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God” (Romans 3:23).
    2. Trust in God’s power to turn away from our sin and embrace God’s forgiveness: “that they may turn from darkness to light and from the power of Satan to God, that they may receive forgiveness of sins and a place among those who are sanctified by faith in [Jesus]” (Acts 26:18).

If you’re already a Christ-follower or have decided now to follow Him:  With what desires do you need to trust Christ with, allowing Him to transform your heart? What would it look like, practically speaking, to trust Him and love your spouse as yourself?

Questions to Consider: 

  1. When you dig into your most common arguments, what are some of the unmet desires you most often feel?
  2. With what desires do you find it hardest to trust God (…often punishing your spouse)?
  3. Would you like to accept Christ and believe He was raised to life again to purchase new life for you? 

Further Study:

If you made a decision to receive Christ as your Lord and Savior, then we encourage you to follow up with someone you know, like a pastor or a Christian friend. Ask them to show you how they grow in their relationship with Christ. Ask them how they walk with and listen to God’s Holy Spirit, who lives in those who follow Jesus. 

FamilyLife has a number of helpful resources that will help you that you will find here: Becoming a Christian

We would love to talk with you personally about taking the steps to become a Christian! There are several ways to get in touch with us:

  • Call: 1-800-358-6329 Monday – Friday 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. (CST)
  • Email: Use the Contact Us page at our website and let us know you’ve made a spiritual decision.  Here’s the link:
  • Write: FamilyLife, P.O. Box 7111, Little Rock, AR 72223.