Session 3: The Passionate Battles

Session 3: The Passionate Battles

In the first two sessions, we’ve seen forces that cause a natural drift toward isolation in marriage: our individual sin, plus a literal enemy who seeks to destroy God’s good plan for marriage.

But Jesus modeled conflict management for us. When because of sin we’d broken our relationship with God, Jesus’ sacrifice made a way for us to be restored  to God. We’re forgiven. Transformed. Followers of a God who shows us how to live in peace — with Him, your spouse, and others.

In this session, we’ll see how God shapes our thinking and communication through His Holy Spirit when conflict arises.

Major Points:

  • Conflict is common to all marriages.
  • The goal is not to be conflict-free. It’s to learn to handle conflict constructively when it occurs.
  • Healthy conflict resolution occurs when couples are willing to seek and grant forgiveness.

Things to Consider:

Galatians 5:22-23 lists the fruit — or results — of God’s Holy Spirit living in us: love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control. 

Galatians 5:16 says, “Walk by the Spirit, and you will not carry out the desire of the flesh” (NASB). “Flesh” refers to that rebellious part of ourselves that isn’t yet under God’s control. So the “desire of the flesh” reflects our addiction to our own interests, rather than seeking to please God or serve our spouse.

Questions to Consider: 

  1. Which of these fruits of the spirit is the Holy Spirit directing to your attention most right now?
  2. What growth area is His voice asking you to begin working on?
  3. In what areas of your marriage do you need a renewed ability to “walk by the Spirit” rather than the flesh?
    • The way we communicate with each other
    • Our sexual intimacy
    • How we relate to our parents and other extended family
    • The way we spend our free time
    • Finding ways to connect spiritually
    • Understanding how to raise our children
    • How we handle our finances
    • Intentionally honoring my spouse in front of others
  4. Developing healthy spiritual habits can help us listen to God’s voice about our marriage — rather than our natural inclinations. Maybe you’re already doing some of them. Which habits are already a part of your life? (Check all that apply.)
    • Praying together regularly (apart from meals)
    • Studying the Bible on my own
    • Sharing with my spouse what God is teaching me
    • Continually welcoming God into my thoughts and listening to His, through prayer — allowing Him to change me
    • Taking opportunities to tell about and show others Jesus, including your own family
    • Attending church regularly
    • Praying for each other
    • Having regular date nights
  5. What’s one activity above that could most transform your marriage? Take a moment to discuss these answers with your spouse and agree on a day/time to begin.

Further Study: