As iron sharpens iron, so one man sharpens another. — Proverbs 27:17
This is one of the best verses that fitly defines what the Christian Marriage is all about and should be about. It is sobering to realize that one of the partners in a marriage RELATIONSHIP may be a thorn in the flesh of the other partner like in any human relationship whether it is even at work or in any ordinary human relationship. Has it dawned on you that you are another person's problem because of your particular personality? Christian marriage is no exception. The problem is, of course, each of us may be the problem, but unfortunately we make it somebody else's as well. It may be the person who has to live with you especially the one married to you, or work with you, or deal with you from time to time. You force that person to have to walk on eggshells around you. He or she loses sleep because of you. How does that make you feel? Well, it sobers me to my fingertips, knowing that I may very well be another person's thorn in the flesh.
Perhaps you are aware of your problem, but you say, "I can't help it. This is who I am." You have prayed about it often. But have you really tried to get help? You are never too old to learn as long as you want your problems solved.
So when you don't have a balanced personality, you have difficulty in getting along with people. You keep sticking your foot in your mouth. You keep rubbing people the wrong way. Only Jesus had the perfect personality. He also has the perfect combination of self-confidence and care for others. That is the ideal person: having the balance of self-confidence, concern, and care for others.
If your personality is your thorn in the flesh, then you should admit it. Be thankful if you can see that you have a problem.
A personality problem is not necessarily sin especially in marriage. It is because you are a sinner that you have it, yes, for nobody is perfect. And yet there is a point at which a personality problem becomes sin: when you excuse it and justify it. If you say, "Well, that's just me," that's when it becomes sin. It is sinful when you excuse yourself and do nothing about it.
We all must be seriously become aware that Marriage carries along with it destructive habits, selfishness, low self-esteem, and an inability to communicate - all examples of the excess baggage we may bring into a marriage. Excess baggage causes problems because we start new relationships with emotional and relational weaknesses that prevent us from serving our spouses.
We begin to accumulate excess baggage because of the devastation brought to relationships and marriages by hardness of heart, a root cause for much of the world’s brokenness (Mark 3:5). Oftentimes the hardness of heart in past relationships damages us and provides the unhealthy patterns we bring to our marriages as excess baggage.
Sometimes there is no easily identifiable single sin that brings down a marriage. Instead, a marriage weighed down by the excess baggage of unhealthy, sinful attitudes reaches a tipping point and the relationship is crushed.
Even in the best of marriages, each spouse brings wrong attitudes and unrealistic expectations learned in the developing years. Children who experience a home with addiction, physical abuse or divorce face higher hurdles in having healthy relationships of their own. Statistically, at least one marriage partner today will come from a divorced family.
Even if it’s done unintentionally, people who are hurt tend to hurt others. Unless we break the cycles and patterns of brokenness in our relationships, we’ll only make things worse. The good news is that there is hope.
Prayer joined with professional and pastoral counseling can help us work through our excess baggage that hinders us so that we can develop healthy relationships. Husbands and wives each bring problems into relationships. We can all admit the simple fact that “I’ve got problems. You’ve got problems… All God’s children got problems.” With this honesty and a soft heart, we don’t have to spend the rest of our lives weighed down by our baggage—no matter how much of it we have