“We never had any argument or quarrel during our courtship, I’m surprised we are having such now.” This was what a young man told me in counselling. Their marriage was undergoing some crises. As part of my response to him, I said, in all fairness and truth, “perhaps, you are having crises in your marriage today because you didn’t give room for disagreements during your courtship.”

Friend, the journey of marriage is an interesting one. You are expected to live in peace and harmony, for the rest of your life, with someone who is totally different from you. Perhaps, someone whom you have only met and related with for a few years. A lot of marriages are in one form of crises or the other today because of what people call, “irreconcilable differences.” This statement is pregnant with meaning.

You are not likely to marry someone who is similar to you but someone who is different from you. That is God’s idea of marriage. He plans to bring someone into your life who is different from you. Someone who would complement and complete you. Compatibility in relationship and marriage is not about similarities that attract but about differences that complement. If we can understand and manage our differences well, we would build stronger bonds in marriage.

Difference in marriage is not a problem, it is actually a blessing if we understand God’s idea about marriage. We are supposed to manage our differences, but when we fail to do so, it leads to conflicts. Unresolved conflicts would eventually lead to crises that require an emergency solution. It suffices, therefore, to say that the genesis of marital crises are differences that are not properly managed.

When a couple says, “we never disagreed in our marriage”, I know I’m listening to a couple who are probably insincere. The best of marriages often have points of disagreements. It is our ability to work out these disagreements that further binds us together. A disagreement-free marriage may happen because the couples are ‘extremely’ mature (which is not always so). It can also be because one of the spouses is taking “nonsense”.

Submission in marriage is not about keeping silent over issues but about gaining freedom to be able to air your view in an atmosphere of honour and respect. Some couples deliberately sweep issues under the carpet; leaving matters unattended to. This is a time bomb waiting to explode. That’s why people are often surprised when they see couples who are living ‘peacefully’ suddenly begin to have marital crises. This kind of peace is a false peace. It is fairness and justice that bring true peace, not just keeping silent (Amos 3:3, 1 Timothy 2:2). May your relationship and marriage succeed!

© ‘Demola Awoyele
Lead Pastor,
Destiny Impact Church
Akure, Nigeria