It is important to point out that all marriage problems are symptoms of a greater problem. They are what I consider to be fruit issues because they are resulting from something else that is out of line.
When a tree in your yard begins to produce bad fruit that is not good to eat because it is bitter or wormy or mealy you know there is a problem elsewhere with that tree. You must go to the roots of the tree and determine what that tree is taking in through the soil, or what is attacking the tree and causing it to bear bad fruit.
When a marriage begins to get sour and is full of strife, upset, anger, bitterness and such it is because there is a problem within one or both people in that marriage. There is a problem within the heart and that is what must be dealt with first before there will be any change in the relationship. Your heart must be renewed first by God’s grace in salvation and then through the sanctification process as your mind is renewed (Rom.12:1-2).
If your marriage is in trouble your goal should not be to fix your marriage, it should be to glorify God in your marriage. The chief end of man is to live to glorify God in all aspects of life. If you are determining to respond to your husband out of love for God and obedience to Him rather than to serve yourself or to make yourself “happy” then you will begin to experience those changes of heart that will lead to changes in your marriage.
The heart is what the Bible calls your control center or to refer back to my former illustration, it is the roots. It is mentioned over 500 times in the Bible so it is of great importance!
Proverbs 4:23 says, Above all else, guard your heart, for it affects everything you do.
The heart is where you think, believe, desire, and worship. Your heart contains your soul, your will, your mind and conscience, your thoughts and so on.
Get rid of all those notions you have carried about how good your heart is, and how you are to follow your heart through life, and listen to your heart for direction and wisdom. The Bible paints an entirely different picture of your heart, and this picture is accurate!
Jeremiah 17:9 says, The heart is more deceitful than all else and is desperately sick; who can understand it?
I would never suggest a person follow their heart! So, as you struggle through your marriage difficulties set aside those old notions about how great your heart is, and begin to think Biblically about yourself and your husband. Realize that to improve your marriage you must have heart surgery first.
Until your heart is changed there will be no lasting or real changes in your life. You can alter all the behaviors you want to, but I promise you will change back to the way you are right now unless there is change of heart first that leads into changes in your actions. Remember- the roots of the tree dictate the fruit of the tree. The heart and what it contains and its thoughts, beliefs, and desires determine how you will respond.
I did write a little booklet on this topic that can be purchased for only 5.00 by going to my website (link on the right side of the page) and ordering it.