3 Ways to Battle Bitterness in Marriage

The Gospel Coalition | 10/20/2019 | William P. Farley
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Most of us knows the story of the Trojan horse. For 10 years the warriors of ancient Greece besieged the city of Troy, but the stalwart defenders withstood their advances. Finally, Greece gave up frontal assaults and resorted to deception. They made a great wooden horse, inserted a band of commandos into its belly, and withdrew.

Convinced their besiegers had given up, and curious about the horse, the men of Troy dragged the great statue into their city and went to sleep. That night, the Greeks emerged from the belly of the horse and vanquished Troy from within.

Satan - Trojan - Horse - Marriages - Assaults

Satan has inserted a Trojan horse within our marriages. What he cannot accomplish with the frontal assaults of adultery, financial stress, or bickering over in-laws, he achieves with this insidious, hidden weapon. And, like the citizens of Troy, most of us don’t take it seriously until it has done its deadly work.

The writer of Hebrews names this hidden weapon: the “root of bitterness.”

Root - Bitterness - Marriage - Relationship - God

The root of bitterness is powerful. It will defile both your marriage and also your relationship with God.

Wise couples fear the power of bitterness to wither affection, strangle intimacy, and smother joy. When you hear, “I just don’t love my spouse anymore,” unresolved bitterness is often the culprit.

Years - Children - Wife - Couple - Retreat

In the hectic years when our five children were young, my wife and I attended a couple’s retreat. We needed time alone. Judy was so stirred up by the pressures of raising our kids that she had little emotional energy for me. I came home nursing resentment. After a few days, I recognized the problem, decided to forgive, and began looking for ways to serve her. Resentment had temporarily driven two lovers apart, but God graciously intervened.

Unrepentant bitterness can be a spiritual snowball, growing larger and larger as it rolls downhill. If not resisted, it...
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