The man said, ‘This is now bone of my bones and flesh of my flesh; she shall be called “woman,” for she was taken out of man.  For this reason a man will leave his father and mother and be united to his wife, and they will become one flesh.’ Genesis 2:23-24 

Those who are ignorant of the past are condemned to repeat it.  How true this is. Our marriage was not birthed in a timeless vacuum.  It is shocking how little we know about our own family history, let alone the family history of our spouse. We understand that a doctor cannot help us without a full examination and a diagnosis that includes a family medical history. He asks a number of questions and administers several tests before prescribing a remedy. In the spiritual realm, it is the Holy Spirit who is the doctor of our souls. All the best inspirational Bible teaching can do us no good if we have not subjected ourselves to the scrutiny and examination of the Holy Spirit.  

The Bible teaches that sin– such as deceit, bitterness, anxiety or chronic anger– is like cancer to our souls. And we bring many of these conditions into our marriage. As our soul goes, so goes our marriage. Let us have the courage to allow God’s Spirit to examine our marital condition by first examining our own story. 

This session begins with looking at our spiritual heritage through the lens of our first parents. When Adam and Eve sinned against God, they experienced the traumatic crisis of separation from God and became “naked and ashamed.”  For the first time they experienced isolation and the nature of man became broken and lost.  And instead of running to God for restoration and repair they hid; in their fear and guilt they covered themselves.  In their sin Adam and Eve began a pattern of running from God and each other while God raised the question, “Where are you?” He is asking many of us today in our hiding, “Where are you?”  Yet even in their brokenness, God (who is by nature love) tenderly and compassionately pursued Adam & Eve. He is still pursuing us today.

By breaking off relationships with God, others and ourselves, we enter into a disintegrated reality and hide behind our false selves in our “secrets.” We become like a puzzle that has lost many of its pieces; therefore we are unable to see the full picture of our lives. We compensate for our broken past by creating our own “fig leaves” that cover our true selves. We hide behind false selves. Be encouraged that today, because of God’s divine mercy, He has placed us in his community of grace to help us discover that we are God’s children and He is our loving Father.

Everything that we have experienced in life has contributed to the development of our personalities today. These past experiences have fundamentally influenced our relationship with God and our spouse. If we don’t fix the broken parts of our wounded souls, we will resurrect our past and repeat it in our marriage.  This keeps us reliving the past through compulsive repetition or fearful avoidance. Our suffering is then a result of our inability or unwillingness to face the hurts and failures of our lives. This brings about exposure of our brokenness and causes us to suffer.

But we must NOT despair- God is involved in the process of making us whole through the sanctity of marriage.

This is an excerpt from the MarriageSkills workshop. If you would like to sign up for a MarriageSkills, please go to our CLASS FINDER to find a class near you and sign up! Or contact us at admin@themarriageresource.org for more information.