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Is Christianity necessary for marriage success?

Dear Raphael and Namukolo,
My husband and I have been married for close to nine years now and have three children. We have encountered many problems in our marriage like

quarreling, fighting and cheating. At one point we almost divorced but we have soldiered on. My friends who are Christians have advised that we turn to God. Both my husband and I do not go to any church. Can religion make any difference in our marriage? Lomi
Dear Lomi,
The Christian religion can transform your marriage if approached correctly and not used as a lucky charm. Many who are looking for quick fixes to their marriages have turned religion into a lucky charm by thinking that all they need is someone to pray away their problems. Such an approach will do more harm than good.
A Christianity that will be beneficial to your marriage is one that will deliver the following:
1.It will assist you to establish a personal relationship with God. At the heart of true Christianity is God’s offer of reconciliation to human beings who have sinned against him. Sin is the biggest problem between God and man. It is also the biggest problem between human beings. Sin in the human heart leads to sinful behaviour. Sinful behaviour like unfaithfulness, pride, jealousy, covetousness etc. spoils human relationships. Once the problem of sin between God and man is solved, then the root cause of the breakdown in human relationships is also dealt with. God’s solution to man’s sin problem is summarised in John 3:16-17: “For God so loved the world, that he gave his only son, that whoever believes in him should not perish but have eternal life. (17) For God did not send his son into the world to condemn the world, but in order that the world might be saved through him.”
2.Character transformation: One of the things we find difficult to do as human beings is to change our characters. And so we find that many marriages experience bad behaviour from the past be it anger, moodiness, impatience, lying etc. True Christianity will help you to overcome such character defects. It does so firstly when you initially surrender your life to Christ. Titus 2:11-12: “For the grace of God that brings salvation has appeared to all men.  (12)  It teaches us to say “No” to ungodliness and worldly passions, and to live self-controlled, upright and godly lives in this present age.”
Secondly, as you grow in your newfound Christian life.
2 Corinthians 5:17: “Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation. The old has passed away; behold, the new has come.”
In order for one to grow in their new life they must be in a church which is strong in teaching and study of God’s word. 1 Peter 2:1-2: “Therefore, rid yourselves of all malice and all deceit, hypocrisy, envy, and slander of every kind.  (2)  Like newborn babies, crave pure spiritual milk, so that by it you may grow up in your salvation.”
3.Counselling. A good church should offer you as a married couple biblical counseling. This involves the use of God’s word to offer practical solutions to all sorts of marital problems that you will encounter. It also involves equipping you with wisdom to avoid encountering certain problems in the first place. God created marriage and he has given us in his word all the principles that we require to run our marriages successfully. The Bible teaches us that we all need counsel in one form or another. Proverbs 15:22: “Plans fail for lack of counsel, but with many advisers they succeed.”
4.Conflict Resolution: Often times when problems arise in marriage there might be need for mediation. Many couples are stuck and their marriages are breaking down because they have no one to mediate over their differences. The church will provide you with good and wise mediators who will assist you to surmount your challenges.
5.Parenting: Parenting is one of the major responsibilities in marriage. Good parenting does not just happen. We need to acquire parenting skills. Good churches will provide us with such skills and will help us bring up our children as God intended us to.
6. Peer couples: In life, we need good friends to help us make good decisions and to encourage us. This is true of couples as well. The church environment provides the perfect forum for such positive interaction.
So, you can see that you are doing yourselves a very big disservice as a couple by trying to conduct your marriage apart from your creator.
Never lie to each other. Lies break trust and trust is the foundation of a strong relationship.
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