Rebuilding Marriages in Crisis

Our very entrance into a marriage crisis is often strewn with ambiguity: they want a pastor, but they don't.
—James D. Berkeley

Every once in a while I hear of a couple married dozens of years who "never quarreled once." I always wonder whether they're amnesiacs or liars.

Place two sentient people together in marriage, and conflict is bound to occur. In measured doses, conflict can be productive; it forces growth and change, compromise and resolution. It releases tensions constructively, rather than letting them build to dangerous levels.

But when does the normal jostling of any marriage relationship become a crisis? It depends on the individuals involved.

"Just as some people can handle more physical pain than others, some couples tolerate more marital discord. But a body can stand only so much pounding, and a couple can take only so much anger and quarreling," says Ed Smelser, a counselor at Fairhaven Ministries in Roan Mountain, Tennessee. "Tension is inevitable. Arguments are common. But ...

Subscriber access only You have reached the end of this Article Preview

To continue reading, subscribe to Christianity Today magazine. Subscribers have full digital access to CT Pastors articles.

Tags:
Posted:
Homepage Subscription Panel

Read These Next

From the Magazine
Hope Is an Expectant Leap
Hope Is an Expectant Leap
Advent reminds us that Christian hope is shaped by what has happened and what’s going to happen again.
Editor's Pick
How Culture Shapes Sermons
How Culture Shapes Sermons
Recent books on culturally distinct preaching challenge misconceptions and equip diverse pastors to better address a multiethnic world.
close