It seems as if the source of suffering in marriage truly comes from our own brokenness as a sinful people. Marriage takes two sinners and joins them as one but this can be the beginning or the source of suffering in marriage. All suffering comes from the two parties involved, the wife and husband because each of them sins and makes mistakes. The Fall of mankind is really the source of suffering in the world and marriage is no exception. "At the Fall he became a cowardly, violent protector of nothing more than himself. Intimacy and openness were replaced by hiding and hatred (Thomas, 2000, 94)." The source of all our pains on earth point directly to our unwillingness to surrender to God. When I think about it I can see how all my problems in my life as an individual and in my marriage can be directed right to my need or want to be in control of my own life. This could be me wanting to sin directly or indirectly. I can be very stubborn in my relationship with my husband and at times have chosen to not serve or love him which only has brought one of us to be hurt. I cannot think of too many times where I could honestly say that I was truly trying to serve my husband in a pure way and it left suffering in our lives. It is only in my selfishness and deceitfulness that I hurt others around me including my spouse.
The consequences of sinful people being in broken relationships varies. Through grace and Christ sometimes two broken people can truly be transformed and serve each other not perfectly but there is hope. Some take the suffering and give it the purpose of changing. The two can be moved enough to find God in the suffering and feel called to do something accordingly. Yet all too often most situations of suffering will lead to consequences that will hurt their marriage. "Couples don’t fall out of love so much as they fall out of repentance. Sin, wrong attitudes, and personal failures that are not dealt with slowly erode the relationship, assaulting and eventually erasing the once lofty promises made in the throes of an earlier (and less polluted) passion (Thomas, 2000, 96)." Due to couples not repenting, not dealing or not discussing current problems in their relationship this can and most likely will be the consequence of a sinful people but also an effect of their suffering. These moments or people will result in something definitely not Biblical but rather sinful, which will bring the couple farther from the purpose of their marriage.
There are several different responses that spouse may take when suffering or problems arise in their life. Some will run and look for any way to avoid what suffering has come to them. Others will take everything that is happening and pin it on the other spouse. There are many ways that people react to their suffering in life but because marriage takes two, the way one responds will indeed effect the other. I have already confessed that I usually begin to blame others or my spouse when suffering occurs. I also try to manipulate the situation so that I can begin to fix the problem that is currently in front of me. The problem with all of those responses is that none of them are God honoring or other centered. There is no glimpse of repentance or an offering to God. I try to take all burdens on my own, except now I have my husband's burdens as well, which can only leave me tired and with no better result. This problem that I have of controlling my situations around me and now my marriage’s does not only effect me now, but my husband. It leaves little room for him to take on any of my burdens or care for me. It also does not witness a good servant’s heart which would respond with repentance, gentleness and love. A correct response might be to take my short comings and my suffering and find good in it. "View marriage as an entryway into sanctification–as a relationship that will reveal your sinful behaviors and attitudes and give you the opportunity to address them before the Lord (Thomas, 2000, 97)." Instead of running, fighting, controlling or whatever it is, perhaps I can take my shortcomings or suffering in a season and respond in a way to find sanctification.