You look around, and you see many marriages are in a state of disrepair today. As Christians, we aren’t immune to this happening to us too. Many of us probably already know people dealing with dysfunctional families and mental health issues.
We also know that this isn’t what God wanted, nor is it what He intended. God created a perfect world, but it went astray. How and why did this happen?
Why Dysfunctional Families and Mental Health Issues Occur
Dysfunctional families and mental health aren’t modern-day “invention.” These issues date as far back as David in 1 Samuel 18. Although he and his wife, Michal, started their marriage madly in love, their marriage eventually ended in contempt and deep hurt. As we look at this “story,” we can see how marriages fail.
God Wants Your Marriage to Succeed
We often think we know who God wants us to marry, but this may not have been what God intended for you. In other words, God doesn’t always give us what we want but He always gives us what we need.
We witness this in David’s life. While he was supposed to marry King Saul’s elder daughter Merab she married Adriel instead. However, if she’d have married David she may have been a greater blessing to him.
Love is Essential to Marriage
And Saul said, Thus shall ye say to David, The king desireth not any dowry, but an hundred foreskins of the Philistines, to be avenged of the king’s enemies. But Saul thought to make David fall by the hand of the Philistines. – 1 Samuel 18:25
Men who feel respected and appreciated will do almost anything for their wives because they understand that their wives have their best interest in mind. Here we see that the couple aren’t only friends, but they’re also working to meet their own needs.
Here is a concept that dates as far back as David. He was willing to do more than required so he could marry Saul’s daughter. David understood that women want their husbands to be willing to make sacrifices for them. These actions tell them how much love their husband has for them.
When needs aren’t met in a marriage, affairs usually occur. It’s what happened to David when he slept with Bathsheba making her pregnant.
Forgiveness is Essential to Marriage
But Saul had given Michal his daughter, David’s wife, to Phalti the son of Laish, which was of Gallim. – 1 Sam 25:44
Offenses will happen in marriage. Many times these offenses are due to poor communication or perceived boundary violations. We see this when Saul gives Michal to Phalti in hopes of her having a new life outside of their dysfunctional household. It’s what lies at the root of David’s bitterness, and it’s also what leads to dysfunctional families and mental health issues. Allowing offenses to continue to pile up in our marriages will ultimately lead to their end.
Living in a Broken World
While it’s sad, dysfunctional families and mental health are indeed a part of our world. It’s why over half of today’s marriages end in divorce. However, it doesn’t have to be this way for us as believers. Building a marriage on Christian principles (e.g., good communication skills, effective boundaries) allows us to rise above dysfunctional families and mental health issues only by God’s grace and power.