Monday, May 27, 2019

Personal Baggage in Marriage

During counseling sessions, often must distinguish between:
1)  marital problems
2)  personal problems.

(1)  Marital Problems = problems caused by the union/  issues that did not exist prior to the marriage.
Examples:  money management by 2, child discipline, blended family, sexual incompatibility, in-laws

May be gender differences, personal preferences, issues of cooperation.
BUT = common, predictable

(2)  Personal Problems are not problems caused by the union.
Rather = un-resolved issues brought into the union.
Examples:  chauvinism, frigidity, lying & deceitfulness, extreme selfishness, verbal & physical abuse

These cause problems within marriage, but are not caused by the marriage.

Example: what a Combat Vet or POW might bring into marriage.
ie:  anger, violence, stubbornness, fear, suspicion, timidity, withdrawal, fear of intimacy, fear of bonding

These often are hidden, masked, controlled, BUT tend to surface in intimacy of marriage

Some descriptive terms  (to help define this!)

Baggage - because bring in and unpack in marriage.

Personal - because = yours!  Belongs to YOU!!
(will cause problems for spouse, BUT are not spouse's problem!!!)

Emotional - because deep seated feeling, logic resistant, may even be UNTRUE!!  Examples:  anorexia, inferiority complex

Problem - because = Problem!!!!
hinders personal development, damages the relationship.

Origin??  - may be
(1)  inherited - stubbornness, depression, anxiety - fallen people born to fallen people

(2)  learned - example:  kids in foster care system

or (3)  combo of these

Whatever the cause, the outcome = unhealthy FEELINGS which leads to improper ACTIONS which leads to relational TURMOIL

(again) these may be masked during courtship, but will surface in intimacy of marriage!!!

#1.  We ALL have personal baggage  
because = sinners, raised by sinners, in a sinful world.  Rom. 3:23

#2.  emotional baggage comes in all sizes. 
Examples:  handbag to steamer trunk,  termites and tornadoes

#3.  The emotional health of a marriage cannot exceed the emotional health of the individuals in the marriage.    "a __________ marriage is made of __________ people"

#4.  the emotional health of 1 partner cannot (fully) compensate for the emotional baggage of the other.  example:  marital math - a 7 + a 3 does not equal 10  (=5!)

#5.  emotional issues in 1 partner tend to create emotional issues in the other.
Example:  an abusive alcoholic brings down wife.

#6.  emotional issues in the parents tend to create emotional issues in the children.  
Extreme example:  who is most likely to be physically or sexually abusive??  Answer:  the one who was raised in that kind of environment.  Hence:  chains of Baggage!!

Question:  How important is all of this???  (for Christians???)
Matt. 22:36-40

Your emotional health affects
(1) your Personal development
(2) your relationships with others
(3)  your influence, impact on others  (especially your kids!!)

Objection!!  too much psychology!!  Not enough Bible!!
So....... use a Biblical word, term, concept!!

SIN:  any attitude, behavior, response outside of or contrary tto God's will for you.

Distinction!!  having baggage is not necessarily SIN!!  It = the response to the baggage that determines  SIN!! 
Example:  tortured POW,  sex slave - horrible conditions.  How respond in current situations determines.

Unbiblical Responses??
denial, indifference, downplaying, stonewalling, blame transfer, defeatism

Biblical Response?
A)  Examine - James 1:21-25  Heb. 4:12
B)  Admit - 1 John 1:8-9
C)  Repent
D)  Repeat - over and over again, til head and heart are in agreement

May require additional help!! - friend, pastor, counselor, etc.

BUT - 1st. and biggest issue = DECISION - John 5:6

So... who's Boss of your marriage??
        who should it be???
Prov. 14:1

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