A Root Cause of Conflict In Marriage

“Your desire shall be for your husband, and he shall rule over you.” Genesis 3:16

Anyone who has been married for a while will tell you good marriages are not accidental, they are the result of hard work, commitment and understanding, lots of it. Anytime two people come together from different backgrounds, upbringings and personalities, there are bound to be issues. Even Apostle Paul went on to say in 1 Corinthian 7:7 “I wish that all were as I myself am…” But the question is why does marriage have to be a work in progress? Was it always this way or did something go wrong?

The truth of the matter is, it may not have been intended to be this way, rather it became this way.

There are certain truths that we can only discover through scientific inquiry, For instance, the Bible doesn’t tell us how to lower our blood pressure. On the other hand there are certain truths that we can only discover through God’s revelations. We could never come to know that we are sinners through nature or scientific inquiry. We are able to gain that knowledge only through the scriptures.

In the same way, marriage was intended to be a great blessing, but something went wrong to make it a work in progress. We can only gain that insight through the revealed word.

In the book of Genesis chapter 2:18 we read: “Then the Lord God said, it is not good that man should be alone; I will make him a helper fit for him.”

When the Lord made the woman, He made her to be a suitable helper. Some one that Adam could correspond with in a loving relationship. But something went wrong.

When we read the account of the fall in English translation it’s easy to miss what the Lord told Eve. In Genesis 3:16 we read “…your desire shall be for your husband, and he shall rule over you.” The word desire is an interesting word. It means  (to desire, a longing to go after or to run over.) Usually the context determines the meaning.

In this verse, there are differences of opinion among the scholars in regard to the understanding of the word desire. Does it mean that from this point on the women would have a longing for their husbands? Or does it mean that from that point on she would want to run over, dominate or control her husband?

I tend to believe the later, from that point on, the relationship between a man and a woman in marriage would be characterized by the desire to control each other.

It is, as if the Lord was telling Eve, that from now on there would be power struggle in marriage. Surprisingly this was not a judgement from the Lord, rather a statement of fact.

Those of us who have been married for a while could attest to a certain extent the reality of this struggle in marriage. We want our spouses to see things our way and do according to our desires. This may be one of the root causes of difficulties in our marriages. In my upcoming articles I will try to explore how we can have fulfilling marriage relationships in light of this reality.


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