Hatred stirs up strife, but love covers all offenses. ESV Proverbs 10:12
Over the years I’ve observed many marriages. Some seem to remain strong regardless of circumstances and others seem to always be hanging by a thread. Perhaps you have observed the same thing. Why do some couples seem to be able to weather any storm of life, while others seem to be on the verge of divorce no matter what happens?
Some of the answer lies in Solomon’s observation that hatred stirs up strife, but love covers all offenses. Some couples (though they may not admit it) actually hate each other, and thus use every small issue to stir up strife. Every challenge they face poses another reason to blame their spouse. Of course the spouse retaliates with blame because ultimately both parties are more interested in themselves than they are the other person. Two self-centered people will always be fighting, because the nature of marriage is to become one flesh, and when you are obsesses with your own flesh, you aren’t willing to blend yourself into the other person. Instead, you spend your entire marriage fighting against the very draw of marriage God intended to mold you into the the other person. On the other hand, couples that seem to thrive despite all challenges genuinely love each other. We all sin against each other, and our sins are exposed even more when we live with another and are conformed to them in a one-flesh relationship. Nonetheless, when we encounter these sins, if we respond in love because we are more interested in becoming closer to that person (which involves giving up of our selves), we find ourselves in a deeper and sweeter marriage. That’s not to say that it’s easy, or simple, or doesn’t have its challenging days. However, when couples love each other, that love covers so many sins and allows their marriage to thrive.
What’s the state of your marriage? Is their continual strife or abiding love? Recognize strife is a sign that one or both of you are more interested in yourself than the marriage, and bluntly put, you have a hatred problem. If you marriage is relatively good, be encouraged that the love of Jesus in you is enabling you both to cover over the sins of the other. If single, similar principles apply in your relationships. May we cover sins with love!