THE 100% FACTOR: A PRICELESS AID FOR HANDLING CONFLICT IN YOUR MARRIAGE

 
By: Norm Rasmussen

Marital conflict is inevitable.  If you’ve been married for any length of time, I’m not telling you something you don’t already know!  If both of you are Christian believers, you need to remind yourselves frequently that Satan will be doing everything he can to try to keep conflict going in your marriage.

Satan has one goal in mind concerning your marriage: to destroy it!

(If one or both of you are called especially into areas of evangelism – being used of God to help win lost souls to Jesus Christ – your marriage above all Satan wants to destroy, because working as a team, Satan knows just how useful you can be to God in snatching souls away from Satan’s grasp.  Never let conflict remain for very long in your marriage.  You can’t afford to!)

A number of years ago, when Satan was close to destroying my own marriage – when there seemed to be no way to resolve the many different conflicts Kathleen and I faced during that season of our marriage – God provided a way to send the devil fleeing that I had never heard of before.  God called it: THE 100% FACTOR.

It is simple to understand.  DIFFICULT to apply, because pride is what usually stands in the way of keeping two people in a marriage from applying it. 

Here is what God said to me, when He told me that a miracle was needed to make our marriage work again:

"Norm - this miracle has two parts to it.  The first part is that you will have to trust Me to restore the desire in both your heart and Kathleen's heart to even desire for your marriage to be restored."

(To be honest, at the time God communicated to me about this ... I didn't care that the marriage would or even could be restored, sad to say.  That's how intense the pain was.  I just wanted out of the pain, and escape seemed to be the only logical way left. Many times, that's the most important miracle that needs to take place, isn't it, when we've lived in so much pain?  The miracle of "want to" keep fighting to try to make the marriage work).

“Secondly Norm, to affect part two of this miracle, you and your wife need to implement the 100% factor.  The two of you need to come together in prayer, and out loud … confess to Me that you each accept full and complete responsibility for the conflict that is going on in your marriage.

“Then once you have each confessed out loud to me, in the presence of each other, that you each are 100% guilty for the conflict in your marriage … no longer accusing the other of being wrong, (even though you may not believe you are the one wrong in the situation) … ask My forgiveness, which I always give.

“Then each of you, again in the presence of each other, out loud, tell Me you are truly sorry for the hurts you have caused your spouse. Ask Me to help them receive your apology, and to heal them of their hurt you have caused them. 

"Next, ask Me for help, for strength, for the willingness to make any necessary changes in youNot changes in the other person!

“Then, patiently trust Me that I will help each of you change where change is needed.”

It was probably the most difficult thing both of us has ever had to do!  I saw things that needed changing in my wife, and she saw things that needed to be changed in me.  Of course … my pride didn’t want to see nor admit the changes that I needed to make, nor did the pride in her want to see or admit any changes that she needed to make as well.

Life as it is … we can always spot the faults in our spouse, can’t we?  What is perhaps the most difficult thing for us to do is spot (let alone admit) faults in ourselves.  What is even MORE difficult is be willing to admit them to God and our spouse, and then be willing to do something about those faults – like change!

I’m here to tell you that a miracle did in fact manifest in our marriage once we applied THE 100% FACTOR, praise and thank you God!  God restored our marriage and made it more meaningful than what it ever was before! 

About the situation/conflict you may be experiencing right now in your marriage – if it involves infidelity, I realize this “100% FACTOR” may not be the “cure-all” to restore your marriage.  Giving one’s affection to another person and not giving it totally to one’s spouse, especially if it goes as far as physical fornication or adultery, can certainly be biblical grounds for divorce.  Yet multitudes of Christian marriages have been restored where infidelity was involved, when the violated spouse is willing to forgive and give the guilty partner another chance in the marriage. 

Sometimes … one’s mate falls in love with someone outside the marriage, because they are not getting something they should have been getting from their spouse.  Applying THE 100% FACTOR can be a productive way in resolving matters like this, in restoring a troubled marriage where infidelity is involved.

There is a spiritual law that we can overlook when conflict arises not only in a troubled marriage, but in every relationship where conflict arises.  That spiritual law is:

God resists the proud, but gives grace to the humble.  (James 4:6; 1 Peter 5:5)   

Our sinful human nature is quick to find fault in the other person who is causing us pain.  Applying wisdom to the above spiritual law … humility causes one to go before God and allow Him to reveal changes that may need to be made in ME.  (Ouch!)

Pride screams, “It isn’t necessary!”

Allow God to effect a miracle in your marriage, if it is that fractured right now, and you need one.   Your spouse may not be receptive right away to implement THE 100% FACTOR … but you can pray and trust that God will make your spouse willing.  What have you to lose?

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