How I Realized What Caused My Family Problems

A few years ago, Stephanie and I encountered some marriage and family problems. We were having a “discussion” that led to a yelling fight one particular morning. It was early morning and I remember not liking the tone of voice she used. This is one of my triggers that sets me off. I blew up. I began yelling at her and she in return completely shut down. Another one of my triggers. I promise, I do not have that many triggers, but Stephanie knows them all.

As the fight escalated, it got out of control of any rationale. I finally stopped. I couldn’t yell anymore. I pulled back for a brief second of rationale and asked myself, “What is happening? Why do we keep fighting?

The prior few months, Stephanie and I had been in more fights than we had ever before in marriage. And in this moment of rationale, it was as though God said, “Check your surroundings and then do some digging.

The previous 6 months were very difficult for our family. We had moved up to Utah, away from Stephanie’s family. We were blindsided when we got evicted from our rental because the landlord had allowed the house to go to auction. I was the associate pastor at a church that had just launched. Oh, and we were unsuccessfully trying to get pregnant for 6 months.

Not to mention, our first child who was born with Down syndrome had open-heart surgery a year prior.

All of these problems or situations were pointing to justifying our fights. But were they really? God said do some digging.

Sun Tzu says in the The Art of War, “If your enemy is secure at all points, be prepared for him. If he is in superior strength, evade him. If your opponent is temperamental, seek to irritate him. Pretend to be weak, that he may grow arrogant. If he is taking his ease, give him no rest. If his forces are united, separate them. If sovereign and subject are in accord, put division between them. Attack him where he is unprepared, appear where you are not expected .”

Are Circumstances Really The Cause To Family Problems?

Jesus says in John 10:10, “The thief (Satan) comes only to steal and kill and destroy…” According to Sun Tzu, you can assume Satan takes a war tactic on families. He uses circumstances to encourage and justify martial discords, parenting strifes, and family problems.

The only problem is, Satan CANNOT create anything. He cannot create problems, but he CAN use already present situations or different family structures to leverage adversity in families.

Family problems are waging war

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This in turn leads to many families focusing on the situations as the issue rather cause of the issue.

Here comes the digging…

Finding The True Cause To Family Problems

When you dig down deep into your problems, you will realize circumstances are secondary to the real issue. The real issue is the spiritual warfare being waged on your soul.

The spiritual warfare is with guilt, grudges, stress, anxiety, fear, hatred, unforgiveness, and selfish ambition. These are some of the real causes to the family problems. If the spiritual warfare was the wedge in relationships, the situations are the swings of the sledgehammer to the wedge.

We Must Remove The Wedge

When Stephanie and I were fighting, I realized stress and selfish ambition was our wedge. The more I looked at my own desires and situation, the higher the stress rose. And the whole thing was being hammered by our situations.

I needed to remove the wedge

I needed to turn away

Jesus makes it very clear in scripture that repentance is a continual pursuit. Sure, we initially repent from our old life to walk with Jesus, but we cannot stop. We must continually turn away from selfish desires to follow Jesus, spiritual desires.

The longer the wedge stays in place, the deeper the separation gets in marriages and families.

Family Problems >> Separation

Turning away from self and turning towards Jesus is repenting.

And marriages need repentance…

Families need repentance…

We all need to remove the wedges in our problems. Otherwise, separation and eventually destruction will occur.

Remove The Wedge In Your Family Problems

This might not be easy. This process might have needed to happen 10 years ago. It might seem as though it is no longer possible or hopeful, but do not give up. There is hope.

It says in Matthew 19:26, “Jesus looked at them and said, ‘With man this is impossible, but with God all things are possible.’

What is your marriage worth? What is your family worth? What is your soul worth?

Look in the mirror and let God identify your wedge. Let Jesus remove your wedge and then proceed towards the healing process. Realize your marriage or family problems being healed will always starts with you. Do not wait for the other person or people, Jesus wants to start with you.

2 Peter 3:9 says, “The Lord is not slow in keeping his promise, as some understand slowness. Instead he is patient with you, not wanting anyone to perish, but everyone to come to repentance.”

Jesus wants to help you with your family problems. Jesus wants to help you be healed. LET HIM WORK A MIRACLE!

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About Jared Buckley

Experienced in family adversity, Jared has witnessed the great potential in hardships. Jared has spent the last 10 years coaching, teaching, and leading all members of families. From teaching teenagers to counseling couples, Jared has focused his energy on showing the great potential for families and marriages who leverage adversity through the power of Christ.
  • Jolene Philo

    Very wise advice, Jared. It reminds me of the philosophy in the book, Parenting from the Inside Out, only applied to marriage instead. Thanks for adding this to’s Tuesday link up.