Of course, the factory defect to which Ruden refers is not a factory defect at all. It is what we call original sin, which Malcom Muggeridge said was the most empirically verifiable fact in the world. It is probably nowhere more evident than in human relationships, especially the intimate relationships between women and men. Another really great book, which my wife and I and are reading together, is Paul David Tripp's What Did You Expect??: Redeeming the Realities of Marriage. Tripp points out what should be obvious: "Our marriages live in the middle of a world that does not function as God intended. Somehow, someway, your marriage is touched every day by the brokenness of our world." He goes further, when he writes,
"At some point you will be selfish. In some situation you will speak unkindly. There will be moments of jealousy, bitterness, and conflict. You will not avoid this, because you are a sinner married to a sinner. If you minimize the heart struggle that both of you have carried into your marriage, here's what will happen: you will tend to turn moments of ministry into moments of anger. When your ears hear and your eyes see the sin, weakness, or failure of your husband or wife, it is never an accident; it is always grace. God loves your spouse, and he is committed to transforming him or her by his grace, and he has chosen you to be one of his regular tools of change. So, he will cause you to see, hear, and experience your spouse's need for change so that you can be an agent of [God's] rescue."Our need for change is nothing other than our need for Christ.
The above is true for even for Christians married to non-Christians, as the apostle wrote to the Corinthians: "the unbelieving husband is made holy because of his wife, and the unbelieving wife is made holy because of her husband. ... how do you know, wife, whether you will save your husband? Or how do you know, husband, whether you will save your wife?" (1 Cor. 7:14-15- ESV)