Have you ever heard a married couple talk about how they never fight? That’s either a bunch of bull, or one of them is getting bull-dozed. In marriage, couples fight. Why? We’re all imperfect. We all mess up. We’re all selfish at times and this leads to conflict in our relationships.
So, we know it’s going to happen. This issue is not will we fight, but how. In healthy relationships people fight for resolution. In unhealthy relationships people fight for victory. There’s a huge difference in fighting for resolution and fighting just to win the argument. Think about it. If you win the argument, what have you really won?
I believe God’s desire is for us to have healthy, meaningful marriages. Since He created us for relationships, and knows best how to have the best life, marriages and relationships possible, we should listen carefully to the words of Scripture.
James, the brother of Jesus, writes “…Everyone should be quick to listen, slow to speak and slow to become angry…” James 1:19 (NIV).
When things begin to escalate and a fight is brewing, we should stop to listen. Listening isn’t just being quiet and not talking. It’s paying attention. Focusing on what the other person is saying and trying to understand their perspective.
Then we should guard our words. Ask yourself, “Should this be said?” and “Should this be said right now?”. These two questions when answered honestly can save us a lot of heartache later because words can’t be taken back. What may feel good to say in the heat of the moment will not feel good in the days that follow. Don’t trade satisfaction in the moment for destruction in your relationship.
Finally, we need to be careful in our anger. When we live in a state of unresolved conflict, we give the enemy an open door in our relationship. When we don’t work it out and don’t forgive, the issue simply grows. Let’s do all we can to resolve issues and move forward.
Marriage is not easy. Great marriages don’t accidentally happen. It takes work. You can have a great marriage but it won’t happen if you do what everyone else is doing. Let’s be careful how we fight. Our goal is not winning the fight, its healthy resolution today and a better, closer, more loving and fulfilling marriage tomorrow.