Today I have decided to talk about conflict and fighting fair. Conflict in marriage is inevitable, but there is a way to overcome it and come out stronger in the end. First, I think it's important to point out that we are called not to let any unwholesome talk come from our mouths, but only what is helpful for building others up. (Ephesians 4:29) I know it's hard when we are in a really heated argument to hold our tongue. But if we are not careful, we end up hurting our spouse and the words can never be taken back. In Proverbs we are told that the tongue has the power of life and death. (Proverbs 18:21) This means that the words that we say to our spouse (or anyone for that matter) can either breathe life into them, or suffocate them. Your spouse makes a comment that offends you, you then lash out at them with another harsh comment, they come back at you, and so on and so on. Before you know it, the disagreement escalates into what Dr. Emmerson Eggerich calls, "The Crazy Cycle."
Last week we learned that men have air tanks that are labeled respect. When we talk down to them or belittle them (especially in public) it literally sucks the life right out of them. The book of Proverbs also has a lot to say about the negatives of being a quarrelsome wife. Chapter 19:13 tells us, "A quarrelsome wife is like a constant dripping." Chapter 21:9 says, "Better to live on a corner of the roof than to share a house with a quarrelsome wife." Verse 19 in the same chapter says, "Better to live in a desert than with a quarrelsome and ill-tempered wife." Chapter 27:15 again teaches that, "A quarrelsome wife is like a constant dripping on a rainy day." As we can clearly see, God has a lot to say about the attitudes we have towards our husbands.
As I stated yesterday, Jeff and I attended Marriage Rocks on Friday night and I wanted to share some of the things my pastor said about conflict. He shared that statistics show, couples who say only 5 negative comments per 100, are ten times less likely to get a divorce. However, couples who say 10 out of 100, are ten times more likely to get a divorce. He also discussed how we should not go to bed angry. The Bible even tells us in Ephesians not to let the sun go down while you are still angry. (Eph. 4:26) He shared a story about a time when he and his wife were in a conflict, and when it was time to go to bed she told him, "Look, we really need to get some sleep. I'm not very happy with you right now, but I still love you, and I still want to be married to you for the rest of my life." He said that simple comment made all the difference and gave him so much reassurance that everything would be okay. He then ended by saying something like, "What if our goal was not to win the conflict, but instead, to try to see our spouses point of view." I think if we had this mind set it would make all the difference in our marriages.I realize this is a long post, but I am very passionate about marriage. In today's society marriage is not being taken seriously and that is definitely not what God intended. I will always stand up for the institution of marriage and do my best to help all couples have a thriving marriage. I thought this song was fitting, considering the topic. Have a great night!