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You’re going to argue with your spouse. The two of you will fight over completely ridiculous things, like the right way to organize the dishwasher. Of course, you’ll also have “discussions” about major life decisions, your finances, and the habits each of you has that drives the other bonkers.
That’s marriage. Really, that’s human nature.
We all get selfish. And prideful. And a whole lot of other unpleasant, fleshly things. Living in close relationship with one another, we’re bound to rub each other the wrong way from time to time. Conflicts ensue.
When they do, what weapons do you bring?
A component of any fight (even those that involve the silent treatment,) words can be used and misused in the heat of the moment. You know the sting of being called a horrible name. There are words you’ve said that you wish you could take back.
At the same time –you also know that arguments aren’t resolved without words. Disagreements don’t lead to unity by dissipating.
When you and your spouse argue, you can use the tongue as a weapon forging the path to peace and life together, not to domination or the destruction of your beloved.
Remember that “The soothing tongue is a tree of life, but a perverse tongue crushes the spirit” (Proverbs 15:4.)
As 1 Peter 3:9-12 also explains:
“Do not repay evil with evil or insult with insult. On the contrary, repay evil with blessing, because to this you were called so that you may inherit a blessing.
Whoever would love life and see good days must keep their tongue from evil and their lips from deceitful speech. They must turn from evil and do good; they must seek peace and pursue it. For the eyes of the Lord are on the righteous and his ears are attentive to their prayer, but the face of the Lord is against those who do evil.”
Use your words to find a solution and to seek peace. Pray over your words. The tongue can be kept from evil, even when you’re steamin’ hot angry.
Love “keeps no record of wrongs” (1 Corinthians 13:5.) So what are we doing in arguments when we bring up stuff from 3 years ago or decide that’s just how our spouse “is?”
It’s tough to keep a kind, forgiving, patient, and self-controlled attitude when we’ve been wronged (or when we’re wrong but don’t want to admit it!) But if your attitude isn’t for your spouse, it’s going to be against them.
You have the choice in every argument to select an attitude that is righteous, not self-righteous. Choose humility, choose patience, choose to ask the Lord for His help and His work in your spouse’s heart. And in your’s! An attitude befitting of the Lord alone can conquer instead of stay or further evil, mistakes, and sin.
Although it doesn’t feel like it at the time, when your blood is boiling and you want to just let go of self-control, you don’t have to. You can have self-control if you choose it (and perhaps pray, pray, pray for it!)
As soon as you act without thinking and without control, you allow you anger to make decisions for you. Proverbs 29:11 explains: “Fools give full vent to their rage, but the wise bring calm in the end.”
During an argument, the weapons you use can be anything from how you choose to react (loudly, quietly, harshly) to what you do (storm out, sit and refuse to listen, throw something.) Those choices can hurt. Often we know which ones will hurt most and we yield them in retaliation:
“But now you must also rid yourselves of all such things as these: anger, rage, malice, slander, and filthy language from your lips” Colossians 3:5
Make choices that aren’t based on what you feel right now or what you think your spouse has earned. To do that even when you are blind with fury, you have to turn to the light. Turn to Christ. Remember the fruit of the Spirit that we’re called to put on, and the weapons He does call us to arm ourselves with: (Ephesians 6:10-18.)
Finally, watch how you wield your heart in an argument.
“Do not think of yourself more highly than you ought, but rather think of yourself with sober judgment, in accordance with the faith God has distributed to each of you.” –Romans 12:3
You can use any number of things in your heart to harm your spouse, including your pride or your stubborn refusal to forgive. It’s always possible (if not probable) that the argument you and your spouse are having isn’t just one person’s fault or decision.
2 Corinthians 13:5 explains: “Examine yourselves to see whether you are in the faith; test yourselves. Do you not realize that Christ Jesus is in you–unless, of course, you fail the test?” Your heart might be a part of the issue, don’t make it worse by making a fight about you (and your heart and feelings!) instead of about working together in your marriage.