“Catch the foxes for us, the little foxes that spoil the vineyards.” Song of Solomon 2:15
10 Ways To Fight Fair In Your Marriage
1. Confront with Respect – Are you afraid of confrontation? Depending on your personality style and how you were raised, your home of origin, or difficult past experiences, you may perceive any conflict or confrontation as an emotionally crushing experience, and RUN at the first sight of confrontation. You can change this pattern by choosing to confront with respect. If you choose not to, this can lead to years and years of pain and eventually deep bitterness. Many of us first have to face our fear of confrontation and learn to respect. People who don’t fight fair use words like, NEVER, ALWAYS and constantly threaten. Cut down on the drama and show respect for your mate. Lower your tone, use words of love and NEVER say words that devalue the character of your spouse. After all, according to the bible, you are “one flesh.” Treat your body with respect. According to 1 John 4:18, “perfect love casts out all fear.” Love and respect enough and the fear of confrontation will subside.
2. Don’t Let The Sun Go Down – This sounds simple but is difficult to implement. This means you have to communicate often. This doesn’t mean you become religious about finding fault in your spouse, and become a constant complainer, but it does mean that you may actually learn to love the faults in your spouse. Find time in the day to text, chat and communicate. A little proactive communication can go a long way to stop the conflict from escalating. If you put off the conversation too long, it will just explode later.
3. Right Time and The Right Place – Maybe you have heard the phrase, there is a time and place for everything. This basically means, plan your times to communicate, this includes time to disagree and work things out. Think ahead! Many times we get in trouble because we have bad timing. We fight hungry, we fight spontaneously, and we fight with limited time. State exactly what is bothering you. You have probably heard the saying, “time heals all wounds”. This does not apply to conflicts in marriage. Time actually can fester and open up old wounds. Remember, timing is everything.
4. Keep Short Accounts – Stick to the subject at hand. Keep it about today. One of the common mistakes couples make is by eventually bringing up old wounds in a current conversation. All of the sudden a disagreement about division of labor in the house turns into a one hour battle about a year ago when he said he would do something and dropped the ball. If you can’t forgive your spouse, why should you expect Jesus to forgive you? I didn’t say you should let someone take advantage of you, but you need to be willing to forgive. You can tell how close you are in your relationship with Jesus by the amount of forgiveness you extend to your spouse. When are you going to forgive her?
5. Your Spouse is Right – One of the hardest lessons to learn in marriage is perception is reality to my spouse. Even when I don’t think I am being harsh or difficult, if my spouse perceives it, it’s true. This is a point of humility in marriage. Remember, you married her. If you think he is being over-sensitive, you married him. If you think he is difficult to talk to, you married him. Marriage can make you more like Jesus than any other relationship I know of. Learn to be wrong! Swallow your pride and yield to you lover. No matter what the argument is about–money, sex, time, work, if you want to grow in your marriage, you better start yielding. If your spouse says you do, then it’s true. Believe your spouse. They know you better than anyone.
This week at 217church we will learn from Song of Solomon the difficult art of negotiating and yielding to our spouse. Do you fight fair? Learn to fight fair and your marriage will grow in intimacy and strength. We will discover the next 5 next week.