Declare Your Marriage a “NO STRIFE” Zone!
The beginning of strife is like letting out water. So abandon the quarrel before it breaks out.
It’s very important that your marriage be free from strife. Just like the Proverb says, once strife is released it’s like letting out water. If you knock over a glass of water, you can’t put it back in the glass. Water goes everywhere and wets everything it touches. If you allow strife to have its way, it permeates everything in its path. Unaddressed strife will block communication with your spouse, destroying each of you and your marriage.
Instead of confronting and dealing with a situation, many Christians say, “Oh, I’ll just let it go.” And if you can truly let it go, do so. But when there’s a difference, miscommunication, or misunderstanding that you can’t seem to release, deal with it immediately. If you avoid dealing with what’s bothering you, you create conditions for bitterness to take root in the relationship.
Why are there fewer arguments before marriage than after marriage? Charles Swindoll says it’s because before marriage everything you do for each other is voluntary, but after marriage, it’s compulsory!
There is a different attitude when you feel you are required do something. So what one person did voluntary and joyfully before marriage might become a problem once it becomes a duty.
When my husband and I were newlyweds, his preference was to watch the news every night. In contrast, I had a limit to how much news I wanted to watch and his habits were more than I bargained for. Although I didn’t like so much news, I wanted to please him, so for seven months, I went along with it. At some point it bothered me enough that I had to approach him to come into an agreement that was suitable for both of us.
Communication is key and communication requires trust and honesty. It’s very important to be open and share your feelings with your spouse. If you pretend that everything is okay, when you don’t like something, you’re actually being dishonest. Most of us prefer honesty when it is expressed in a love.
Even having forgiven your spouse of an offense, if the source of conflict and difference go unaddressed, open communication is hindered, creating a gateway for strife. There is no way around it. You must deal with the problem in order to have communication, honesty and true resolution.
Another way to avert strife is to respond with a soft answer (Proverbs 15:1). Just as Proverbs 17:4 advises, this is abandoning the quarrel before it starts. When your spouse’s voice begins to escalate, it is natural to escalate in return. Left unchecked, strife rises with the volume. But if you will take the opposite approach and speak softly, your spouse will most likely speak softly as well. Strife has no way in. Speaking at a normal volume, you will be better able to communicate and resolve issues.
Will you choose to contain and resolve strife before it corrupts your marriage relationship? Now, that’s the choice-driven life!
Today’s Bible Reading:
Isa 36-37; 1 Cor 10; Psalm 123
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