Faith Filled Family Magazine January 2017 - Page 58

and strife between couples . In the Bible , Proverbs 26:21 says , “ As coals are to burning coals , and wood to fire ; so is a contentious man to kindle strife .” What Proverbs 26:21 is saying is very good advice- quarrelling will only increase the ill will between a couple . Being contentious with a spouse is going to only lead to trouble , and without reconciliation , more trouble .
Philippians 2:3 says , “ Let nothing be done through strife or vainglory ; but in lowliness of mind let each esteem other better than themselves .” Putting your spouse ’ s feelings and holding them in high esteem leads to mutual respect . Marriage isn ’ t easy for some . Each in the relationship may be carrying baggage from the past that rears its ugly head when disagreements arise leading to a verbal match . Mutual respect is loving your spouse and putting aside the baggage to honor and respect them . Is this easy ? Not for everyone . As for myself , me and my wife have been in one fight since being together for 17 years . Do we disagree ? Yes , but we talk it out , letting each other speak and most importantly , listening to what the other is saying to see their point of view . We resolve our disputes through calm words and quiet voices . We don ’ t raise our voice to each other , but do our best to find common ground to have one voice together . I ’ m not bragging , but just saying it is possible to have this kind of relationship . Relenting to the other ’ s adamant stance is sometimes necessary to keep accord in the relationship- to always want to win is not always the right answer . Marriage is not a competition or a race to be won , but a journey of self-discovery and growth together to learn patience and continue in love and kindness to each other .
Hand in hand with respecting each other , is to be humble towards each other . We are told in Ephesians 5:21 , “ Submitting yourselves one to another in the fear of God .” This is being humble . Submit , not dominate . Submit , not manipulate . Submit to each other . Does this mean if your spouse says the sky is yellow when it is actually blue to submit to their statement ? No , but you can try to understand why he or she thinks the sky is yellow in humbling spirit , not a condemning voice , and talk about it . Jesus , the Son of the Living God , humbled Himself to mere man . He did not come to the Earth to be served , but came to serve us through His sacrifice . He is the living example of how to treat one other . If we are charged to treat even enemies with love or strangers with compassion , how much more we should do for our spouse ? Love and compassion is not born out of dominance but out of humbleness to fellow man , to our spouses . What an example Christ is for us ! To not respect nor have an attitude of humbleness to our spouses is contrary to what Christ taught and gave as an example for us to follow .
Ephesians 4:32 . “ And be ye kind one to another , tenderhearted , forgiving one another , even as God for Christ ’ s sake hath forgiven you .” Most fights with a spouse lead to both or one ’ s feeling being hurt . Anger can stew and resentment will linger for some time , regardless of who was right or wrong . No matter who or how the argument was started or elevated , forgiveness and being loving towards the other is charged to us in the Bible as stated in Ephesians 4:32 , as just one example of many on forgiveness . If a spouse holds discontent or anger inside , bitterness will stir in their heart . When this happens , there is a desire to blow up at the other , to look for a reason to start a fight so you can unload on your spouse . How is this forgiveness ? How is this being kind and tenderhearted ? It isn ’ t . Letting go is difficult to do sometimes , but it is a must , not only to emulate how God forgave us , but for the sake of the marriage relationship . Happy and forgiving couples do not make it a habit of fighting with each other . They discuss and talk it out . By putting God first in marriage , hurtful arguments will rarely happen . When we leave God out of our hearts during a heated conversation , it becomes more difficult to be humble and respectful to the other ’ s thoughts and opinion . Emulating Christ to your spouse ensures your attitude remains loving and kind and will help calm the situation . If this is too hard to do , finding a Christian counseling service may be needed to help keep the focus of communicating in line with God ’ s precepts . Using counselors can be a great way to find common ground in the marriage focused around Christ and help to build understanding amongst spouses so when an argument is brewing , it can be avoided with learned strategies with a Chris-