Do you feel like there is one issue in your marriage that you and your husband just can not agree on? Do you find yourself arguing over the same things again and again? Despite our efforts at communicating well, there is no way to completely avoid disagreements when two sinners are living in one space. How we deal with disagreements is important to our marriage and the unity that we share. Disagreements can break down that unity and friendship we share, so we must be vigilant at learning how to deal with them in a Biblical way.
Last week we start our study on how to resolve arguments biblically and we will finish up the study in lesson 10. There is so much good stuff in this book about communicating well and resolving conflict that the lessons had to be broken up. It has been the most discussed topic of the book, taking up 3 of the 12 lessons! I think we better pay attention to this!
Today we are going to talk about 8 steps you need to take to resolve arguments. When we begin to rid ourselves of our pride and put these into action we will begin to see the fruit of efforts. As we said last week, arguments don’t need to get ugly!
Let’s learn how to tackle the issue and not fight against each other.
8 Steps to Resolve an Argument from Debi Pryde
1. Put down the weapons.
What are the weapons that you are guilty of using in an argument? Past failures, past hurts, hateful words, slander or painful/sarcastic comments?
We need to purposefully decide that we are not going to engage in these behaviors before the conflict even starts. You can’t control your spouse but you can control yourself. Start there.
2. Agree that the Bible is the authority on issues where God gives an explicit command.
Most often we will find the answer to solve our problems within the pages of our Bibles. Let’s start looking to His Word for our authority and stop fighting with each other.
3. Give up every grudge.
Are you nursing a wounded spirit, refusing to forgive? This behavior is slowly hurting you more than it is hurting the one you are upset with. We cannot deal with our present hurts until we truly forgive our spouse and move on. This type of attitude prevents us from properly doing the first point, putting down our weapons.
If you have to first deal with the past, then do that first, otherwise, you will get nowhere in the present conflict.
4. Relinquish pride. Put aside self-interest.
Remember that what we say through our unspoken language is often spoken louder than the words we do say.
Problems are more likely resolved when both partners begin a discussion with a willlingness to adjust one’s view, acknowleddge fault, and accept responisiility for wrong without excuses. pg. 133
5. Judge yourself first.
We need to take time evaluating our own sins and failures first, before we being to confront others on theirs.
And why beholdest thou the mote that is in thy brother’s eye, but considerest not the beam that is in thine own eye? Or how wilt thou say to thy brother, Let me pull out the mote out of thine eye; and, behold, a beam is in thine own eye? Thou hypocrite, first cast out the beam out of thine own eye; and then shalt thou see clearly to cast out the mote out of thy brother’s eye. Matthew 7:3-5
The outcome of any argument relies on this point.
Going into an argument filled with pride sets you up for an ugly argument that ends with both parties being hurt. Nothing gets resolved and you’ve added more weapons to your arsenal. On the other hand, when arguments are approached with humility and an attitude of repentance for your part then you are opening the door up for reconciliation and a healthy conversation. When you take responsibility for yourself you are less likely to place blame on your spouse, which get’s you nowhere.
Who can argue with their spouse when you’re approached in this way? You’ll be yelling at yourself, which is pointless!
Back again to our first post in the communication series. In order to communicate well, we need to be active listeners.
Slow down to listen, there is no hurry when the outcome means a peaceable resolution.
Do not ignore your spouse while they are speaking so that you can be thinking of your next comeback. Really listen. Thoughtfully respond.
7. Make the effort to find solutions.
Sometimes even though you go into a discussion with all the right attitudes, we can still be tempted to give into the flesh at begin fighting each other and not the problem.
When you feel like your point is getting across, that your spouse isn’t listening or you’ve been the recipient of harsh words it appears easier to storm away. To slam the door shut and shut out your spouse.
Don’t give up. Don’t storm off. Stick with it.
If needed take a break, tell your spouse you need a few minutes together yourself and get some fresh air. Then come back with a renewed passion to find a solution.
If it ends up getting late into the night with no end in sight, then agree to come back to the issue the next day after you’ve gotten some rest. Sometimes, many times, it is wiser to sleep on the issue than to stay up half the night arguing.
8. Stay on the right team.
This is so important. Satan would love nothing more than to damage your marriage through heated arguments. He delights in seeing two of God’s people throwing harsh words around and fighting each other and not the problem at hand.
Don’t let this be your marriage! Do everything that you can to stay on the same page and tackle the issue.
Even if you feel justified in throwing back a harsh comment after receiving one, don’t fall into that temptation. Remember that a soft answer turns away wrath.
A soft answer turneth away wrath: but grievous words stir up anger. Proverbs 15:1
If you are in a difficult marriage, where arguments seem to abound more than loving words, take some time to soak in these last three posts.
Remember that problems and disagreements are normal. When two sinners are living under one roof, there are bound to be disagreements. But they only become ugly when you let them. You can resolve them biblically and I hope these steps will help you! And if you want even more help in this area then be sure to grab a copy of the book. There is so much more in these chapters that I just can not even touch upon.
Your turn! How do you resolve arguments in your home? Do you find it easier to attack and then storm off, accomplishing nothing? Or do you take the time to peacefully and biblically resolve them? Let’s talk in the comments below!
This post may be linked up with any of these blogs.