What if there was a simple key to help us unlock the door of conflict resolution? Imagine how quickly those doors that slammed shut in your face could be reopened allowing the sun to shine on your marriage again. Wouldn’t that be great?
There is such a key, and it’s found in James.
What causes quarrels and what causes fights among you? Is it not this, that your passions are at war within you? You desire and do not have, so you murder. You covet and cannot obtain, so you fight and quarrel. You do not have, because you do not ask.
(James 4:1-2 ESV)
Our pastor has used this verse to help us discover the root of the fights between a husband and wife (or anyone for that matter). When there are young children in the house–waking throughout the night, rising before the moon sets, and having more energy than you do on a good day–fights, tension and quarrels are inevitable. But there is a key to knowing what the quarrel is really about.
Ask yourself this question: What do I want that I’m not getting?
For many young moms the answer may be simple…sleep!
For many tired dads the answer might be…quiet!
Knowing the answer to this one question will help a husband and wife sit down and talk about what it is they are wanting and/or needing. The wise couple listens, learns and responds to do whatever they can to help their spouse through this trying season.
And if both of you are needing sleep, then work out a schedule to take turns catching up on those zzzz’s.
The worst thing you can do is…nothing.
These times in marriage are trying and difficult. When the door slams shut in your communication, you must do whatever you can to get the door open as soon as possible.
Be angry and do not sin; do not let the sun go down on your anger, and give no opportunity to the devil.
(Ephesians 4:26-27 ESV)
Speaking harsh words and unkind words are like tiny darts aimed at your spouse. To allow these darts to continue will slowly, over time kill the marriage. There is nothing the enemy would love more than to see unresolved hurts and offenses between the two of you.
We realize it’s not easy to talk when the emotions are so volatile, but God will help you do the hard thing. He is the peacemaking God, and if He was able to bridge the gap of hostility between God and man, then certainly He can bridge the gap there may be between you and your spouse.
So now we pray…
We pray for any who are reading this post with despair. Would you meet them right now in their struggle? Help them know what to say and how to say it. We pray for wisdom where there has been offense. Give them the ability to say what needs to be said in the way it needs to be said. Most of all comfort them. May they sense your love and care for them, and may You increase the love they share.
Thank you for the gift of children. What a privilege to raise the next generation for Your glory. Help each couple be the best example of what a real marriage looks like, with all the sin and struggle, yet faithfully pursuing a God-honoring relationship.
Open blinded eyes. Open deaf ears. And help us all know what the next step is for us in our marriages. We need You desperately, and we’re grateful You are always near.
In Jesus’ name,
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