You had a long talk about a goal you both want to accomplish. Plans are set in place to see the goal reached. As the first few steps are taken you realize the goal you had didn’t quite match the goal your spouse had and conflict inevitably ensues.
Tension. How do you navigate a conversation when the tension is mounting?
Case in point–keeping it real…
Tom and I need to have some things done around our house. We need to paint the exterior of our home, and we need a new fence. All of this costs money–a lot of money, so I understand the waiting part of making a decision. We began the process of getting estimates for our fence replacement which led me to believe we would soon make a decision and get this goal accomplished–checked off the list!
This morning we got our last quote. As we talked about the three estimates I discovered Tom’s goal didn’t quite match mine. I am ready to call the fence company with the best quote and get it done. Tom, on the other hand, thinks maybe we should get the house painted first. Which led me to wonder why we didn’t get painting estimates done first.
I must admit my response wasn’t, “Oh, okay. That sounds like a great plan.” No, my first response was more like–well, I’d rather not say–but the good news is that God helped me not stay there.
I’ve learned so many times that when Tom pauses in making a decision, there’s usually a good reason and waiting will prove it.
Scenarios like these happen far too often in most marriages. We come to think there is no hope for change, so we settle into complacency and acceptance of a behavior that robs us of the joy God intended us to have in marriage. We argue over miscommunicated or non-communicated expectations.
Is there a practical, easy step we can take to help us redirect our thoughts to help us grow and change?
I believe there is a very simple answer to this question, but it isn’t an easy one, it is often the hardest choice for us to make. It’s deferring to your spouse’s desires over your own.
“Do nothing from selfish ambition or conceit, but in humility count others more significant than yourselves. Let each of you look not only to his own interests, but also to the interests of others.” – Philippians 2:3-4 ESV
If we were to begin each day with the humble attitude of preferring our spouse over our own desires, we would soon discover that there is a way to live above the norm. And best of all, God has promised to give us a Helper to be with us in those tense moments to counsel and guide our thoughts as well as our words.
- Take this Scripture and paste it all over your house.
- Let it be the next verse you commit to memory.
- Cling to it when you’re tempted to react.
- Trust it to help you mature and become less self-focused.
- And most importantly, watch what God does in your marriage and in your spouse as you begin preferring them above yourself.
You might be surprised to see a lot more goals being reached because you’re no longer digging your heels in, fighting for what you want.
Agreement is the road to accomplishment, disagreement is a road block. Choose to agree for the change you want to see!