But How Do We Stop the Fighting? By Rhonda Stoppe
If you and your husband have developed a habit of fighting with each other, or torturing one another with the silent treatment, know that bad habits do not end by merely wanting to stop them.
As with anything in life, success comes from hard work. And that is true about healthy conflict resolution.
It is not enough to merely read the Bible and pray for a marriage free from conflict. Along with prayer, you must study the Scriptures and yield in obedience to what you learn.
Listen to how desperately the psalmist yearned to keep God’s statutes:
O that my ways were directed to keep Your statutes. Then I would not be ashamed when I look into all Your commandments…Your word I have hidden in my heart that I might not sin against You…I have rejoiced in the way of Your testimonies, as much as in all riches. I will mediate on Your precepts and contemplate Your ways. I will delight myself in your statutes, I will not forget Your word (Psalm 119:5-6,11,14-16).
Are you truly desperate to keep God’s statutes?
If there is discord in your marriage, the key to change is for you to determine that obeying God’s precepts is more important than having your own way.
But how do I apply Scripture to my life? you ask. In his book The Pursuit of Holiness, Jerry Bridges offers these practical steps:
“As you read or study the Scriptures and then mediate on them during the day, ask yourself these three questions: What does this passage teach concerning God’s will for a holy life? How does my life measure up to that Scripture?…Be specific; don’t generalize. What definite steps of action do I need to take to obey?” Bridges goes on to say, “Avoid general commitments to obedience and instead aim for specific obedience…We deceive ourselves when we grow in knowledge of the truth without specifically responding to it (James 1:22).”
While it is glorious to delight in what Jesus did on the cross to save you, rejoicing in the gospel coupled with repentance and yielding yourself in obedience to God’s Word is what will transform you into a wife who can resist the temptation to fight with your husband.
As you wrestle with old habits, don’t get discouraged if you don’t find instant victory.
Any training requires hard work, and you can expect that at first, you will experience some failures. But if you persevere in this process of studying what God’s Word says about your sin, and prayerfully apply it to your life, you will gradually see progress.
Eventually you will succeed more often then you fail, until one day heated conflicts with your spouse become a distant memory.
And, when your passion for Christ overrides your passion to win an argument, you’ll enjoy peace in your marriage relationship.
So the next time you look longingly at a genuinely happy couple and say, “I’ll bet they never fight. I wish our marriage was as happy as theirs,” realize they didn’t just get a happy marriage and you got a difficult one. No––you can be sure a happily married couple makes a determined effort to be happy and to resolve their conflicts in a way that does not tear down their marriage.*
For more Conflict Resolution insights Read: Eight Steps to Making Peace in Rhonda’s book: IF MY HUSBAND WOULD CHANGE I’D BE HAPPY & Other Myths Wives Believe
Rhonda Stoppe is the NO REGRETS WOMAN. She is an author and speaker with more than 30 years experience dedicated to helping women live life with no regrets. Rhonda’s wisdom and experience helps women:
-Discover significance in God and His specific purpose for their lives.
-Connect biblical principles to everyday decisions.
-Develop a loving marriage that others dream about.
-Influence the next generation by raising children with integrity.
-Leave a legacy of a life well-lived with
Visit: NoRegretsWoman to Book Rhonda for your next Women’s Event and to order her books:
*Excerpt If My Husband Would Change I’d Be Happy
(Harvest House Publishers 2015)