Since this new series is on marriage, I’m excited to announce that my husband, Mark will be joining me on a regular basis over the next several months. Today, he guest posts on a topic that is all too close to home for most marriages: arguments. Grab your spouse. You’ll want to read this one together.
“As young newlyweds, Kandy and I wanted to develop friendships with other newlyweds of shared values. We joined a Sunday morning Bible study taught by what seemed to be an “older couple”. (Looking back after 34 years, they were probably younger then, than I am now.)
“In the one year we were in the class ,we discovered some life lessons about marriage. Of all the things I learned, the most penetrating statement was made one evening when the Sterlings invited us to their home. Curtis told the young men, “I believe over 90% of marital arguments are the responsibility of the husband.” He then clarified between arguments and differences of opinion.
“At first I wanted to “argue” his point with him. How can any woman be right 90% of the time!?! Was Curtis intellectually inferior to Josie? Would I really have to apologize nearly all the time? You get the gist. It seemed to me the only dessert I would be eating at my house was humble pie.
“Over the years I have modified my position and learned some altering lessons.
Spouses do not have to argue when they disagree.
“If Kandy and I agreed on everything, we would be highly redundant. It is okay to be different. It was those differences that attracted us to one another in the first place.
It is better to be understanding, than it is to be understood.
“As a husband, I am to live with my wife in an understanding manner (1 Peter 3:7). My job is to seek to understand…her needs, her desires, her fears, her passions. When I seek to understand, I validate her position. When I seek to be understood, I violate her identity.
Listening creates unity far quicker than talking.
“I think quick on my feet. I also analyze well. I have a propensity for reading my audience. I can get intolerant with incompetence. The compilation of those assets can yield to verbal dissection of my opponent. Yeah, I can be a jerk. “Let everyone be quick to hear, slow to speak, and slow to anger, for the anger of man does not achieve the righteousness of God” (James 1:19-20).
Spouses do not compete against one another. They compete for one another.
“They are one. Marriage is not a zero sum equation. It is a positive single sum equation. “The two shall become one” (Mark 10:8).
Admitting personal bias reduces prejudicial impact.
“Remember the story of a blanket full of unclean animals? Peter was in prayerful conversation with the Father, when he fell into a hunger induced trance (Acts 10:10). In his reverie, he saw a vision which confronted him with a “new idea”. His own personal belief system actually caused him to react against God Himself. Hear Peter’s words: “By no means, Lord, for I have never…” (Acts 10:14).
“Sometime we see only what we are conditioned to see. If the Apostle Peter can do so with God (whom he had not seen face to face), how much more so can a husband with is wife (whom he has seen)?
“It is not good for man to live alone (Genesis 2:18). Forbid it that you, or I would choose to life alone while in the same room with our spouse. After all, it is not about being right. It is about being rightly aligned.
Wanna know more about Mark? Check out his website here.