As married people, we are going to have squabbles with our spouse. When they do come up, and inevitably they will, what do we do to make sure that a squabble doesn’t turn into a bigger deal...a major disagreement/argument?
We had one of these come up the other day over something silly. In our car, it was late Friday afternoon around 6:00pm...driving to Nashville for a friends’ wedding weekend. One thing led to another and somebody said something and we disagreed. So...it’s at that moment of disagreement that what we choose to do as a couple (or you individually choose as a spouse) determines what the rest of the night is going to look like!
Now, what are we up against? For me as a guy...it’s Friday...it’s the end of the week...it’s been a long hard working week...I’m drained, I’m tired...I like to tell Whit when I’m in these situations that I’m “emotionally fragile”...be very careful...I’m not myself...I’m extra selfish right now. And then a disagreement comes along and sets me off. And Whit thankfully -- understands where I am coming from and how the stage was set for all this to play out -- and gives me an extra helping of grace. In this moment last Friday, I told Whit, “I just need some time to think” (and I went quiet)...I just need some time...to let things simmer and cool down. And with us, the goal is not to win an argument. We’re going to make our point...but it’s not about being right or wrong. It’s about being known.
Sometimes the scene seems to be set and things primed for this kind of disagreement to be set. It seems that stepping back and gathering my thoughts -- gives me time to calm down, then talk it through...address what went on with tenderness, gentleness, and self-control. It doesn’t make it right when the other person hurts you or says something because they can’t control their tongue -- definitely have to still be accountable for that -- but knowing the bigger situation is half the battle. If you’re the spouse on the receiving end of all this, being graceful and quick to forgive is such a blessing.
|Enjoying the journey!|
We found this quote by Ruth Bell Graham (Billy Graham’s wife) and wanted to share it with you. Felt like this spoke to right where we had been:
“I pity the married couple who expect too much from one another. It is a foolish woman who expects her husband to be to her that which only Jesus Christ Himself can be: ready to forgive, totally understanding, unendingly patient, invariably tender and loving, unfailing in every area, anticipating every need, and making more than adequate provision. Such expectations put a man under an impossible strain. The same goes for the man who expects too much from his wife.” (Ruth Bell Graham)