Marriage conflict, why does it happen? We know it’s destructive but the truth matters, doesn’t it? After all, the reason we’re having the argument in the first place is because ‘I’m right and she’s/he’s is wrong!’
That’s how we feel, isn’t it? And, sometimes, it might even be true. We are right. But, just because you’re right doesn’t mean you’re not destroying your marriage. When we take the path of escalating tension, increasing the volume and a sharp tone, what’s really happening is pride is taking over because we want to “win”.
But, it’s not really winning, is it? It’s losing, because with each harsh word we’re adding more cold, hard edges to our marriage. That’s what sin does – it incrementally adds distance. And that is how being “right” and “winning” arguments will destroy your marriage. Who wants that?
When wisdom comes calling, it rarely feels good to our flesh – our self-willed sin nature. Jesus said, “Take up your cross daily, and follow me.” My cross? . . . the instrument of the death of my flesh? No fun there.
The cross has a lot of uses throughout our day and one of them is killing the pride in our hearts that leads to the will to conquer our spouse in destructive, harsh communication.
When pride is dead, we are able to walk biblically and to speak in a spirit-filled manner – a soft answer turns away wrath.
Anger and harshness are like a train, barreling down the tracks straight for you and your husband/wife. A soft answer is the switching station that sends the oncoming disaster to another set of tracks and away from your marriage.
A soft answer involves a measured, nonjudgmental tone, a relaxed countenance (facial expression), and careful words. It’s about where your heart is . . . I want to be in fellowship with my wife/husband . . . not, I want to win! And, that is a win for your marriage.
Before the next time you feel the heat rising, ask God to work in your heart to put pride on the cross where it belongs, and to speak with a soft answer so wrath is “turned away” in your marriage communication.
Every time pride loses, your marriage wins. How we communicate is a choice we make many times every day. So remember Proverbs 15:1, A soft answer turns away wrath.
Matt Jacobson is the founder of FaithfulMan.com a biblical marriage, parenting, and discipleship ministry providing written and audio teaching, as well as couples marriage coaching. He is the co-host (with his wife, Lisa) of Faithful Life Podcast and is author of the bestseller, 100 Ways to Love Your Wife. Matt is pastor of Tumalo Bible Fellowship and is married to Lisa, founder of Club31Women.com (they have 8 kids!).