Every married couple will have arguments. There are several reasons why we fight with one another: 1. because the other one is always wrong 2. because both people are sinners 3. because both people are different from one another 4. because both people are sinners (did I mention this one already?).
As a couple or married, you are different from one another. You have different backgrounds, experiences, personalities, likes, insecurities, expectations, and the list goes one. The reason you will have arguments with one another is because you married someone different than you. The reason you married someone different from you is because you cannot marry yourself.
The other big cause for trouble in our relationships is sin. In addition to marrying someone different than you, you married a sinner. Because we marry sinners, and our spouse’s marry sinners, there will be clashes in the relationship. We will show a lack of self-control, fail at being slow to anger, lack patience, compassion, and at times, energy. Because we are sinners, we will have moments where we will fight to have our way, to advance our own personal kingdom and agendas. Because we are sinners, we will care more about trying to conform our spouse rather than focusing on transforming ourselves. Being sinners will cause fights within our marriage.
Are we left helpless? Does the gospel inform us on how to navigate this?
Here are some ways that the gospel can help us as individuals and couples, to navigate the times when we are arguing or fighting with one another.
1. Remember that it was God the Father’s providence and plan that brought you together with your spouse.
2. Understand that the purposes of marriage are to glorify God and to sanctify one another. This means that you are called to glorify God through your marriage, but it also means that God is sanctifying you (transforming your character) through your marriage.
3. Communicate to your spouse in a way that acknowledges they are a child of God.
4. Commit to only speaking to your spouse in such a way that is glorifying to God.
5. Extend grace & forgiveness to one another with the lavishness that God has extended it to you.
6. Give love to one another unconditionally, even when it is undeserved.
7. Trust Jesus Christ to be sufficient to meet our needs as we have struggles.
8. Look to the power of Holy Spirit to help you in the midst of your arguments.
These are just a handful of ways that the gospel informs how we are to navigate arguments with our spouse. In the end, Christians should be modeling a different way of approaching marriage, not mirroring everyone else in the world. The way we do this is looking to Christ and seeing how the Scriptures inform what the gospel requires of us in any situation. This includes how to fight in our marriages.
Which of these is the most helpful to you and why?