Stand Above Difficulties, Disagreements & Fleeting Emotions

STRONG MARRIAGES God says that marriage is a mystery, but he’s not saying we can’t figure it out.  

“The mystery is that God didn’t create Christ’s union and the church after the pattern of human marriage. He created human marriage on the pattern of Christ’s relationship to the church.” John Piper 

Stand Above Difficulties, Disagreements & Fleeting Emotions


In the same way, the call of a husband is to lead by giving. He shows us Jesus by loving his bride with affection, allegiance, and action.

The primary difference between a good and bad marriage, is simply the difference of whether you’re motivated by selfishness or a servant attitude. We can’t give ourselves the things only our spouse can give; we can’t meet our own needs. Both partners bring special gifts and capabilities that nourish and bless each other. BUT, they’re only experienced if we focus on each other by serving and giving.

When we’re too selfish to focus and meet the other’s needs, both are miserable and resentment builds.
  • Both need to repent and commit to the marriage for it to be blessed.
  • All problems are not caused by one partner; it takes two to tango.
  • Your marriage will be fulfilled to the measure you are willing to serve your spouse.
Many married couples are unable to resolve their conflicts because they don’t understand the difference between complaining and criticizing. This is a crucial point to understand when you’re trying to work through differences. We all need the freedom to complain and to be understood.
When we complain, it’s about us and how we feel.
  • It’s important to begin without accusing or attacking; talk about how you feel and your desire to understand what happened.
  • Reassure your partner that if you’ve done something wrong, you want to know and take responsibility for it.
  • Do not demean or put your spouse on the defensive.
When we marry, we become one, but it doesn’t mean we’re always going to agree.
You will have disagreements solely based on differences that come with being male and female and different upbringings. You’ll not see eye to eye ALL the time, and it will be hard to swallow. How to handle it?
Get in the right mindset & keep things in perspective.
Disagreeing isn’t necessarily a problem. Issues rise when pride gets in the game with an “I’m right and he/she’s wrong” perspective. When we approach with this negative and prideful manner, for sure we’re setting ourselves up for an argument. Instead, view disagreements as an opportunity to hear each other’s perspectives to work through differences.
  • Keep disagreement from becoming arguments by respecting the other’s opinion. Even though a different view of the situation, allow sharing thoughts without interrupting or cutting into the conversation. Hear him/her out! Once they are done, then share your thoughts and keep the communication going.
  • Don’t jump to conclusions by misinterpreting what they’re trying to tell you. Don’t get into trouble by thinking you have this completely figured out. Really listen to what they’re saying. Once finished, summarize what you have heard and repeat it to make sure you’re truly understanding. This helps to not jump to conclusions and to better understand the other side of things. It’s so easy to misinterpret things.
  • Be willing to compromise to have more peace in your relationship. For your marriage to work, there must be compromise. One cannot always be right and the other can’t always be wrong. A happy medium works best for both partners. In a marriage you win and lose together. There are no winner or loser because WE ARE ONE.  Disagreeing isn’t a bad thing; it must be worked out. If you disagree, consider why and articulate it to your partner. Self-reflection is a great exercise to practice with our spouse. Unity make a stronger marriage, if we allow it to.
While it’s healthy to talk things out, there’s a right way and a wrong way to do it.

Stand Above Difficulties, Disagreements & Fleeting Emotions Here’s A Few DO‘s & DON’T’s To Keep In Mind
  • DON’T: Pick a fight and press certain issues. Statements like, “What’s wrong with you? You’re stressed all the time, and I’m sick of it!” or “You don’t even care! Just leave me alone!” only make things worse. And yet, we fly off the handle to the one we love the most, out of frustration. 
  • DO: Address the issues making you or your spouse frustrated. If you’re tired, hungry, and frustrated, you’re naturally going to be testy, and snap at our spouse. If you feel it coming on or you notice that your spouse is on edge, take a fifteen-minute time out until you both feel calm enough to speak respectfully to one another. Consider saying things like: “You seem stressed. How can I help?” or “I’m sorry I’ve been short with you. I’m exhausted, and I need to do a better job of expressing myself.”
  • DON’T: Sling threats because your spouse disagrees with you. There are times you will have a heated argument but resist losing your cool. This only incites anger in and brings healthy communication to a screeching halt. We also end up spewing “word vomit” all over each other. Those hurtful threats are hard to forgive and forget.
  • DO: Let your partner finish speaking. For a compromise, try to understand your spouse’s thoughts and feelings. This only happens when we allow them to speak freely, without interruptions or dirty looks. Even if we completely disagree, listen intently. Do this calmly, and the line of communication remains wide open to resolve the argument.

Favorite Marriage Advice
  • Talking with your spouse is always better than texting, checking Facebook, etc.
  • Always answer when your partner is calling, texting.
  • Make together time a priority. Time is the “currency of relationships” so invest in your marriage. Give the best; not leftovers.
  • Make laughter the key to your marriage. Share moments of joy, and even in hard times, find reasons to laugh.
  • Remember: no “winner” or “loser.” You’re partners in everything; either you win or lose together. Work for a solution.
  • A husband and wife must function like two wings on the same bird; soar together. Face every struggle as partners.
  • Strong marriages rarely have two strong people at once. Usually it’s a husband/wife taking turns being strong when the other is weak.
  • Be your spouse’s biggest encourager, not their biggest critic.
  • Be the one who wipes away tears, not the one who causes them.
  • Never use divorce as an option. Remember a “perfect marriage” is just two imperfect people who refuse to give up on each other!
  • Pray with each other daily and stay connected to a healthy church. Every marriage is stronger with God in the middle of it.
Research has proven that the tone of the first three minutes will make or break the confrontation.
Criticizing is different from complaining: It accuses the other person and immediately puts them in defensive mode. It makes the person feel there’s something wrong with them, you want to figure that out and fix it. It demands “that it stops for you will not be treated that way. I don’t deserve to be treated that way, I’ve done nothing wrong and you’re just wrong.”
Notice the difference between the two?

Complaining explains the problem, AND gives a gracious way for the other person to respond and explain their side. Since it focuses on how I feel and doesn’t try to interpret their actions, it keeps the conversation civil and constructive.

Criticizing immediately puts you in a battle mode. The confronter becomes the judge and jury and the confronted spouse becomes the criminal trying to prove their innocence in a hostile environment. Bottom line — criticizing doesn’t work.

Be very careful to begin confrontations with affirmation and respect. Complain but don’t criticize. Get your emotions under control before you confront and put a guard over your mouth. Allow your spouse the right to complain and explain what’s going on inside of. You will see fruit if you are willing to do this and your confrontation will be more pleasant and productive. You’ll also be able to talk more freely without the risk of saying cruel things and hurting each other. The end result is successful conflict resolution that creates intimacy and friendship. 
Norma Bourque Niles