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How should my spouse and I handle disagreements?
To answer this, let me give you three tips on what NOT to do.
First, do not avoid the situation. When you stuff or repress unresolved conflict, your stomach keeps the score. “Faithful are the wounds of a friend; but the kisses of an enemy are deceitful” (Proverbs 27:6).
Second, don’t practice appeasement. When one person gives in all the time, his or her heart becomes like a smoldering rag ready to be ignited by self-pity.
Third, don’t practice aggression at least not against your spouse. Attack the problem rather than one another.
At the same time that you are putting off these bad habits, there are three good habits to put on.
Number one, practice the art of accommodation. Let change begin with you and watch the effect it has on your partner.
Number two, practice the art of acceptance. Some things simply won’t change, and we have to accept that in others. Getting married is like buying a CD. You buy it because of what you want and accept what else comes along.
Number three, practice the art of adjustment. This is the best of the three. By accommodating, I change. By accepting, I resign myself to the fact that my spouse might never change. But by adjusting, we both change.
The scripture says that a woman's desire shall be to her husband and that he is to have the rule over her. It also says a woman is to be subject to her husband in all things. Does this mean that he is to have control over her every thought and action?
The model for husband and wife relationships is found in Ephesians 5:25. Husbands are to love their wives as Christ loved the church and be willing to lay down their lives for them. So, it is a self-sacrificial love, and the husband should put the wife first and look out for her and protect her. In Ephesians 5:22, it says that wives are to be in submission to their husband, that does not mean that she is a doormat; it means that a woman is submitting to a man who is fulfilling his God-given role.
Do I have fighting with my spouse to look forward to?
I have been married a very short time. I'm discouraged about how some people talk about fighting with their spouses. Maybe I'm still in the "honeymoon" stage, but I don't ever want to fight with my spouse. Is that what I have to look forward to?
I hope you knew this before you got married, but if you didn’t, it is still important to remember. Your spouse, no matter how wonderful they seemed during your courtship, is not perfect. Here’s some more news, neither are you. Young couples often go into marriage with unrealistic expectations. You will have disagreements and disappointments. But you can do some things to avoid serious problems.
When you have problems, don’t ignore them, hoping they will go away. When you repress anger, your stomach keeps the score (Acts 8:23). Also, don’t simply appease one another. When a person gives in all the time, his or her heart becomes like a smoldering ragready to be ignited by self-pity (Ephesians 4:26). Finally, don’t lash out at each other. Though you may apologize later, thoughtless personal attacks endure far beyond the disagreement (James 3:5-6). Address the problem, not your spouse’s imperfections.
That’s what to avoid during a conflict, but it’s much better to avoid the conflict. It’s much easier when you both have the same objective, honoring God with your marriage (Joshua 24:15, Matthew 22:37-38). If you are both heading in the same direction, toward Christ, you won’t bump into each other very much.
Advice on how to be a better husband?
Advice about being a better husband.
First, let me tell you that everything I’m going to say comes straight out of God’s Word. So, look up 1 Peter 3:7-10 and read on.
Do you know what the human heart craves for more than anything else? Intimacy. Seek to be intimate with your wife verbally, spiritually, emotionally, intellectually, and socially. That means you’re going to have to sacrifice a little bit of your self, or at least your self-protection. Let down those barriers and let your wife in your life.
And while you’re doing that, don’t forget to understand her side of things. Seek to put on her shoes when you get into a misunderstanding. Men and women talk and think differently. Don’t disintegrate because of the differences, celebrate and work through those differences by trying to see her side of things and talk her talk.
Most of all, show honor to your wife. View her as a priceless gift, and grant her a position worthy of great respect. If she’s not honored by you, while she is being honored by others, you’ve got the making of divorce. Do you know that most marriages are not wrecked by a blow-out but a slow leak when husbands fail to honor their wives. Put her up on a pedestal and keep her there.
Now for some action... Praise her in front of your children, your friends, your business associates. Tell her how precious she is to you. Then, tell her why. Women love specifics. They’re not bottom-line thinkers like us. Thank her for her character. Thank her for her patience with the children. Thank her for the way that she handles the family budget. Thank her for her godliness.
If you seek to do these few things, it will go a long way in making you a better husband.
Should premarital counseling be mandatory?
I am considering getting married. Do you think that premarital counseling should be mandatory?
Premarital counseling is receiving tremendous attention these days. Unfortunately, what some couples are seeking is legal counsel for a prenuptial agreement. While God’s instruction book has the guidelines for sustaining your marriage, man’s instruction books only have the guidelines for dissolving it.
Young, starry-eyed couples think their love boat will be smooth sailing, but they abandon ship at the first sign of rough weather. Please acknowledge that rough weather is part of the marriage journey and seek the advice of one or more people who have been there before.
In his letter to Titus Paul emphasizes the need for older men to instruct and guide young men. Like wise, older women are to show young women how to grow into godliness (Titus 2:1-7). Furthermore, God’s Word in replete with instructions to seek wisdom, both from the Bible and from godly counselors (Proverbs chapters 1-4). Wisdom will sustain not only your marriage, but also your life.
Should premarital counseling be mandatory? From your minister’s perspective, yes. He should condition his services upon your successful completion of premarital counseling. Moreover, your potential spouse should love the Lord, too, and insist on wise biblical counsel prior to exchanging vows. If your intended does not meet these two criteria, you should keep looking, because it’s better to wish you were married than to wish you weren’t.