Marital conflict, it is by far one of the most stressful and heart breaking aspects of married life. We argue, we fight, we yell, we disconnect, we separate and we silently fume. When there is conflict with my husband~the man I think of as my Earthly King, I become a broken vessel. I want nothing more than for him to pull me into his arms and provide comfort and reassurance as his strength envelopes me. I want to reach for him to regain my strength and stability but I can’t…Amidst the angry times, there is a wall, a barrier, a protective boundary that can’t be crossed. There is a fear of vulnerability and a lack of transparency. There is damage that feels irreparable.
It hurts…it hurts really bad
During conflict, our hearts are closed and hard. With hearts turned against each other, we begin to make assumptions, pass judgement and assume the worst. All the while, manufacturing a breeding ground for Pride that causes further divide and damage.
As we both lick our wounds, we fester in anguish. And for us wives, this is double edged. As women, we are emotionally driven and reactionary. So when conflict ensues, we are not only wounded in the battle, we become further hurt in the emotional aftermath, as our prideful and stubborn husbands(the very husbands that we look to for love and protection) snub and dismiss us.
Pride leads to conflict. Proverbs 13:10
And like a fish taken out of water, we wallow on the decks of life~ desperate for a kind word of affection, to soothe our brokenness and repair our relationship.
And what I am learning about marriage is that conflict is inevitable and can actually be healthy. And what starts as everyday discord, can quickly become inflamed into all out combat, when our hearts are left unsupervised and pride takes over.
Pride is the sword of combat and what ignites conflict into damaging relational interactions
Humilty is the antidote to pride and the morter that seals the bricks of our marriages.
I know that when I swallow my selfish pride, I am choosing to put my husband before me. I am not looking to “win” or hurt him further with unloving remarks and impervious actions. This doesn’t come naturally and is not easy to do. And yet it is possible because of the power of the Holy Spirit. With his indwelling supernatural power, I am gifted the courage, the desire and the wisdom, to know when to put down my sword.
Putting down my weapon~ and acting in humility~ is an act of love, washed in grace and forgiveness that mirrors the image of Christ Jesus.
Outdo one another in showing honor. Romans 12:10
I honor and value my husband when I act in love, forgiveness and seek to understand him before being understood. And just as pride is a sword, humility is healing balm that repairs, restores and reconciles. By setting aside me, to honor you, I render grace and garner goodness, even if you don’t deserve it.
And with a humbled heart I more closely resemble the heart of Jesus.
Let each of you look not only to his own interests, but also to the interests of others. Phillipains 2:4
And I’ll admit, it is the hardest thing to do. When I want to yell and kick and scream and fire back, I won’t. For I know that grace and humility are the keys to turning conflict into something for good. As I learn more about myself, my spouse and our marriage, I’ll seek solely to nurture and invest in that relationship that is God’s design to mirror his love for the church and all of it’s people.