By Greg Laurie
Understand this, my dear brothers and sisters: You must all be quick to listen, slow to speak, and slow to get angry.
Ruth Graham once said, “A successful marriage is made up of two good forgivers.” Good conflicts will arise in your marriage. Have your disagreement and forgive. The objective is not to win. It is to resolve. If you go in it to win, you’ll lose even if you win.
And don’t fight in front of the kids. In fact, don’t fight in front of people in general. Learn how to resolve conflict in private. And learn how to fight fair. When there are boxing matches, there are rules. There are certain things you can and cannot do to your opponent. So, when you sit down with your spouse and you’re having a disagreement, first hear them out.
In the Proverbs, we read that a fool answers a matter before he hears it (see Proverbs 18:13). When you get into these things and you’re interrupting one another, talking over one another, and yelling over one another, it is counterproductive. Instead, sit down and say, “Tell me why you are upset. Tell me what the issue is.” And then shut up and listen. You might learn something.
You might realize that there’s a misunderstanding you can now sort out. Then again, they may make a point that’s actually valid. Maybe you can see how they perceive or understand what you’ve said or done. Maybe it came off a certain way, and you didn’t mean it that way. Say, “I am sorry. I didn’t realize—I won’t do that again.” Have a calm conversation. Communicate.
Ephesians 4:31–32 says, “Get rid of all bitterness, rage, anger, harsh words, and slander, as well as all types of evil behavior. Instead, be kind to each other, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, just as God through Christ has forgiven you” (NLT).
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