The other day I wrote about how God knit my heart together with John on January 28, 1998. This single revelation is what has kept us together when times got tough. Before we got married I thought John was perfect. We’ll never argue, I thought. The bliss of love kept me smothered in romantic ignorance…
until we got married.
It was only a couple of months before we had our first major blowout. We loved each other dearly but neither of us had much experience with effective conflict resolution. My preferred method of resolving disagreements was to attack and blame—a full frontal assault with lethal accusations.
He preferred to run.
When John started packing his suitcase anger steamed in me until it spewed out like hot lava. John had gotten too close to Mount St. Christy. How could I trust him again? I seethed. It wasn’t until the volcanic ash finally cooled down, I remembered the revelation that my soul was knit together with John.
Conviction washed over me.
Of course, that wasn’t the last time we got into a disagreement. I love what Pastor Jessie Bufford says about the success of his 35-year marriage: “I’ve never considered divorce,” he boasts. “murder maybe, but not divorce.”
The divorce rate in America for first marriages is 41 percent and jumps to 60 percent for second marriages and 73 percent for third marriages. Divorce is most common in the first year of marriage. Within 24 months, one in 12 couples is headed for divorce court. Why? When conflict comes, many run. They think they made a mistake, but conflict is a natural part of life.
I thank God for my marriage mentor. She listened to me vent, but wasn’t afraid of letting me know when I was wrong. “I doesn’t matter who is right or wrong. You are one flesh,” Alicia encouraged. “Proverbs says it’s to a man’s glory to overlook an offense.”
Eventually, I thought I had “matured” to the point where I was able to “control” my anger. I prided myself on my ability to restrain my temper and sarcasm. The volcano was dormant, but it was still brewing on the inside. Once again Alicia pointed me to the scriptures.
Proverbs 25:28 says, “He that hath no rule over his own spirit is like a city that is broken down, and without walls.”
Now, when repeated offenses and conflict comes, I’ve learned to ask the Lord, “What are you trying to work out in me through this conflict?”
John and I have been married 11 years now. Marriage is hard work, but the blessing of pressing through the tough spots is worth it. Now when conflicts threaten to erupt, I run to the Lord with my issues and trust that His revelation can provide the restraint I need.
He brings peace and wisdom in times of conflict.
When tempers flare, what revelations, truths or scriptures have helped you walk in peace or overlook an offense or otherwise bring resolution?