Over this past weekend I had the privilege of attending the retirement party for the pastor from the church in which I grew up. In fact, he came to that church the year after I was born and has pastored that church for thirty years– something that you definitely don’t see every day.
Of the many testimonies and many slides (only one of which was I in!) one of them left me with some weird thoughts and questions. The associate pastor, who also performed Virtuous Blonde and myself’s wedding, talked about how well they got along and also about how once the Senior Pastor had told him to “Shut Up.” He said that they had had their disagreements, but that they got along well, and that he’d miss the Senior Pastor.
That brings to my question for you today, wives. When you get into a disagreement with your husband, how do you handle yourselves?
First, how do you think upon your husband in your heart? Remember that we are to “Keep thy heart with all diligence; for out of it are the issues of life.” I believe that it is easy for all of us to get into a defensive position when we are in an argument– I mean, we wouldn’t be there if it weren’t for the fact that we disagree on something. But do you have the heart of Sarah, who thought of Abraham as “my lord” or do you think of him as one your children?
You see, it is much more important how your heart is thinking about him than how you act toward him. On the outside you may be polite, or sound respectful, but if your inner self is belittling him, resenting him, or wishing that you were with anyone else but him, you’re obviously not pleasing God– let alone helping your marriage. Remember Christ’s admonition that out of our heart we are defiled so it is in our heart that we must be guarded against thinking about our spouse in ways that would not please God.
So, how should you approach disagreements? If you heart should be thinking respectfully of him, then you have to respect his thinking. In order to do this, you have to approach him in such away that allows for you to be wrong– I know, it’s not possible that you are wrong, but it there just might be something you’ve missed!
One way to do this is to make sure to attack a problem rather than a person. Put the problem up for debate, talk up his side of the argument, try to see his points, and point out the strengths and weaknesses of both sides. You’re a helper, a partner, a friend, a lover– and you can’t be any of these if he is the enemy.
You all know your husbands– and I know that I have a tendency to be arrogant. I guess I’m pleading with you that since we have these tendencies– you have to be the “bigger man!”
Lastly, just like all things, we need to be prepared for these things in advance. How can we prepare to have a good heart in disagreements? By building each other up. Godly wife, you need to be magnifying your husbands strengths and godly traits. You need to be giving him the benefit of the doubt, and you must make the “declaration of war” rare.
If you practice building him up, and working at a stronger relationship you will find that when you disagree the time will be a good example to your children and something that glorifies God.
Question Idea taken from Questions for a Godly Wife
- Godly Wife: Is He Your Master?
- Godly Wife: Who Are You Seeking to Please?
- Godly Wife: Are You His Helper or His Obstacle?
- Godly Wife: Does Your Husband’s Heart Trust in You?
- Godly Wife: How Do You Handle When He is Wrong?
- Godly Wife: How do you Handle Disagreements?
- Godly Wife: How Do You Receive Correction?
- Godly Wife: Are You Drawing Him to You with Your Speech?
- Godly Wife: How Does Your Husband Grow?
- Godly Wife: Who Trains the Children?
- Godly Wife: How Do You Make Your Husband Feel?
- Godly Wife: Are You Intimately Available?
- Godly Wife: Do You Speak To Your Husband with Flattering Words?
- Godly Wife: Are You Helping Your Husband to Greater Heights?
- Godly Wife: Are You Keeping Your Wedding Vows?
- Godly Wife: Do You Dominate Your Husband?
- Godly Wife: Have You Cut the Cord?