I never want to pretend that I have it all together. I never want it to seem that my wife and I have this marriage surrounded by unicorns and rainbows, in which we never fight, struggle, or want to strangle each other. The truth is I had a fight with my wife.
I don’t share about fights and arguments with my wife on social media; first, because who wants to hear about your fight? Second, I don’t share that information because it is personal between my wife and I, and it should be that way in your relationship as well.
I’m not going to go in to the details about the situation, but I want to share with you the reality of what was going through my mind in the midst.
I decided long before my wife and I got married that I did not want to be another statistic of divorce. You know what’s “funny”? Since I made that vow and that determination so many years ago, every time my wife and I have an argument I can hear the devil on my shoulder whisper in my ear to walk away. Divorce would be easier.
To be blunt, that’s BULL.
Divorce brings more pain, brokenness, and strife than an hour-long argument. I am the product of a divorced home, and I’ve endured and witnessed the pain it brings. Having seen and lived through it, and watched family and friends endure it, I know that it is something I never want to deal with.
With that said, I love the quote from Frederick Douglass,
Where there is no struggle, there is no progress.
Every struggle and fight my wife and I have had has served to progress us further not only in our relationship, but also in our relationship with the Lord.
The devil would love nothing more than to destroy our relationship, so every fight I have with my wife, is also a battle against the demons in my past, and the powers and principalities of this world (Ephesians 6:12) that seek to destroy our relationship.
Put Up Or Shut Up
I’m a passionate person. If you are around me long enough, you will know when I love something, and when I hate something. I am the same way when it comes to emotional situations.
I have learned through the years that because of my emotions I have to bring those in to subjection to Christ. When I was young I was a very angry teen. Not only did I tend to do things in anger that were not good, I also had a tendency to say things that were very hurtful and painful to those around me. Let’s face it, I can be a major d-bag when I get angry or get my feelings hurt.
When I came to Christ my anger was one of the first issues revealed as a stumbling block in my life. I have had to submit it to Christ for going on twenty years. I’m not perfect, but I press on toward the prize.
The first transition I made was to not say anything at all when I got angry, rather than say something I don’t mean or that will bring pain to those I love.
So when I fight with my wife I shut my mouth so I don’t hurt her, because of my immense love for her. In my silence I think. Sometimes that silence is 10 minutes, sometimes it’s 30 minutes, and sometimes it’s 50 miles. You can ask her about that one.
In this fight I began thinking about what I preach here, what I do, and what I will do when I speak. I had to put up or shut up. I had to change my verbiage. I had to formulate my response to bring resolution to our fight. I had to be intentional about implementing the very things I have learned and talk about here.
My marriage, your marriage, and every marriage through the ages evolves through the course of the relationship. You can choose to let your marriage fall apart because of your fights and struggles. You can choose to “be right,” or you can choose to stick it out and progress in your relationship.
I had a fight with my wife, and I had a decision to make. It’s the same decision I make every time we have a fight.
It’s the decision to battle the demons and defeat them.
It’s the decision to put up or shut up.
It’s the decision that she’s the only one I want to struggle with in this life to reflect God’s eternal purpose, and be a sign post to this world.
We may be angry. We may be hurt. We may want to strangle each other at times, BUT…
We will win. We will make it.
We will thrive and be a light on a hill for the glory of God.
In that moment between the stimulus of the fight, and your response is the most important thing. Your ability to decide.
What will you do? What will you choose?