It’s cold and rainy, and slightly damp from a walk to a nearby restaurant with my friends. The map said it was a 9-minute walk, we did it in 5 minutes. Which is impressive considering one of us was in heels.
We arrived back to the We Fight Too section. I took a lot of notes during this section because we’re going to fight, we just have to fight well. That doesn’t mean winning either.
The first part opened with verses from a passage I taught from in God or the World; The Choice Is Yours. Why does conflict occur?
Because we didn’t get our way. Then we get angry. Then the speaker said something interesting, that our anger is the check engine light of our heart.
Then we had to make it personal. There was a list of what pushes our buttons, we had to check all that apply, and then circle the one that really bothers us.
Of the 11 choices, I checked 6. The predominant one being last-minute changes. I’m a planner, and if something comes up I didn’t account for…it’s not pretty sometimes. As a leader, I’m learning to roll with those punches much easier though.
Now that we know why we’re mad, we just tear our spouse down, right?
Nope, step back, tell the anger to take a seat, we got some thinking to do. It’s not about winning, so we have to lovingly confront. First, we have to look at the offense.
There’s a quote about not attributing to malice what can be attributed to ignorance. By ignorance, I’m not talking about your spouse’s IQ, but the fact they may not even know it hurt you.
Is it even something to fight about? Jaime taught us to fight over the agreed-upon priorities during our premarital counseling.
This weekend taught us the level of fighting for the issues.
- Big fights over big things. The priorities. Pull out the big guns.
- Little fights over the little things. Pull out the Nerf guns and shoot them with a reminder. “You forgot to put the toilet seat down.” POP.
- Don’t have big fights over little things. “YOU DIDN’T PUT THE SEAT DOWN!”
Get your fork ready, it may be time to eat some humble pie. We have to consider what part we played in this conflict.
Then ask if you’re trying to retaliate, restore, punish, or pursue peace. Two of those are the goal because remember, your spouse is not your enemy.
Then you can lovingly confront. They told us there are two types of fights, fair and unfair. Fight fair.
- Focus on one issue rather than many issues.
- Focus on the problem rather than the person.
- Focus on the behavior rather than their character.
- Focus on the specifics rather than generalizations.
- Focus on the facts rather than what you think their motives are.
- Focus on making “I” statements rather than “you” statements. (I think/feel rather than you did/always.)
- Focus on understanding rather than on who’s winning or losing. If you settle it, guess what, you both WIN!
They spoke of choosing your words carefully. Why? Because the tone you start with is the tone you end it with. Our words either shape or tear down.
Don’t hit them with a hammer.
That’s how it’s resolved. Christ forgave us, so too we have to forgive. We have to ask forgiveness for any wrong on our part from God and them. We also have to forgive them.
Sometimes it doesn’t end like you wanted. Sometimes we have to trust God with our spouse’s heart. The convicting power of the Holy Spirit is powerful indeed.
Back up and let Him work.
Trust is earned, forgiveness is given. You have to earn the trust back if you messed up. How?
If you’re the hurt one, don’t punish, but do make them accountable. Ask God for wisdom and patience.
The Best Way To Win A Fight Is To Not Be In A Fight
‘Bless your spouse.’
‘That’s how you minimize conflict.’
Changing our attitude for one. They spoke of a 5 to 1 ratio. Five positive comments for every one negative comment. I have no idea where I fall in this ratio…
Our default position is to return evil for evil. They shot me, I shoot them twice. However, we should refuse to return fire, even if we hurt.
Because I ‘value the team more than I value my pain.’ Remember, no big fights over little things. Respond kindly instead. That’s what it means to bless your spouse.
The last post will be from the Man to Man section. Good stuff. I have no idea what the women talked about. Casey won’t tell me. World domination maybe ;).
Our friends’ blog posts about Weekend To Remember: