Fighting fair begins with a fundamental question: Do you want to be right or do you want to make it right?
Arrogance is the number one culprit in relationship resolution. When arrogance is present in a relationship, no one else’s feelings, input, nor existence matter.
Arrogance puts self before God and others.
Romans 12:3 “Because of the privilege and authority God has given me, I give each of you this warning: Don’t think you are better than you really are. Be honest in your evaluation of yourselves, measuring yourselves by the faith God has given us.”
If you are going to measure yourself, don’t do it by how much more you know than your spouse. Instead, measure the faith that God has given you.
You can know a lot, but if you have no faith in Jesus, you will be a brilliant divorcee!
You can’t love fully and sacrificially if you think you are better than your spouse (or your neighbor for that matter).
Equality in the home is a God thing. What you and your significant other bring into the marriage/relationship is as equally important.
Both men and women are equals in a relationship. Our job descriptions may be different, but our worth is not.
People take scripture out of context: “woman!! The bible says you need to submit to me!!” “I’m the man of the house!” That has been used as a weapon of oppression over the ages, rather than the word of direction that it was meant to be.
To submit doesn’t mean to subjugate. When we misuse this verse, we are immediately subjugating women to a position of less than. However, we must not forget the rest of the verse:
25 For husbands, this means love your wives, just as Christ loved the church. He gave up his life for her 26 to make her holy and clean, washed by the cleansing of God’s word.
28 In the same way, husbands ought to love their wives as they love their own bodies. For a man who loves his wife actually shows love for himself.
(Fight are about people not loving themselves enough to be able to love someone else.)
32 This is a great mystery, but it is an illustration of the way Christ and the church are one. 33 So again I say, each man must love his wife as he loves himself, and the wife must respect her husband. Ephesians 5:25-33
God gave the church worth. Without God, the church is worthless. Are you the kind of man or woman that gives your spouse worth? If you don’t understand this principle you aren’t going to fight fair. Mutual respect is found when we believe that the person has great value in your success. My word has the same amount of weight as your word.
The closer you get to God, the more aware you are of your heart and your conscious, and the less you worry about being right. What is being right going to do? Simply make you more arrogant.
BIBLICAL RULES OF FIGHTING FAIR:
Key Verse: ...Everyone should be quick to listen, slow to speak and slow to become angry, 20 for man's anger does not bring about the righteous life that God desires. James 1:19-20
Listening carefully is more important than speaking recklessly. If you want to be right–speak recklessly, if you want to make it right–listen carefully.
“...Everyone should be quick to listen…” James 1:19
Seek to understand first. Don’t try to add on your interpretation of what you spouse is trying to say. Err in the side of giving her the benefit of the doubt and seek to see where you are off.
Proverbs 18:2 says, “A fool finds no pleasure in understanding but delights in airing his own opinions.”
To seek intimacy is to seek understanding. Opinions are focused on feelings and you cannot hold someone accountable with opinions, just fact.
Take a look at Genesis 3:8-13, “8 When the cool evening breezes were blowing, the man and his wife heard the Lord God walking about in the garden. So they hid from the Lord God among the trees. 9 Then the Lord God called to the man, “Where are you?” 10 He replied, “I heard you walking in the garden, so I hid. I was afraid because I was naked.” 11 “Who told you that you were naked?” the Lord God asked. “Have you eaten from the tree whose fruit I commanded you not to eat?” 12 The man replied, “It was the woman you gave me who gave me the fruit, and I ate it.” 13 Then the Lord God asked the woman, “What have you done?”
The God of the universe, who knows EVERYTHING, for the sake of relationship and intimacy, asked a bunch of questions when Adam & Even sinned against him. Notice he didn’t jump right into accusing, pointing fingers, or handing out punishment. God asked 4 questions… I want to listen, understand you, and guide you. This is not about being right (God would have been right), this is about making it right.
To seek to understand is to seek answers and you can’t have answers if you jump to conclusions.
Some people never saw divorce coming because they never took time to listen to what their spouse was saying. They were intimate in the bed, but not in their souls.
Measuring your words is more important than killing your relationships.
Everyone should be quick to listen, slow to speak… James 1:19
Words are powerful. In fact, the bible says that Death and life are in the power of the tongue. (Prov. 18:21)
Being reckless with your tongue is being reckless with your relationships. You either use your words for life or death. You choose.
Proverbs 21:23 NLT says, “Watch your tongue and keep your mouth shut, and you will stay out of trouble.”
What should you never do?
o Never call names.
o Never raise your voice.
o Never get historical.
o Never say never or always.
o Never threaten divorce.
o Never quote your pastor during a fight.
Handling your anger is a choice between a righteous or unrighteous relationship.
James 1:19 says, “… Everyone should be quick to listen, slow to speak and slow to become angry…”
Don’t let anger handle you, you need to handle your anger. Christianity is about how you handle sin.
Do you allow the Holy Spirit in the midst of your disagreement or the devil?
What’s the difference between how a Christian & a non-Christian handle their anger? You have to make decisions between doing it your way or God’s way.
Check out, Ephesians 4:26-27 26 "In your anger do not sin": Do not let the sun go down while you are still angry, 27 and do not give the devil a foothold.
The success of your marriage is about fruitfulness with our Christianity.
Fruits of the spirit is: “love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, 23 gentleness, and self-control.” (Gal. 5:22-23)
Have you ever started fighting about something insignificant and lost control?.
Four things we do when we aren’t fight fair:
The antidote, don’t go by your feeling, go by what the word of God says.
The Word says, “Do not be overcome by evil, but overcome evil with good.” Romans 12:21
Listen, Measure, and Handle.
LISTENING carefully is more important than speaking recklessly.
MEASURING your words is more important than killing your relationships.
HANDLING your anger is a choice between a righteous or unrighteous relationship.
Don’t miss tomorrow we continue Roses & Thorns. Bring a friend!
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