Do You Need to Take it Down a Notch?
Do you ever notice your disagreements reaching a fever pitch with your spouse? One person gets louder, then the other gets even louder until someone is yelling at the top of their lungs… This argument is not unlike a couple of sixth graders on the playground in a shoving match that spirals down into an all-out fight. Maybe you can relate to this in your marriage or you see it in your children. Wherever it is happening, it’s not right. God isn’t pleased with this type of anger and it is the antithesis of self-control which is a fruit of God’s Spirit (Gal. 5:22-23). The scriptures remind us of some important truths to keep in mind when someone is speaking harshly with us.
Proverbs 15:1 says, “A soft answer turns away wrath, but a harsh word stirs up anger.” When your spouse gets angry about something and speaks harshly, how do you respond? Does the “word” bullying begin, or do you respond with a soft answer? I understand that your natural inclination is to justify your situation, yell back and take the hill! However, you and I both know what this leads to don’t we? Before the Apostle Paul gives the list of the fruits of the Spirit, he gives a list of the deeds of the flesh. Among those deeds mentioned are these, “fits of anger, rivalries, dissensions, divisions…” When you and I give in to the moment of reciprocating anger for anger we are walking in our sinful flesh, not according to God’s Spirit. When your spouse loses their temper momentarily, take a breath, walk in the Spirit and answer gently. “Most” of the time this will quickly diffuse the situation.
Remember your Theology
In his book “When Sinners Say I Do“, Dave Harvey says, “If you happen to be reading this book in the glow of a blissful honeymoon, now would be a good time to lean over to your sugarplumhoneykins and whisper softly, ‘’I’m a really big sinner—and I’m yours for life.’”1 Your spouse will make mistakes over and over and over again! By the way…. So will you! You must have a marriage that allows for each spouse to have tough days. This isn’t an excuse to allow them to remain in sin. I’m just reminding you that there are times when each person needs to cut the other a little bit of slack. In I Peter 4:8 Peter says, “Above all, keep loving one another earnestly, since love covers a multitude of sins.” In the context, Peter is talking to the church, but this easily applies to the marriage relationship as well. Love covers a multitude of sins! If it’s possible, then overlook a small infraction. You and your spouse are both sinners saved by grace alone. Show some of that grace to each other.
Not only is God watching you, but your children are as well. They will model what they see from you. Jesus said “blessed are the peacemakers, for they shall be called children of God” (Matt. 5). Are you demonstrating through your peacemaking that you are a child of God? God has called us to a higher standard, Christian. May our words to one another be “full of grace, seasoned with salt” (Col. 4:6)
Dave Harvey, When Sinners Say I Do
All Scriptures quoted from the ESV Bible