I don’t like it. In fact, honestly, I try to avoid it. Let’s face it though, in marriage, it is something we face and need to learn to deal with it.
Recently we moved. Relocating is stressful and can put strain on relationships. Now Keith and I have a great marriage, but we learned quickly with this cross-country move that we are not immune from strain and conflict! (Obviously, we knew that already as we have all the same challenges of every other married couple on the planet!)
The Lord began to show me some important practices during this move though as the strain of the move bled through to our marriage relationship.
The Holy Spirit convicted me that I had to make a choice. I could speak my frustrations and really make them known to my husband or I could bring my frustrations to Him [the Great I Am], the One who could actually bring healing and sense to my stress.
Okay. Got that. Easy to do and I followed in obedience.
Then, something else happened. My husband’s frustrations and stress were unloaded on me. And once again I had the choice to speak or not to speak.
I wish I could write to you that it was easy to just bring it to the Lord. Instead [hanging my head in shame] I got defensive. Instinctively, I felt the need to defend myself. Afterward, the Spirit of the Lord, who lives in me as a believer, spoke to my heart and called me on the carpet.
I clearly heard the voice of the Lord telling me to let down my defenses and to show love to my husband. To respond in love and understanding rather than in anger and hurt.
Above all, love each other deeply, because love covers over a multitude of sins. 1 Peter 4:8 (NIV)
Love trumps selfish instincts and love must be above my own feelings.
I need to love better. I love my husband, but I need to keep on loving him and deeply love him. There is great power in loving deeply. God’s Word is clear. Love covers over a multitude of sins.
With the Holy Spirit’s power, I can love Keith deeply.
You can love your husband deeply. Love is the cure for conflict. Not our words or the tone of our voice. Yes, communication is powerful, but it is love that spurs us each to do better. It is love, the love of the indwelling Christ, that covers over a multitude of sins. Love is not selfish or proud; it is not self-seeking (1 Corinthians 13 is a good reminder of all that love is and is not).
Trying to speak less is a challenge for me. My mouth runneth over! Yet, with Christ for me, who could be against me?
Continuing to learn to love deeply and thankful for grace,