Better to live on a corner of the roof than share a house with a quarrelsome wife.  
Proverbs 25:24

Well, I don’t know about you, but that verse is definitely not my favorite.  However, I do appreciate it’s directness.  No real interpretation necessary.

Just ask your husband.  He’ll tell you…it’s better to retreat to a quiet corner of another room than to be in the room with you when you’re argumentative.

And if he doesn’t tell you, just think back to his behavior the last time you had a disagreement. Did he snuggle right up to you in the middle of your quarrel or did he give you lots of “space?”

My dear readers and friends, I’m not here to bring condemnation.  Far be it from me to act as if I’ve got it all together or that there are never cross words spoken in our home {or that those words are not ever my fault}.  In fact, to be completely truthful, we had a misunderstanding just this weekend. (Misunderstanding:  you know that’s a polite word for a fight, right?)

What I am happy to report, however, is that this issue was resolved in fairly short order, there were no raised voices, and we didn’t go to bed angry. We’re progressively getting better at resolving our differences and communicating our hearts effectively to each other.  (And we went on to celebrate the 23rd anniversary of Robert proposing to me the very next day with no hard feelings…true, complete restoration without a hint of what had happened the previous day…God is so good!)

I tell you all of this so that you won’t look at me and think that somehow life at my house is perfect.  Just ask us…we’ll tell you!

But, we are growing in God’s grace personally and toward each other.  We are learning more deeply than ever before that to do what is right is better than “being” right.  

So what do I mean by doing what is right?

~Listen to your spouse’s explanation of the situation and their feelings.  Remember that these are his feelings and he’s entitled to them.  Don’t tell him that his feelings are wrong!

~Explain your feelings (if appropriate) without using words that assign blame/responsibility to him for how you feel.

~Think the best of your husband instead of assuming the worst.  Ask the Lord to show you what your husband’s real motivation is…I can almost guarantee that he’s not out to harm you!

~Apologize quickly without qualifications or justifications of your behavior.  Just take responsibility for whatever you did that you shouldn’t have, even if it was accidental (which it probably was).

~Accept his apology as soon as it is offered.  If he doesn’t apologize, forgive him anyway and don’t demand an apology.  Let God speak to his heart…it will be much more effective than anything you could say to him!

~Do what your husband asks you to do to fix the problem (if he asks anything of you).  You can even ask him what you can do to make it right.

~Tell him that even when you disagree, he’s still your favorite person in the whole world and that there’s no one else you’d rather be with.  (You might not feel that way at the moment, but it really is the truth…your emotions will come around again in a little while. Our emotions change so quickly!)

~Pray.  Together if he will, alone if he won’t. Repent.  Ask God to heal your hearts and restore the relationship.  God is faithful to answer that prayer!

All of these suggestions are born out of our 21-plus years of marriage…and 21-plus years of having arguments and resolving them.  We’ve had lots of experience!

Let me leave with you one of my favorite verses:

Therefore, as God’s chosen people, holy and dearly loved, clothe yourselves with compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness and patience.  Bear with each other and forgive whatever grievances you may have against one another.  Forgive as the Lord forgave you.    Colossians 3:12-13

With love and prayers,
Rebecca  xo