My wife and I are having a dispute, how do I resolve it?

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Speaker 1

And he says, my wife and I are having a dispute. How do I resolve it?

Speaker 2

Great question. Unfortunately I don’t know the details of the dispute and the issues involved. But I can offer a general framework that that maybe might be helpful. And because you’re the husband, I’m going to tell you what the Bible says. You can do it from the husband’s perspective. Colossian 319. It says husbands love your wives and do not be bitter towards them. So love your wife, don’t be bitter. You’re the one who has control or has some ability to maybe to control some of the emotions, the feelings going on in the relationship. Of course there’s two people you can’t necessarily control her. But let’s now look to Ephesians 525, similar verse. It says husbands love your wives just as Christ also loved the church and gave himself for her, that he might sanctify and cleanse her with washing of the water of the Word, that he might present her to himself as a glorious church, not having spot or wrinkle or any such thing, but that she might be holding without blemish. So husbands ought to love their own wives, has their own bodies. He who loves his wives loves himself. So this is tough.

Speaker 2

I’m not saying this is easy. Now just go love your wife. Magically that’s going to happen. But what I’m saying is that this is the mindset to try to start getting yourself into. I mean maybe you already have that maybe struggling with that, right? And I’m just encouraging you maybe do what you’re already doing which is now just keep grappling with loving your wife because you are the man and you’re in the role of reflecting Christ in the marriage. That’s a tall order. The burden is on you. You have the harder job. You’ll be the one to first supply the love in the relationship. And how is our relationship with God? Why do we love him? We’re told we love him because he first loved us. And I find it so interesting that almost every relationship starts with the man first loving the woman. And usually the woman says I don’t like this guy, I want him to leave me alone, right? And the guy keeps loving her, keeps pursuing her and eventually his love supplies the love for her to reciprocate back. So is this just a one off dispute or is this more reflecting an ongoing issue?

Speaker 2

Maybe if you can learn to supply that. Love is god has supplied the love for us. Love is God loves. Love your wife. Maybe that could disarm the conflict or maybe start realizing it’s now not about you winning but you doing the loving. Are you going to make compromises that you wouldn’t be for because now you’re putting your interest beneath hers. You will do what’s best for her. You want her to feel loved her to feel empowered, her to feel appreciated. So that’s my thought of the matter. I hope that helps. That’s not easy, right? I’m not saying it’s going to be easy, but that’s what we’re called to do.

Speaker 1

This man lives what he preaches too.

Speaker 3

That’s awesome. Our friend says. I would say to that too, just as a wife, I understand conflicts happen in marriage. They do. It’s part of the refining process. But I think something that could just be helpful is one if you guys just kind of just stop, say, okay, let’s stop, let’s take a breath, let’s pray. And I think asking God to come into the situation to give you both peace and wisdom, I think that’s a big thing. And then from there, definitely speaking to your wife in a loving tone like it says in Proverbs, that a soft answer turns away wrath. And so if you start speaking in a calm, loving manner, I think that’s going to de escalate things as opposed to when things get louder, things get more heated. So try talking in a more loving, calm manner and that will in turn evoke in your wife’s respect for you. Because I know that that’s a big thing. Like it says in Ephesians 533 that it says husbands love your wife but it says wives see that you reference your husband. So your actions need to evoke, reverence or respect for you as a husband.

Speaker 3

So on your end do things that are respectable, that show yourself as an honorable and respectable husband by treating her in a loving way and tell her the way that you want to be communicated to as far as being treated respectfully. And I think if you have that conversation, I don’t think either of you are bad people. I think you both want things to work. And so I think as you prayerfully ask God to intervene and you look to him for peace and wisdom, I think God will give you that so that you guys can resolve things and grow together in the love and mercy of God.

Speaker 1

I want to add to that too. An important thing is to understand that communication is like, we often think that communication is just what we say or the tone of voice and how we say it. Communication is so much more than that. It’s the words we use. It’s the timing of when we have the conversation. It’s the tone of voice that’s used. It’s our intention behind what we’re saying. It’s our body language and our facial expressions. It is our desire for the other person or lack thereof when we are communicating. And there’s so many components to it. And Jesus showed up with people, with all of these pieces, congruent and fully loving people, the person you talk to in every single way. And that’s a very tall order, that’s a very hard thing. But a lot of times when conflict arises it’s because one of those aspects of communication is not right. Like it’s not in that loving intention and wholeness culture is a big one too. A lot of times people have conflict because of cultural differences and something means something different because of the backgrounds they came from and the meanings that they have associated with it.

Speaker 1

And so all of these elements are a component of that love and of that communication. And sometimes we have to look at ourselves and say did I really communicate what I meant to communicate in that whole loving way or did I actually fall short? And that was the piece that kind of like set off the other person that I didn’t quite show up for them in the right way in that dynamic. And when we look at that and when we explore that and we start to own those pieces of the issue that we communicated that we maybe didn’t mean to communicate but they felt it in a way that was uncomfortable, when we look at all of that and own all of that and then work towards the common goal of finding reestablishing connection, it can resolve a lot of issues.

Speaker 2

Yeah. So phase none of this is to blame you, but I hope you realize it’s because you can’t control your wife, you can’t control other people, you can only do things within your own self. And so hope these give you tools that you can then be able to have positive influence with your communications with your wife.

Speaker 1

And it takes two people it takes two people to have a dispute and it takes two people to reconcile a dispute. Both parties have to be involved in taking responsibility for their pieces of it and both parties have to be looking at the best intentions and the goals of the other party and thinking about how can we find connection and restoration.

Speaker 2

That’s what’s interesting to me about the analogy of the relationship with Christ and the Church, because Christ did nothing wrong, god’s done nothing wrong and yet he has conflict with his people because of what they’re doing, because of their lack of respect, lack of appreciation, lack of love. So there you do have a one sided problem even. But again, what’s Christ example continues to love, continue to have mercy, grace, passion, kindness, patience, all these things. So even if you are the perfect one, which none of us are perfect, right? No one’s perfect. Even if you were hypothetically, you still can apply the principles of love to try to restore the relationships the best you can because that’s God’s example. Yeah.

Speaker 1

And it can be so easy to try to fix it on the other person’s problems when we’re uncomfortable with our own and to act like we’re perfect. And nothing will set off another person more than pointing out their problems while acting like we are the perfect one and we don’t have any. So it’s very important not to let our ego and pride get in the way.

Speaker 2

And look what price did he even let it get to the point where he got abused, injured, killed, just to prove that he loved us. Yeah, he let us do that.

Speaker 1

Not saying that you should repeatedly subject yourself to abusive situations.

Speaker 2

That’s not but it’s sometimes okay to take the lumps in a metaphorical sense.

Speaker 1

Yeah. You don’t have to be right all the time in the relationship or prove that to the other person. Sometimes the right thing is to take a step back and and listen deeper to what they’re saying and try to meet that underlying need, as opposed to defending our own ego and pride.

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In His Service
BibleAsk Team

 

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