Learning To Fight Fair

I could hear the brakes squealing as the car came to a sudden halt. The impact of the large deer hurling across the front bumper of our car sent me into a state of panic. I glanced over to my husband to see if he was okay.

Fight Fair

Later, as we reached home my husband pulled the car into the garage to assess the damage. The overhead garage lights only confirmed what I had feared, major damage to the front bumper, side panel, and headlights. As I stood there completely frustrated, I will be honest, the first thought that came to my mind was NOT the fact that God had kept us both safe without injury. My mind began to fill with anxiety as I contemplated that  the repairs would probably cost thousands of dollars… money that we just did not have in our already strained budget.

I knew that there was no way I could possibly sleep without checking first with the insurance company to see if the damages would be covered by our policy. The voice on the telephone line offered no assurance as I slammed down the phone and began to yell out. “No comprehensive insurance! We cancelled it to save money. Ughhh!"

Just being candid, I went into a 1:30 a.m. shouting tizzy and although I never actually verbalized it, the disrespectful tone in my voice insinuated that I thought my husband was a  genuine, fortified idiot! Now, you need to know, I think  my husband is one of the smartest men with finances that you will ever meet, but at that moment, in the wee hours of the morning I wanted to shout out “what were you thinking?”…and so I did!

Ironically only hours before, we had been helping to facilitate , of all things a MARRIAGE conference with our ministry partners. Now here we were ending the night with and unexpected horrible ”BANG!" Honeychild, ain’t that just like the stankin’ enemy?

Emotionally exhausted, frustrated and just downright angry, I began to spew words at my husband without giving them one ounce of thought. I knew just what buttons to push to set him off! I went so far as to even resurface old baggage, which in turn caused my husband to clam up, feel unappreciated and it did absolutely NOTHING to resolve our existing conflict.  I began to yell all the more, which escalated into a shouting match that  led to World War III erupting. Eventually my husband retreated to the bedroom, but not before he slammed the door in my face.

I stormed off  into the guest bedroom where I flung myself across the bed and began to cry. I felt embarrassed, ashamed, full of guilt and disappointed in the way we had handled ourselves. It was completely opposite from what we had always taught other couples, and now our conflict was resulting in  the dreaded silent treatment.

The temporary time out allowed me to regain control of my emotions, words and my actions. I knew I had no other recourse but to repent and seek forgiveness from God and my husband. With my voice shaking, I proceeded to knock on that bedroom door to apologize. “Honey, I am so sorry. I acted in a completely sinful foolish manner. I was hungry, tired, sleepy, and frustrated. Did I say I was hungry? We both know I can have an attitude when I am hungry! I love you and I thank you for taking care of our finances. Will you forgive me?"

You see my friend conflict is INEVITABLE. Christian couples will fight. Well, I prefer to call it “intense fellowship.” We are imperfect people trying to do life together. There are even times that we might fuss just because our sinful nature likes it. If someone tries to tell you there is not conflict in marriage, then I can assure you they have never been married! That night, my husband and I had failed to attack the problem and instead in that moment we had attacked each other. That is not the way to handle conflict.

My husband pulled me close to his side and he began to weep and we shared one of the deepest moments of intimacy as we began to pray together and seek forgiveness.  It allowed us to release harbored bitterness, forgive hurtful words, talk calmly about our situation  and later it led to the most passionate wee hour morning of lovemaking we have ever had! Well GLORY!!

Friend, there will be times when you can solve it on your own and then there will be those days that you have to lay aside your pride and turn to a pastor, a Christian friend or a godly counselor for help, but never give up. I had to recognize my spouse is not my enemy. I had to learn to fight fair!

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