God's Two Gardens

Great Christian Books

Who Is Our Savior?

How to Fight with Your Wife Without Killing Your Marriage

Did you know that marriage is the only relationship in Scripture where two people become one? It illustrates the Trinity’s triune relationship. The Trinity is three separate individuals with different identities and roles, agreeing as one, in perfect harmony. Marriage is two separate individuals with different identities and roles, agreeing as one, in perfect harmony. Well, at least it is two separate individuals with different identities and roles. The agreeing part is something we have to learn. But if we love one another enough we can learn how to disagree without hurting each other.

God tells us to leave our father and mother, cleave together, and become one (Gen. 2:24). Like the Trinity, we must develop oneness of spirit. Though we love our parents, we grow up; marry, move away, and establish new families. Eventually, our children will leave and start their own families. Couples are together long after the children grow up and leave home, so we should make our marriage our priority.

Cotten Mather wrote, “Well ordered families naturally produce a good order in society.” God’s plan for a healthy marriage is to produce strong families. Healthy families create a healthy society. Marriage blends two people from different backgrounds and families, with different customs, traditions, and methods of communicating, into one. This will clearly cause conflict. We can compare newlyweds to two porcupines trying to hug; the closer they get, the more they hurt one another.

By understanding a few key relationship principles, we can find new ways to handle conflict. After we’re married, we cannot react to anger and disappointment as we did before. Learning to disagree without disagreement is crucial to any family. Ideally, most couples should build their relationship before having children, so they will have time to establish healthy methods of conflict resolution.

I’m from a large family with six screaming kids. My husband, Michael, was the oldest of three bookworms. Two months after our wedding, we had our first big blow up. We were outside when he made me angry. I started screaming. After all, that’s the way I had always handled conflict. He just said, “Woman, when you can carry on an intelligent conversation, I’ll be in the house.” With that, he sauntered in and closed the door. I was speechless. This changed my life by forcing me to learn healthy conflict resolution. After all, what fun is it screaming at a closed door?

We expect occasional conflict in marriage. How we treat one another during the conflict, seriously affects our relationship. We must focus on what we disagree on instead of throwing up past failures or using abusive, cutting words that hurt. We want to find a solution, not win an argument. If we need to fight to win, we should take up boxing. To create strong families, we need to concentrate on what’s best for the relationship and set our own agendas aside.