All couples fight:
- Healthy couples fight clean.
- Unhealthy couples fight dirty.
- Healthy couples work toward resolution.
- Unhealthy couples work to win.
James 1:19-20 Everyone should be quick to listen, slow to speak and slow to become angry, for man's anger does not bring about the righteous life that God desires.
STOP TO LISTEN CAREFULLY.
GUARD YOUR WORDS FAITHFULLY.
Proverbs 21:23 NLT Watch your tongue and keep your mouth shut, and you will stay out of trouble.
Proverbs 19:11 Insightful people restrain their anger; their glory is to ignore an offense.
Proverbs 27:5 Wounds from a friend are faithful…
HANDLE YOUR ANGER RIGHTEOUSLY.
James 1:19 Everyone should be quick to listen, slow to speak and slow to become angry…
Ephesians 4:26-27 "In your anger do not sin": Do not let the sun go down while you are still angry, and do not give the devil a foothold.
The Story I’m Making Up Is…
Song of Solomon 2:15 NLT Catch all the foxes, those little foxes, before they ruin the vineyard of love, for the grapevines are blossoming!
Romans 12:21 Do not be overcome by evil, but overcome evil with good.
thank you guys for being here I am really excited so we’re right in the middle of a series this is week 2 of a series on marriage and today is about conflict resolution how do you fight fair and that’s that’s going to be a lot of fun and hear something I wanted to talk about right of the beginning is that every couple fights that there’s no there’s no if ands or buts about it every couple fights but healthy couples fight clean and unhealthy couples fight dirty healthy couples work toward resolution an unhealthy couples fight to win and there’s a big difference on there I want to like put a leg to a time like a timeout right here and just say if you are not married if if you don’t want to get married or whatever if you are not married this is still going to apply to you today because a lot of what we’re going to talk about today has to do with the key relationships in our lives
and they’ll be one or two things that are bike probably married marriage specific but you could take this and relate this to people that work relate this to the some of your family member so I don’t want you to know now because it still applies to you so and I also wanted to say on the front end I realize that some of you have been married longer than I have been alive okay so I just want to say that I as I present this I present this to you and it like with a lot of humility okay so I just want to acknowledge that up front but but our story is that we’ve been married this will be our twentieth anniversary this this coming year thank you yeah I never thought I had a picture of us when we look like like teenagers to show you but just have to imagine that but I never thought that would be us like look at those kids that lets us now so but we’ve been married twenty years in our story real quickly is some of you may remember Pastor cow who is here on our staff that is Rebecca’s dad and
our story is after college I went to a Ministry the password cow was bleeding and I sought him out as a mentor we became really good friends and we go to lunch together and the long story short on that is that he lied to both of us to set us up and it was kind of cool I was handpicked every once in awhile I remote remind her of that and that doesn’t usually go well but so we never had that father-in-law weirdness because we’ve always just been really great friend so I would love to invite Rebecca Rebecca is actually going to come and help me do the message today so it should be really fun welcome Rebecca everybody
so for our first year of marriage we had a perfect marriage because everybody in our church told us like oh the first year is going to be the hardest so we were like working really really hard and then it wasn’t until the second year we realized oh we have a perfect marriage because we’re just pretending we didn’t know we’re not fighting at all so we’re just like stuffing it all down so until we discovered during that time is that wedding on your family background you we’ve kind of like we turned like going this term you were either a Stouffer that you just stuff it all down and ignore it and put it off till later or you’re an Exploder you just like I’m going to deal with this right now we’re going to deal with that we have conflict we’re going to work this out right now and the hard part is like when you are a Duffer married to and loader right you just said in like a participation here how many of you would say naturally I’m probably more of a stuffer
Duffer’s yeah all right how about an end exploded let me see you
that nobody yelled I thought you was going to be like tomorrow so now the hard thing is when you have two stuffers were both probably naturally stuffers and the hard thing is when you’re married to his stuff here’s what you do you I see each other out you play the quiet game like I remember like in the so immature and the early years of our marriage coming into the house like you are mad at each other right now like I made too much noise I’d like closing the door like 5 has lost spring at the bottom that’s compressing compressing a compressing and then what happens one time you like to leave the dish towel on the wrong places like me all the things that you had stuff just, we determined that stuff or is there a kind of like closet exploders and so what part of our story is we went to save you the details but we ended up needed to go to some marital count
early on in our marriage and it was the most healthy right thing for us so we are highly highly recommend counseling and so we paid a lot of money and we’re going to share all that for free for you guys today so if you’re going to get to take benefit for all of the money that we spent today but one of the things that we learned is Rebecca both of us being recovering stuffers Rebecca at some point was like learning how to she’s a processor she needs to go away and think about it process it I need to talk it out and process it as I’m talking it out so so she was learning how to become more of a like let’s let’s talk about this now and she swung the pendulum like way hard in learning how to do that and see if it came like an exploded in my account better when you were suffer like actually so but we’ve learned a lot going through counseling and we’re going to share some of that with you today so
all right yeah so we’re going to talk a little bit about how to fight fair so and in more specifically what God gives us the rules for how to fight fair so I’m going to share a verse with you and it comes from James 1 19 through 20 everyone should be quick to listen slow to speak and slow to become angry for man’s anger does not bring about the righteous life that God desires love should always be the main driver in our Behavior not fighting to win my car to mention so that we’re going to take this and break it down into three different sections about those rules I’m kind of using this versus are our main component here this morning so the first if you’re taking notes or following along the first point in all of this is that we should stop to listen carefully out of that first and one of the worst feelings in the world is when you ask your spouse something and they stare blankly at you and say we just talked about that yesterday and it’s
it’s a word that means I was not listening is basically what that boils down to and so one of the things that that we have instituted in our in our marriage is this is going to sound like common sense but Common Sense isn’t always come and practice we have really prioritized having a date night weekly and there have been times in our marriage were I remember one time before I moved to California Bank of South Carolina we had food for the week we put gas in the car and we had $11 to give us eight and might have been $8 in the bank account and so like we didn’t have the money to go on a big fancy date steak dinner so we just like would go to coffee or we just stay in and turn the TV off and as long as you were making intentional time to stop slow down and listen yeah I think adding to that to an end of course like date night sounds like a course yeah but the the active intention
fun it shouldn’t be a burden or something that you’re kind of not looking forward to end up in some things that we’ve done over the years is just really but you know Archie he hasn’t we joke is a note for everything in his phone but but he actually will take notes throughout the week and the save up things are conversations or think questions to talk about on date night so having that intention behind it reviews of course like there’s books a conversation starters or there was a period in our our life where we going back and forth on doing this but it shouldn’t just be like let’s go to dinner and that was fine it should be like invest in your spouse so there was a time where we actually planned date nights for each other so we would take turns and we would intend to do something that the other person would like and so it was really fun being creative and thinking about what would my spouse really enjoyed during this time that was fun to cuz it always feels like the guy always in charge
it was like nice to have a break I don’t have to plan anything in this is amazing so that was that was nice so we’ll move on here but in terms of like listening and communicating to bring that back around one of the things that we learned is I am a really intuitive person just from my family of origin and just having to like read people that just became kind of a natural defense mechanism so I’m like hyper-aware of body body language and all that stuff so it’s the beginning of our marriage I could tell like something is bothering her you know something is upset so automatically I just assume it’s me right and so I would like get into this like it was like a machine gun was like what’s wrong what’s wrong what’s wrong what’s wrong you know they like it’s like nothing but now there is going to be in like leave me alone one of the things that we’ve learned in that whole Stouffer Exploder thing is that Rebecca is a processor and she needs time to process and that’s okay what was super helpful for us is to put a time limit
on that processing for instance it like if there’s like a big issue going on in your marriage like it sometimes it’s really healthy to wait we’ll get into that later but it was really helpful helpful for me to say OK Google head and process you know what you need to talk about but she would say okay then we’re going to talk about this tonight at 6 or we’ll talk about this tomorrow night at whatever so it was helpful for her to be able to have the space that she needed to process and just in my insecurities I didn’t like that that space of like something is wrong I don’t like it we can’t deal with it like that that space and then deal with that but having a time frame like to know okay
she can process and we’re going to talk about this at 6 or whatever that was super hot super helpful for us
well I think also of if you’ve been around that you’ve heard like active listening kind of going back into listening carefully as if this is probably not new but I think it’s really helpful in the moment is to just remember to use that like what I hear you saying is this make sure that your words are very clear like there’s a there’s an understanding between two people because context is everything right so just using that active listening okay number to so if you’re taking notes guard your words Faithfully sew-in James we we read this before but one of the verses that pops out so everyone should be quick to listen and slow to speak Watchers in Proverbs in 21:23 it says watch your tongue and keep your mouth shut and you will stay out of trouble that’s a good one right
and then a Proverbs 19:11 so these are going to sound conflicting and every two versus but I think it’s really helpful insightful people restrain their anger their glory is to ignore an offense but in Proverbs 27 32075 it says wounds from a friend are faithful so what does that mean how do you break that down and look at the two caveats so I think it kind of goes back to guarding your words Faithfully so we confront to heal not to win so there is a time and place for confrontation right there is time and place to talk about what happened between you the nuanced here is it’s it’s not that you don’t ever bring it up but you choose how and when to bring it up timing is everything right I think there’s a pastor Julie when Luke is our son was a little younger he’s he still struggles with his little bit he’s a little bit of an impulsive speaker and sometimes he can
play some pretty hurtful things as a lot of kids can but she gave us his example and we did it with him and it was fantastic it’s that you know you take a tube of toothpaste and you scored it all out and they have so much fun right there like the yes do it unless you want to do it and then put it back in so you can’t do it right it’s been pretty impossible specially with the little tiny cat once and so it was it’s just that idea of like when you decide to spew everything is on your mind right at the moment when you don’t take the time to process when you don’t take the time to think when you don’t use the eating and watching your tongue there are words that can be said and words that can come out that will cannot be taken back so two questions that you can ask in the midst of conflict when you’re in the in the moment
should I be should it be sad is it something that’s actually going to bring healing or is it going to be helping you win this argument and should it be said now or should there be sometime between should you can you stop could you kind of think about this or challenge yourself should I say this now and then decide to have the timing for when it should be said some things that are better to discuss some things could be better to discuss the non-conflict X right like Not In the Heat of the Moment and then there are some quick rules around fighting fair but that can you use when you’re guarding your words so never call names I think that that can come out so quickly we are all kind of in tune to say things in her head that we think quickly but it’s so degrading to call names in the middle of a fight never raise your voice my mom when my
Esther and her when she was my sister was much younger and my sister is a relief I see that’s her personality is a teenager’s she fought and fought hard and they would find each other like really bickering fighting getting at each others throat and my mom was really convicted and it and felt the Lord impressed on her that she would never raise your voice and I have yet I was really young at the time I’ve never ever heard my mom raised her voice sense especially in a fight and it is so impactful right like when you’re yelling and screaming there’s not much room for forgiveness and for trusting in for those things so I’m just learning to speak in in the right time and using the convoys never get historical and what that means is obviously there might be times where you say okay I’m not going to talk about this right now so I need to you know what a week from now I might say hey you know what can we talk about something from last week that’s not what I’m saying what I’m saying is like he’s already had a conversation you’ve resolved this you guys have
come to an agreement and then you come back and say yeah well last time you did this but there’s already been healing well that’s certainly not going to bring healing so don’t get historical about things that have come from the past never sent these are super simple everyone knows this but never say never and never say always because really that’s so critical to that person of the past and likely it’s not a never always I can really cause damage there of course never threatened divorce In the Heat of the Moment is not a good thing to do and never quote your pasture during a fight maybe you kind of need some some things to start the conversation off well and where you can come come at it calmly something that you can think about is what is something that I do that blesses you or gives you life and then what can I
do or not do for you to better bless you or to better serve you and love you
scan the contrast there is like our words can be very damaging but we also want to use our words to lift each other up as well so the next one is to handle your anger righteously cuz we all do get angry and it’s it is a god-given emotion and it’s not a bad emotion anger can be very powerful for good or bad right so but call back to that verse in James everyone should be quick to listen slow to speak and slow to become angry and there’s another verse in Ephesians it says in your anger do not send do not let the sun go down while you’re still angry and do not give the devil a foothold so Rebecca what does that mean that mean like if you have like major trauma in your marriage then he’s like don’t go to sleep for 5 months so like what is that what you think that means
I think there has to be room for taking this verse literally but also to think about your hearts intention so I love the the second part of that verse where it says do not give the devil a foothold so I think there can be a moment of where you have your heart leaning towards forgiveness or your heart leaning towards your spouse it doesn’t mean that you have fully resolved the situation doesn’t mean that you have even been able to fully processed or discuss it yet but then you can actually go to bed and and check in and say hey I might not like you right now my heart is need some more time let’s let’s check in and so there’s a there’s a check in moment and I think that what… Don’t let the devil have a foothold part is if you decide to give each other the cold shoulder stuff it all down it tends to lead towards bitterness and
so just having that moment of Awakening that check in and saying you know we may not have this all solved right now but I’m my heart’s intention is to continue forward and in resolving this situation it’s the worst feeling in the world when you’re in conflict with your spouse you go to bed and you wake up in the morning and you wake up your eyes aren’t even open yet and you’re like oh yeah I’m mad at you I got to put this thing back on you. I mean like that’s that’s a terrible feeling in that a couple years ago Archie learn this tool at it if you follow brene Brown she’s brilliant so she does a lot of conversations about this and he heard this tool and we use it constantly probably at least once a week in our house and it’s this little phrase that says the story I’m making up in my head is and so whenever something happens so
how to sleep on your back when Archie gets stressed he size a lot of thinking about like oh yeah
I have to do that too I forgot about that he’s got all the things going on at the time we’ve already discussed how we both tend to be kind of stuff it down a little bit it may not have anything to do with me but rather than me saying which and the beginning first year of our marriage we did that so I was like okay I guess he’s mad at me and I just want to keep keep clear safe space so we’ll go to each other and say hey can’t can I have a minute you know and the story that I’m making up in my head is that you’re really upset with me about something I don’t know what it is but can we have a chat for a second and then sometimes their that might be true right but then it opens up that door for active communication and other times it’s like oh no I’ve got X Y and Z going on at work and I just really thought about this too and I’m so sorry let’s let’s have a minute here and so it gives open communication rather than continuing to shut that down
it allows the other party to confirm potentially or deny that like that’s not at all what I was thinking and allows there to be a lot of times we have that false sense of expectation on the other person in a false sense of what’s happening or that they should come to you and resolve whatever it is and then I’m mad at them and they’re like I wasn’t even mad at you to begin with so the nice part about that like that tool is it allows the other party to like say hey I’m feeling this this is what kind of what I’m thinking in the end you share it without being accusing and that’s that’s that’s the beautiful part disarms the accusing nature of this it’s but still allows you to share your feelings show to share your heart right and then so that’s great I’m really rude to all of us write the changes changes the narrative a little bit the last one this is a weird little verse that I reread again this this past week it’s in the Song of Solomon
I’m going to be like what is this like a fortune cookie like what is this listen listen to this it says catch all the foxes there was little foxes before they ruin the vineyard of love for the grape Vines are blossoming and you will receive financial blessing this week for another version of this says Beware of the little foxes the foxes that spoil the vine and what that means is is like there will be big things that come into your relationships into your friendships into your work relationship don’t be big things that will come against you and try to destroy those relationships but often times it’s honestly it’s the small little things isn’t it it’s a little things that stack up over time and that we stopped and we ignore and we put off it’s those little things that end up taking taking us down and so what this means is to be on guard
for the little thing and I heard somebody tell tell me one time in terms of work relationships to keep short accounts but what that means is like don’t let things go so long and then you have this whole deal with it and keep things moving as well so we have a couple of examples of little foxes that come come into relationships specifically marriages will also be criticizing complaining they can come and go hand-in-hand but there’s a little bit of that difference of a kind of touched on this earlier but they never are always you you said you were going to do this and you never do it you never follow through I don’t remember anything I can never count on you so actively criticizing your spouse for four things contempt or so kind of in that vein mocking
I remember when we first got married we were part of a back in South Carolina we are part of a small group of young married and everyone was you know married 13 years really young they do that kind of thing and I remember that there was just this sense of all of the the wives really had like this mocking nature like they would all get around and start talking about the husband was like yeah I can’t do this or I have to do everything I cooked dinner and cleaning and you know all that stuff for you yeah he can’t do that and you could visibly see the husband’s like the lack of respect that was held for them them that mocking nature and you can physically see the husband’s kind of shrinking and so there was this this like click of a light bulb is like I never and not to say that I probably never have a problem I’m not perfect but I remember feeling like that’s never the way that I want to represent my husband like I chose him why would I stand there and actively mock him in front
rewind that Contender mocking and of course I can also be done privately right or disgust sarcasm nonverbal communication is huge your facial expressions they so much without you act actually saying it let me know if you want to see your husband, live praise your husband in public find a reason to like lift your husband up in front of your friends like you will see your husband come alive if you want to destroy your husband’s heart the fastest way to do that is to make fun of him or complain about him or something you didn’t he didn’t do in front of your friends or your family in public that’s the fastest way to kill a man’s heart and it is that’s just how we are built were built for for that Tour de lean toward the respect and women that have their their own triggers as well but but in in context of this in terms of that contempt
it’s so powerful is so powerful and like the disgust in sarcasm and rolling your eyes all that stuff that even comes and we’re going to talk about this and I think 2 weeks that even happens it around intimacy as well so yeah and I think those those nonverbal cues like I was saying it can be just as powerful as words and you know I think about my kid when he rolls his eyes at me in anger is me right the same thing with your with your spouse of your relationships so defensiveness it’s of course not taking ownership right so always everything is put on the other person even if maybe there was a situation in which it was the other person completely just being defensive in that like I couldn’t have had any part in this or I can’t take any ownership for this part of the the relationships so and even just that posturing of our of our hearts towards the other person and if I
this can lead to so much of that shutting down and then kind of finally so all of these actually can lead to this but it can also happen on its own is that stonewalling so really you have tuned out and shut down the other person at this point you’ve lost trust you’ve lost respect there’s the cold shoulder and we kind of talked about the staffer but you know another word to say that stonewalling in all of these things can add up to lead to that stonewalling apparently there’s some research that 85% of men tend to be stonewaller in the marriage so you know I think that that can sometimes be just a natural response I would probably just a verbal very in the time to process but I but I can you can sense it happening so but it is of course not helpful to resolve conflict is in that stonewalling
so you know kind of really tying all those little foxes is truly don’t fight against each other like we mentioned in the beginning like we are we’re fighting to heal our relationship not to tear down
and then very very lastly is don’t react and emotion respond in the spirit and there’s a verse that goes with with this that says do not be overcome by evil but overcome evil with good and we always think about like the evil out in the world but what happens a lot to a lot of us as we let evil in this like a new small little ways we let evil into our home through our attitude through the way that we talk to each other and that’s what this verse is about then I heard this quote this is from it a movie called Act of Valor and it did this is an amazing quotes has no one is stronger or more dangerous than a man who can harness his emotions and as powerful as powerful and so far we’re not left on her own to try to do this on her own for us we partner with the spirit of God we partner to help us to grow in these areas and it’s this relates to
your marriage has it relates to your your friendships it relates to dealing with your adult children is if we can part with the Holy Spirit to help us control our emotions to think clearly to communicate well because with Christ all things are possible with Christ in Partnership any marriage can be healed we’ve seen so many marriages come back even from acts of infidelity and bankruptcy and all that stuff but but partnering with the spirit we we don’t do it alone that is that is the point you don’t do it alone he partnered with the spirit of God and your marriage can be healed as well then so what would like to do in closing is like we would love to if you’re sitting with your spouse would love to invite you just to grab their hand going to pray over you pray over the marriages in this room and then I’ma pray for everyone else as well
I told Jesus we we come to you and we lift up all the marriages that are represented in this room and watching online
we pray that you would give him strength give them love you give them courage to talk about difficult things and Healing Way will you just bring healing and hope to each marriage here
will you just become the Centre as we talked about last week that the point of that triangle and each of these relationships God
next time I pray for for those in the room got that have lost a spouse
and how difficult listening to a message like this is
let’s pray that you would come and fill with love and comfort
I pray that you just brought an extra dose of of love and your presence in their lives
God I pray for for those that are single that want to be married and just have that that hearts desire to one day be married and I just pray that you would you would fulfill that desire that you were the one that put that in their hearts and I just pray that you would help them to be the person they need to be until you introduced that person who is for them that you would help him to stay pure that you would help them in all of their decisions and to use this time wisely
all right. I pray for for for all of us for all the relationships in our lives were all of the supplies God help us to to not just react out of emotion but to to count our words wisely and I just stopped to be to be slow to speak to be quick to listen and slow to become angry I left all these things up before you we praise you amen amen