Therefore, as God’s chosen people, holy and dearly loved, clothe yourselves with compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness and patience. Colossians 3:12
Have you ever had a disagreement with your spouse that was over such a small thing? It may have even felt ridiculous to be discussing it.
It is not uncommon to let those minor disagreements or annoyances go unattended. You may not purposefully be ignoring an issue, but through subtle actions, you come to realize you have swept it under the rug.
Here is the problem that can happen when we don’t deal with the minor issues as they happen in our marriage. What started as something little, maybe even trivial, can become a significant life issue.
Last year I added some new plants to a few containers we had in the backyard. I was surprised to discover that two plants I had planted were dead, but the vine I planted was thriving and even growing so rapidly it was becoming a nuisance. I have successfully figured out how to grow a weed. Just ignore it.
This vine I planted started out beautiful. It draped over the side of the containers adding the right amount of greenery. I quickly saw how left unattended, it became unruly. The same can be said about problems in our marriage. We can’t leave them unattended and expect that they will magically disappear.
How can we deal with marriage issues as they come up?
- Have a heart of humility. Instead of shifting the blame, take ownership of the role your actions may be playing in your problems.
- Believe the best in your spouse. Don’t jump to the conclusion that your spouse is trying to cause dissension in your marriage. Believe the best about the person you know and love.
- Change your wording. Instead of saying, “You always…” say, “When ___ happens, I feel ____.”
- Be willing to talk about it. Nothing is gained when feelings get stuffed down. Be ready to speak to your spouse about frustrations before you allow them to make you resentful.
- Pray together. It is hard to argue when you are praying. Make prayer in your relationship a priority.
My pastor recently shared a story about counseling a couple after decades of marriage problems. He asked them to trace the issues back to where it started. They both had the same response. It turns out the original issue was a minor problem that happened decades before. They had gone all those years never dealing with the actual problem, and it had turned into years of bitterness and resentment.
Don’t let disagreements in your marriage turn into my vine and grow so wild that it takes over the heart of your marriage. Be quick to seek forgiveness and quick to forgive one another.
Bear with each other and forgive one another if any of you has a grievance against someone. Forgive as the Lord forgave you. Colossians 3:13
I am afraid that our churches are filled with couples who are barely hanging on behind closed doors because they have allowed weeds of sin and unforgiveness to take over their marriage. Let’s be intentional about dealing with conflict immediately and watch our marriages thrive!