by Pradha Chakravarthy
In marriage, God brings two imperfect and different people to be one in Christ, and weaves them together in His love. It is very natural to disagree with your spouse and have differences of opinions in various matters. This is probably especially true in the early years of married life, when the couple is just getting to know each another and trust is still being built.
How can we face conflicts as wise women seeking to build our house (Proverbs 14:1)?:
1. If you disagree, do so with respect and honor: God has placed us under the authority of our husband, so let us not despise or belittle our husbands even in our heart. When our kids see us being respectful to our husbands, they too will learn to be respectful.
2. Let your words be few and wise: “Words kill; words give life; they’re either poison or fruit – you choose” (Proverbs 18:21 MSG). Sometimes it is better to remain silent and just listen than to fight or prove our innocence. Then in time, after things are calmer or the circumstances are peacable, we can talk to our husband meekly and provide our opinion. “Let your speech always be with grace, as though seasoned with salt, so that you will know how you should respond to each person” (Colossians 4:6). If we accept our fault — even if it is only 1% — then we can repent, and find mercy in God’s eyes and in our husband’s eyes.
3. Pray in our minds asking God to give grace to both us and our husbands: During an argument we can easily become very selfish and focused on winning the argument. I have often been reminded by the Holy Spirit to pray for ourselves during the circumstance. Each and every time, God has been faithful to help us keep our peace and unity. He has also taught me to value my husband more than any earthly thing (after God), and to be always be thankful for him.
4. Resist the devil who tempts you to be emotional by raising your voice or crying in anger: Remember that our husband is not our enemy, the devil is. It is so natural to raise our voices and present our side of argument in an undignified manner. Often, that provokes our husband, bringing greater separation, and the devil uses that to divide us. Yes, we may cry, but let our cry be to the Lord, making our supplications known to Him. Then, He will give us His peace that surpasses all understanding (Philippians 4:6-7). “Then they cried out to the LORD in their trouble, and He delivered them from their distress (Psalm 107:6). Our battle is together with the Lord against the enemy. It is never God+wife against God+husband!
5. If the topic of discussion is sensitive, it is wise to pray like Esther before talking to our husbands.
6. Our goal is not to win the argument or prove ourselves right, but to be wise in building our home, and to please God and find favor in our husband’s eyes. “But the wisdom from above is first pure, then peaceable, gentle, reasonable, full of mercy and good fruits, unwavering, without hypocrisy” (James 3:17).
7. Avoid arguing in front of the kids: They observe every word we speak, and might grow up to do the same. Even in our most disagreeable moments, remember that Christ dwells in our heart and God is still on the throne. Our children must be able to see that too!
8. Finally, set everything right before going to bed so that we do not let the devil have a foothold in our relationship (Ephesians 4:26-27). Most of us know this truth from the Bible and from hearing it in sermons. But, we have to chose to obey God and His Word and be sensitive to the voice of the Holy Spirit in the moment of temptation. Only then will God’s power be displayed in our lives, and His name glorified.
So, may we learn to be humble, submitting ourselves under the mighty hand of God. Let us seek His face each day to build a godly home together with our husbands for our children. “God is opposed to the proud, but gives grace to the humble” (James 4:6).