Do I have fighting with my spouse to look forward to?

I hope you knew this before you got married, but if you didn’t, it is still important to remember. Your spouse, no matter how wonderful they seemed during your courtship, is not perfect. Here’s some more news, neither are you. Young couples often go into marriage with unrealistic expectations. You will have disagreements and disappointments. But you can do some things to avoid serious problems.

When you have problems, don’t ignore them, hoping they will go away. When you repress anger, your stomach keeps the score (Acts 8:23). Also, don’t simply appease one another. When a person gives in all the time, his or her heart becomes like a smoldering rag, ready to be ignited by self-pity (Ephesians 4:26). Finally, don’t lash out at each other. Though you may apologize later, thoughtless personal attacks endure far beyond the disagreement (James 3:5-6). Address the problem, not your spouse’s imperfections.

That’s what to avoid during a conflict, but it’s much better to avoid the conflict. It’s much easier when you both have the same objective, honoring God with your marriage (Joshua 24:15, Matthew 22:37-38). If you are both heading in the same direction, toward Christ, you won’t bump into each other very much.

Taken from Adrian Rogers' weekly newspaper column. Used by permission. 2001, The Commercial Appeal.