How should my spouse and I handle disagreements?

To answer this, let me give you three tips on what NOT to do.

First, do not avoid the situation. When you stuff or repress unresolved conflict, your stomach keeps the score. “Faithful are the wounds of a friend; but the kisses of an enemy are deceitful” (Proverbs 27:6).

Second, don’t practice appeasement. When one person gives in all the time, his or her heart becomes like a smoldering rag ready to be ignited by self-pity.

Third, don’t practice aggression at least not against your spouse. Attack the problem rather than one another.

At the same time that you are putting off these bad habits, there are three good habits to put on.

Number one, practice the art of accommodation. Let change begin with you and watch the effect it has on your partner.

Number two, practice the art of acceptance. Some things simply won’t change, and we have to accept that in others. Getting married is like buying a CD. You buy it because of what you want and accept what else comes along.

Number three, practice the art of adjustment. This is the best of the three. By accommodating, I change. By accepting, I resign myself to the fact that my spouse might never change. But by adjusting, we both change.

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