What To Do After A Fight Breaks Out In Marriage

No marriage is immune from a fight. We have all been there a time or two. An argument happens and then what? That vulnerable time right after a fight or argument is when we start asking each other, “Now what?” If a husband and wife remain unreconciled then bitterness and anger can really take a toll on the marriage. It is important for a husband and wife to reconcile after a fight, which is why we wanted to jump into this podcast episode. Please join us as we discuss what to do after a fight.

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– Hey, we’re Aaron and Jennifer Smith with Marriage After God.

– Helping you cultivate an extraordinary marriage.

– And today we’re gonna talk about what to do after a fight.

– We wanna encourage you to subscribe to our channel so you get notified when there’s a new episode. And we also wanna encourage you to share this with a friend because we know that you have married couples who need this awesome information and encouragement in their life, too.

– So this week’s episode was inspired by a question we received on Instagram by someone, and it was triggered by another episode we did where we talked about bickering. And we talked about, it was a funny episode, it was about how to bicker but it wasn’t. It was actually about how not to bicker. But someone said, “What do you do once “you’ve already had the big fight?”

– Yep.

– Like not just bickering but we had a blow up fight. Like, how do we, you know, mend that? How do we get back into right relationship with each other?

– They specifically asked for some action steps, too.

– Yeah, so what we thought we would do, even though we just talked about bickering, we thought it makes, makes sense to say why don’t we give them, you know, some action items, some biblical concepts, on how to respond to your spouse, how to mend your relationship after the big fight? And so that’s what this episode is going to be about.

– So before we jump into today’s kind of core message I just wanna encourage those listening that when you are husband and wife, chasing after God, chasing after His will for your life, We have a real enemy. We have flesh. We have these things that come against us, circumstances. You know, just a bunch of things. And so, I just wanna be real and honest that fighting happens. Arguments happen. Some people call ’em conversations.

– Hard conversations.

– Hard conversations. But there’s times that we just don’t operate in the unity that God desires us to walk in. Just for an example, right before starting this episode we had a little disagreement. It was hard to get there.

– It was a hard conversation.

– It was a hard conversation. And I’m just being honest because I think that it’s important for husbands and wives to know that these things are gonna come up. They’re gonna happen, but we need to not be defeated by them. We need to be able to continue walking out what God’s will is for our life or the purpose that we’re chasing after. You know, whether it be a podcast episode or raising your family. Like whatever it is that you are pursuing to do, don’t let that fight stop you. Don’t let it hinder you or discourage you. And I hope that this episode is just an encouragement to you to be able to get past that hard stuff, to be able to move into what’s next.

– Yeah, and in reality, although fights will come, and the reason fights come is because we let our flesh get in the way. And instead of walking in the Spirit, and we always talk about this on our show, you know, the idea that we’re called to walk in the Spirit. And that we would not gratify the desires of the flesh. And the reason the fights come up in the first place is because we walk in the flesh. And we forget. We’re like, oh, we’re not like, we’re not on guard, in our, in our walk. We’re not on guard in our unity. We’re not protecting our marriage. And so the goal, actually, like, I know you said that they’re gonna come up, they’re gonna happen. The goal is that they should happen less.

– Yeah.

– And less, and less. You know, it’s not normal for a normal Christian marriage to be constantly battling each other.

– That’s true.

– That’s unhealthy. It’s not biblical, it’s not good. It means you’re not one. It means you’re not walking in the Spirit. And so, the times that you get in a fight, they should be far and few between. The goal should not be fighting.

– Right.

– Our, our heart’s goal, every day should be to walk in the Spirit. And if we’re walking in the Spirit, you’re not gonna fight. You know, because walking in the fruits of the Spirit. Love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, gentleness, faithfulness, self control. If you’re walking in those things, it’s impossible to fight. Even if only one of the spouses is walking in the Spirit and the other one wants to fight, there can’t be a fight ’cause you need two people to fight. If the other person’s just going, “I totally understand.” “You know what, I, yep.” It’s not gonna be a fight. It’s gonna be like, “Why are you just agreeing with me?” I guess you could take this as your first tip is, you know, walking in the Spirit is what God wants us to do. It’s His desire for us. He’s given us His Holy Spirit so we can be empowered to do so. And so, yes, fights are gonna happen because there’s times that we totally forget to walk in the Spirit or, you know, all of the circumstances of life compile at the same moment. But even in those moments, God desires that we say yes to the Spirit and no to the flesh. And so, fighting in a Christian marriage, it should be uncommon. It just should be.

– I like that, it’s a good word.

– Yeah. Again, you know there’s grace and there’s mercy but our heart’s desire and goal to encourage you, and for our own walk, is that we would walk in the Spirit, is that we would submit ourselves to the Father, that we would be humble people, that we would reconcile quickly, and that we would not be people that fight. That when people look into our marriage and they peek in, they don’t see fight. They see unity. They see love, they see compassion, they see gentleness, and patience, and kindness, and all of the fruits that come along with the walking in the Spirit.

– Wow, that was really good, I feel like we’re done.

– Okay, cool.

– That was great!

– We’ll see you guys next week, and–

– No, that was, that was really encouraging and I’m really glad that you, you said all of that. And, you know, we have a lot to get through about what to do after a fight. But before we start, why don’t we just share with some personal experiences of–

– Like, let’s talk about our favorite fights that we ever had, just kidding.

– No, I don’t wanna do that right now. No, but really. Let’s give them some insight on kind of our past experiences with fighting and?

– Well, you could, like I said, you know, especially in our early on our marriage when we were, like, even more angry at each other and bitter because of the things that we were dealing with, and we weren’t walking closely with God, and we were, like, you know, just struggling in it, that amplified every little thing. Because I felt insecure and unloved and uncherished by you and unpursued by you. Almost everything you did bothered me. And the way you talked to me would bother me. And the fact that you were in the same place with me, you know, feeling unloved by me or unworthy, or uncherished by me, or unpursued by me, made everything you said the way you want, you know, you were irritated and bothered and you were, you know, snapping at me. So we were fighting all the time.

– And I think that when you said, you know, everything I did would, like, bother you or annoy you, I sensed that in your responses towards me and so, therefore, I would withhold–

– You would respond right back.

– I would withhold respect, and, because I almost felt like, well you don’t deserve that. If you don’t like me anyways type of thing. And so, we did have a lot of back-and-forth. And like you said earlier, like a Christian marriage shouldn’t be in the realm of a fighting. It shouldn’t be common.

– Yeah, but it was common in our marriage.

– But it was common in our marriage, and we weren’t walking in the Spirit in those early years, that was really hard for us.

– Yeah, I think if you, if you knew us back then, you would, if you would’ve been in our homes when we were fighting, you would’ve defined our marriage as contention. As disunity, chaos–

– Chaos.

– That’s what it felt like. When you were, when were in public, we were, like, great. But at home, we, we fought and bickered, and–

– Even on social media we were great, you know? We’d be able to post these awesome pictures of us just like smiling or kissing–

– In Africa.

– –or traveling the world, but on the inside we were decaying–

– Well, and we definitely wanted it. But we, we, we fought about everything, and then our fights would escalate because you know, it makes me think of the book Love and Respect. And, you know, you would disrespect me and I would withhold love. And you would disrespect me–

– The whole vicious cycle.

– –and we would just always be in that, that cycle.

– Yeah.

– And I was angry, and you were angry. And, you know, and as those fights would escalate, slamming doors, turning backs on each other, silent treatments. We did an episode about all the things, all the games you shouldn’t play with your spouse.

– Oh yeah.

– We played all of them–

– We did.

– –it wasn’t, like it, was a joke in that episode but we did them all. You know, we played the silent treatment, we manipulated each other, we walked away, we slammed doors, we did all of those things just cause we were angry at each other. None of that is Christian at the core, none of it is good or gentle. It was definitely not walking in the Spirit. It was totally carnal, totally fleshly, totally wicked is how we were treating each other.

– Okay so, over the years we’ve learned through God’s Word, how–

– Through encouragement from pastors and mentors.

– How do you get past a fight? How do you move beyond like, you’re describing this kind of chaotic, vicious cycle of arguing and fighting to a better place.

– Well, we we have to remember, and we always bring you guys, all the listeners. We always bring ’em back to that the Word of God says something about us that our flesh doesn’t say. The Word of God says something about us that the world doesn’t say. And so, either we can walk in what our flesh desires or what the world desires. Or what our enemy desires. Or we can walk in what the Word says. And it wasn’t until people, you know, we had many friends that were like, “You guys need to stop fighting.” We’ve had mentors that are like, “This is wicked, what you guys are doing.” The bickering and the fighting that you’re doing. It’s not a good witness. Like all the good things that you’re doing over here on social media and your ministries. And then at home, you have this.

– And honestly, it didn’t even take someone else saying something all the time, because we knew, the moment that we’d sit down and read the Word we felt the conviction of the Holy Spirit move in our hearts and move us toward that better place.

– But it was that iron in our life that started sharpening us, and pushing us to, like, actually being accountable to it–

– Yeah, be accountable.

– ‘Cause they would see it and they’re like, “Okay, c’mon.” Like grow up. Like you need to mature, and this is a maturity thing. And it’s an understanding thing. It’s, you know Matt always says, our pastor says how you believe is how you live. And so, if we believe we’re one way, we’ll live that way. So if you believe fighting is normal. If you believe like oh, every marriage fights and fighting’s good, it means that we’re getting it out–

– Or that you’re just okay with it.

– Or if you’re okay with it, you’re believing wrong, and you’re gonna live wrong. Right? And so, if you could start believing like, actually, this isn’t normal. We shouldn’t do this. This is not, this shouldn’t be expected in the Christian home, the Christian marriage, the unity between a Christian husband and wife. And so, you can start thinking, like, “Okay, “well, like, well then how are we, “let’s, let’s walk in what the Word says.” So, why don’t you read the, the first set of scriptures and we’ll, we’ll look at what the Bible calls us.

– Yeah, so, the first scripture that I wanted to share with you guys is in second Corinthians, five, 18 through 21, and it was one of those scriptures that really stood out to me and encouraged me in our marriage, and the ministry that our marriage has. So, I’m gonna read second Corinthians, chapter five, 17 through 20. Says, “Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, “he is a new creation. “The old has passed away; behold, the new has come. “All this is from God, who through Christ “reconciled us to himself and gave us “the ministry of reconciliation; “that is, in Christ God was reconciling “the world to himself, “not counting their trespasses against them, “and entrusting to us the message of reconciliation. “Therefore, we are ambassadors for Christ, “God making his appeal through us. “We implore you on behalf of Christ, “be reconciled to God.”

– So there’s a few things I think we should pull out of this. And going back to who we are, what’s the first words that you see in there that would tell you, like, who we are now?

– Oh, that we’re new.

– New?

– That we’re a new creation.

– New creation, so, the old way has passed away. The old way of the, of the Gentiles, the heathens, all these biblical terms that, that talk about who we were before Christ. Before Christ, we were, we were fighters. We were selfish, we were self-serving, and desired our own way, and all of these things, right? But, behold, we’re, all things are new. We’re new creations in Christ, and therefore, we do the things that the new creation would do. Because of Christ. And there’s another part of this that, so, the first part, I just wanna reiterate, is that we are not what the world says we are. We’re not the way the world is, we don’t do what the world wants us to do, and then our flesh, what it craves, which is always gonna be its own desires. We don’t do it, we’re a new creation. We were old and now we’re new. And so, let’s put away the old way of thinking. You know, “Fighting’s normal, fighting’s a good thing, “it’s healthy to fight, “fighting’s, yeah, every marriage fights.” You know, that’s not normal, and it’s not healthy, and it’s not biblical, and it’s not what the new creation does. Christ in his body has a purpose, and a goal, and what is that, that goal?

– Well, it’s to be ambassadors of his message of, of reconciliation.

– So, you know, all you listening, what’s an ambassador? An ambassador is someone who is not operating on their own will, and is also not someone operating on their, with their own message. It’s someone going and representing a greater thing. Right, that’s what an ambassador is. I am an ambassador for Christ, in my marriage, in my home, in my neighborhood, in the world. And it’s not my message, and it’s not my purpose, it’s not my mission, it’s his. I’m an ambassador for a greater purpose, for God’s message, and it starts in my marriage, and so, am, if I, am I being an ambassador of reconciliation? That’s what this is saying, the message of reconciliation, of reconciling the world to God, through Christ. That’s the message you came to. So, when you think about being an ambassador, and our, and our fighting, how does that fit together?

– Well, I think the first thing that you pointed out was it starts in our marriage, where I think anyone who’s familiar with the Word and familiar with this verse, when you think of an ambassador you think of someone who’s, you know, being that way towards others, or at least I had that perspective of, like, yeah, this is to, to everyone else. But it’s even more so I feel, like, important to be that ambassador of God’s message to you in our relationship.

– And how, and, the ministry that God’s given us through His son, Jesus, that ministry of reconciliation. Why not practice it in our home? We always talk about this, like, we practice with our closest neighbor, we, like, you’re my wife. If I can’t practice reconciliation with you, and not just reconciliation between our unity, but even being a, being an ambassador for Christ and constantly reconciling you to the Father, and washing you with the Word, as Ephesians 5:25 tells me to do, how could I ever do it to someone else? What kind of example is that? Like, I go out and, you, you watch me, and I’m like, so forgiving, and so loving, and so patient with this person over here, for the sake of trying to show them the Gospel, and then I’m at home and I’m not loving or patient or kind–

– Right, it doesn’t make any sense–

– –with you, and vice versa, like, if you were to show respect to other people, and honor to other people, but then you come home and you’re disrespectful, and dishonoring to me, and causing us to bicker and fight, and like, you know, always headbutt, it just doesn’t make any sense.

– Yeah, and I think, also, when I think about the word ambassador, like you said earlier, you’re carrying someone else’s message, and when you’re arguing in a marriage you’re fighting for your own will, your own way–

– Your own message.

– –your own, your own message.

– That’s good.

– So you can’t be an ambassador for Christ if you’re arguing and fighting for your own–

– You’re being an ambassador for self–

– Yeah.

– –which is taking on your own message, your own, and so we’re contradicting our ministry.

– Yeah.

– So the last part that just stands out the most to me, and I just, we’ve been talking about this ministry of reconciliation. The idea of reconciling is making right.

– Yeah

– You know, taking the wrongs, or the, the out of order things on the docket and saying, oh, we’re gonna reconcile these so that everything lines up and everything’s good. And balanced. That’s like the mathematic, or the money idea of reconciliation, but it’s the same in a relationship, we wanna make sure that we’re right, and, and balanced, and whole, and unified. And so, the ministry of reconciliation directly applies to the message of Jesus Christ, and him saving us and reconciling us to the Father. But the practice of that we learn throughout all of the Old Testament, even in the New Testament, and in the laws, the Ten Commandments, is our relationships with one another. So, am I reconciled to my wife? Am I making our relationship right? Am I making sure that we’re unified again and back in right relationship? Right? That’s our ministry. And it starts there, and that’s our practice of doing the greater message and a greater mission, which is the whole idea of Marriage After God. Is what we’re doing. We have a ministry in the world, and it starts at home.

– Well, and when we experience that, that ministry of reconciliation in our marriage, we’re actually experiencing what God did for us in reconciling us to Himself, so we’re partaking in His message; it’s just a really beautiful picture of how marriage can experience that side of God.

– So, the next verse we’re gonna talk about is in the Book of Colossians, chapter three, and it’s quite a few verses, actually. And I just wanna further build on this idea of new creation, okay? And who we are, and how we’re gonna walk. Because, again, if we just think the old way we’re gonna do the old things. And so, let’s, it’s in Colossians, chapter three, verse one. “If then you have been raised with Christ, “seek the things that are above, “where Christ is, seated at the right hand of God. “Set your minds on the, on things that are above, “not on things that are on earth. “For you have died, “and your life is hidden with Christ in God. “When Christ who is your life appears, “then you also will appear with him in glory. “Put to death therefore what is earthly in you: “sexual immorality, impurity, passion, evil desire, “and covetousness, which is idolatry. “On account of these things the wrath of God is coming. “In these you too once walked,” remember the old self? We once walked. “When you were living in them. “But now you must put them all away: “anger, wrath, malice, slander, “and obscene talk from your mouth. “Do not lie to one another, “seeing that you have put off the old self “with its practices and have put on the new self, “which is being renewed in knowledge “after the images of, image of its creator. “Here there is not Greek and Jew, “circumcised or uncircumcised barbarian, “Scythian, slave, free; but Christ is all, “and in all. “Put on then, as God’s chosen ones, “holy and beloved, compassionate hearts, “kindness, “humility, “meekness, “and patience, bearing with one another “and, if one has complaint against another, “forgiving each other: “as the Lord has forgiven you, so also you must forgive. “And above all else, all these, put on love, “which binds everything together in perfect harmony. “And let the peace of Christ rule in your hearts, “to which indeed you were called in one body. “And be thankful.” That’s a lot.

– That is a lot.

– But this is, essentially, what it looks like to be a new creation and how we are to walk in our marriage, and in any relationship. It says, “Put away those old things.” It had that first list, sexual immorality, impurity, passion, evil desire, covetousness, which is idolatry, and then it goes into another one and says, you know, we once walked in these ways. And then it said, put away anger, wrath, malice, slander, and obscene talk, and those are the things that come out of us when we’re walking the old way.

– Yeah. Well, and when we’re arguing.

– And when we’re arguing, when we’re fighting. Those are all carnal, fleshly things, and, and, it says that we’re, we’ve been raised with Christ, we’ve died to the old ways, we are new creations, our life is hidden in Christ, now. And we gotta think this way. And if we don’t think this way, we’ll never live this way.

– And I think going beyond thinking that way, cause we have to be convicted to think this way, we also have to do, and I think the biggest thing that stands out to me with these set of scriptures is that they’re action words, put on–

– Yeah, so this one, this one says, “Put to death.”

– –or put to death, yeah.

– And then, later on, it says, “Put on then.”

– Right. So, these are, these are choices that we have to make to live out every single day, and I used to, I used to, do this thing where I’d say to you, cause we would reconcile, but I would have a hard time moving forward. And I would, I would say things like, “I’m not just a switch “to be turned on and off, like, I can’t just–”

– “I’m angry, I’m just gonna be angry for a while.”

– “–just give me some time.” Now, granted I know there are some really big things that people, you know, have issues with that they argue about with their spouse that does take time to reconcile, but–

– And you can’t just switch it off, that’s true.

– I, I get that, but, I used it so often, and I justified my reasoning for being angry at you, and doing these things, and not realizing that I actually had a choice to walk in the new self, in Christ, so, I, I dunno, I just wanted to point out that I feel like it’s so important to not only think this way but to also know that it’s a choice that we have to make to walk it out.

– Yeah. And then the, the next part of this, so, it tells us to take, to put off, to put to death those old things, yeah, it doesn’t even say put off, it says put to death.

– Put to death, yeah.

– Means they don’t come back. They’re not in the closet, it’s not like I’m gonna put this one on today. No they’re, they’re dead. We kill them, we get rid of them. And it says put on, then, these other things, these good things. And then it tells us to, to forgive. It says if you have complaining as to another, so if I, that’s what a fight is, like, oh, you’ve wronged me, you didn’t do this, you weren’t prepared, you, you know, all these things that we can fight about. And you’ve wronged me, and no, I’m not gonna forgive you until we work this out, and we, no. It says, “If you have complaint against another, forgive “each other, as the Lord has forgive you,” that’s the, there’s, we don’t even want to get into the verses about forgiveness–

– That, but that is the ministry of reconciliation, like reconciliation has to do with forgiveness–

– Because God forgave us, we actually can forgive others. And so, practicing, so this is your next tip, is like, practicing that forgiveness, again, walking in the new self, putting on those good things that God gives us, in the Spirit, and forgiving. And the reason we forgive, guys, the reason we put on love, cause it says this, “love which binds everything together “in perfect harmony.” Right?

– There’s no arguing with harmony.

– No, perfect harmony. And remembering that we’re on the same team, remembering that we are one in Christ, that we are unified, that we are the same person. And this is something that we’ve, this is just a tip for you guys, something that, whenever we start, like, elevating it, and we’re like, “Oh, man, “this is turning into a fight,” the thing that’s helped us the most is one of us, hey, we’re on the same team.

– Yeah.

– You’re fighting against me, and you’re fighting against yourself. Cause that’s what a fight is, when you fight against your spouse, you’re fighting against yourself. Because you’re one. And so, remembering whose team you’re on. Because, it, and this is how we fought so much, because we weren’t on the same team.

– Right.

– I was against you, and you were against me, we were divided, and the Bible tells us that a house divided against itself cannot stand.

– Stand.

– So, remind yourselves, like, man, like, this is hindering us from being on the, being together, being one. This is breaking our teammanship, you know, if that’s even a word. But, again, if we remember that we have a ministry in this world, like if, you know, we were starting to have a little bit of argument because we were, like, getting nervous about this video in the beginning, if we would have let that argument go and forgot what we were doing, that we had a ministry, that we, like, hey, actually, we need to, like, snap out of this. We, this wouldn’t have happened. We would’ve missed out on the opportunity, we would have, there might have been things that we wouldn’t have come up because of it. And so, if we would’ve let our flesh get in the way, we would not have been one, would not have been unified, so, forgiving one another, and then putting on love because it’s what binds everything together in perfect harmony, and remembering we’re on the same team. You’re on, you and your spouse are one. You’re on a team, and if you just let yourself blow up and get into that fight, you are breaking that team and you’re becoming useless and less effective in the ministry that God has for you as a Marriage After God.

– Okay, so, I’m gonna move onto the next verse, it’s Ephesians, four, 17 through 27. It says, “Now this I say and testify in the Lord, “that you must no longer walk as the Gentiles do, “in the futility of their minds. “They are darkened in their understanding, “alienated from the life of God “because of the ignorance that is in them, “due to the hardness of heart. “They have become callous and have given themselves “up to sensuality, greedy to practice “every kind of impurity. “But that is not the way you learned Christ! “Assuming that you have heard about him “and were taught in him, as the truth is in Jesus, “to put off your old self, which belongs “to your former manner of life “and is corrupt through deceitful desires, “and to be renewed in the spirit of your minds, “and to put on the new self, created after the likeness “of God in true righteousness and holiness. “Therefore, having put away falsehood, “let each one of you speak the truth with his neighbor, “for we are members “one of another. “Be angry and do not sin: “do not let the sun go down on your anger, “and give no opportunity to the devil.”

– Man, these are, these scriptures. It’s hard to read these and, and think, like, “Oh yeah, I could just keep fightin’. “Fighting’s okay.” You know, the, the theme as we were looking for scriptures to teach on this, was new creation. That was the theme, it just, every, see, you were like, oh, like, this is talking about new self. It’s because the Bible wants us, God wants us, the believers to know, that we are new. That we no longer have to walk the old way. That the things that we think are okay, like fighting, and, and, and, that animosity, and the unhealthy things that we do in our relationships with our spouse, God’s like, “No. “You’re my children. “You’re filled with the Holy Spirit. “You’re new in Christ. “There’s a new way for you to walk.” What’s that Switchfoot song? There’s a New Way to Be Human? It, that, that’s what this is. This is, there’s a new way to be human, and we get to walk in it, and this is telling us the truth, and you said, said in the beginning, if you think wrong, you’ll never live strong. You know, our pastor always says that to us, and it, I bring up my pastor because he, he’s been a huge mentor to us. And he says these catchy things that I just remember. And I think about him, and when I’m walking a certain way, I’m like, “Oh. “I’m not thinking correctly.” And if you think wrong, you’ll never live strong. I just love that. So that, I just wanted to start off with it, just the whole thing as, like, don’t walk in the futility of the old way. The way that the Gentiles, again, the way that you used to be. Walk in the new creation, walk in the new self, walk in the, the way you are with Christ.

– And it was a reminder that it’s a choice, that you can choose–

– Yeah, it’s an action.

– –to walk that way, it’s–

– Walk. Walk.

– –it’s an action.

– Move your body.

– So, another thing that stands out to me with these scriptures is just that practical application of do not let fights, arguments, hard conversations linger on into the week. We don’t want to give the enemy that opportunity toward destruction–

– Yeah, don’t let the sun go down on your anger. So that we do not give the opportunity to the enemy.

– Yeah, and I used to struggle with this. In the beginning of our marriage, I would be so prideful, and so hard of heart that I would, I would–

– Me too, though.

– –I would go to bed with, with a fight still lingering, and be fine, but not really fine, I mean, I tossed and turned, and, by two o’clock you were, like, waking me up, “Hey, we need to talk right now.”

– I, back then, though, like, with a malicious heart I would be happy to go to bed angry because I would be able to fall asleep and I knew you wouldn’t be able to.

– Oh, it was torture. It really was torture.

– That was, I mean, this is, again, malice, those, those things that we do because we’re angry, like, I was like, “Oh, fine, you wanna go to bed, “and you don’t wanna talk to me? “I’ll just go, “sweetly to sleep.”

– And you did. I could hear you deep breathing, and I’m just over there like.

– Yeah, getting more and more angry because I’m asleep.

– Yeah, so here’s the thing. We don’t, we don’t want, if, if a fight were to break out, if an argument happens, don’t give the enemy that opportunity to bring destruction into your marriage. Take care of it. Talk about it, and then reconcile. You know, we, we have the Word of God to guide us through arguments and we can be reminded, like you’ve been saying, not to walk in the old ways, but that we’re a new creation, and we can move on in our marriage. We can bring new life back to what we have, and I just think that that’s really important to remember, this practical tip of not letting, not letting an argument go beyond that day–

– You know, it makes me think of something, though. It says, “Don’t let the sun go down on your anger,” and oftentimes with a, the fight, where we’re just angry, like, “I’m not done. “I wanna keep hashing this out.” Now, you may not be able to fully have the conversation that needs to happen, but you don’t have to go to bed angry.

– That’s true.

– Because what you could do is you say, “Okay. “We are not on the same page. “And we’re both angry, “let’s figure out the anger side of this thing first. “Because we’re mad at each other–”

– That’s good.

– Which means remembering we’re on the same team, let’s, let’s calm down, we’re letting our flesh get the best of us, which means less walk in the Spirit. None of this says either of you are giving in yet on who’s right or who’s wrong. But it’s saying we’re on the same team, we need to stop this, this is getting very dangerous, unhealthy, we need to remember that we’re on the same team, we love each other. The Bible tells us to forgive, so let’s, we, we’re going to finish this conversation tomorrow when we’re more cool and even-headed and we’ve gotten rest, cause now we’re tired and all those things are adding up. But we can’t, we’re not gonna go to bed angry.

– Yeah, that’s good.

– I love, you, you love me, we’re on the same team, we’re going to figure this out. And you know what’s gonna happen? Even though you didn’t finish the conversation, the argument–

– It’s not gonna feel as bad as it did–

– You’re gonna know that you’re on the same page, you’re gonna know that you still love each other, you’re gonna go to bed and have a sweet sleep and you’re gonna wake up rested. And you know what? You’ll probably wake up and be like, “Why were we even fighting?”

– Yeah, that’s true.

– Like, “I don’t even care.”

– But I think setting up that–

– That thing that we’re fighting about.

– –I think setting up that expectation, too, is really comforting because you know that they’re gonna be there tomorrow, you’re gonna be there tomorrow, and you can talk about it then.

– Yeah, because, you know what our flesh wants to do? Run away. And so, don’t do that. And you know what, the enemy hates that. The enemy is like, “Oh wait, now they’re, “they’re actually reconciling before “even finishing the argument? “Don’t do this.” And, you know, oftentimes you’re gonna realize, after you’ve let the emotions, the chemicals that are going into your brain, all the, all the stuff that makes you, like, “Ohh,” the, those anxiety chemicals, and those, those fear, and, you know, all those things, when those subside, you’re like, “Wait a minute. “What, what, okay, like, I get it, yeah. “I was frustrated about that, but, “you’re right, I was wrong.” Or, the other person’s gonna be like, “Actually, it wasn’t that big of a deal. “I shouldn’t have been getting on you,” and, and you’ll realize when you’re on the same team you’ll start giving to the other person much more than you think. Or were expecting. And it becomes a much more beautiful thing, so just get, getting out, whether or not you can finish the conversation, and whatever the thing is that you guys are having contention over, you can still go to bed in unity, and in love, and in, in comfort with each other. And then finish it later. So, don’t go to bed angry. Don’t let the sun go down on your anger. So we’re gonna move on to the next scripture, the next tip, the next biblical idea of how we can, what we do after a fight. And this can actually, this tip can actually happen before a fight breaks out. It often will stop it in its tracks.

– That’s true.

– Cause that’s the goal, guys. We wanna stop the fights before they happen. And it’s, it’s in James chapter five, verse 16. “Therefore, “confess your sins to one another “and “pray for one another, that you may be healed. “The prayer of a righteous person has great power “as it is working.” And so, the, there’s two parts to this, the confession part, and we’ve talked about confessing in past episodes, but in this, this fight, the confession is we shouldn’t be fighting. I’m operating in my attitude, I’m being selfish, I’m being prideful, I just wanna apologize. I need to back off, let’s chill, I’m making you get angry, I’m disrespecting you, I’m very sorry. That confession, and then, the second part of this is praying. If you can get in the habit, it’s a very hard skill to learn. Recognizing a fight when it’s happening and saying, “Hey, “let’s just stop and pray.”

– But it kills that intensity, like, immediately.

– It does, because the moment, and we’ve talked about this, the moment you step into God’s throne room and pray, you immediately feel this big. Cause, like, what are you gonna pray? “Lord, “my wife is really bothering me right now.” “And she is just so wrong,” and you’re, like, standing before the Father, and you’re, you’re like, “All right–”

– It’s just a humbling experience.

– “–God, could you help me “have patience right now? “Or help me,” like, you immediately turn it on yourself because you immediately, like, the Holy Spirit’s like, “So what do you wanna pray about?”

– Well, He’s also a really loving Father, and I think that He wants to step in and, and share His peace with us, and show us the right way to live, so, I think that just going to Him immediately is like, it just, I dunno, it just, it really does calm the atmosphere and everything, right away.

– But if you can’t get to the prayer before the fight happens, and the fight just happens, go right to pray afterwards. And say, “Hey, “I know we “fought, “I know “we probably don’t feel like it right now,” as I’ve always said, like, the time you need prayer is the time you don’t wanna pray.

– I was gonna say, if you ever feel like you don’t wanna pray, do it. That is the time to do it.

– That’s the enemy, that’s your flesh saying, “Oh, don’t go to God. “Don’t submit yourself to the Lord right now.” And, again, you go to prayer, and you immediately humble yourself. And you know what happens, also, especially if you both pray out loud? I begin, like, when we do it, I begin to pray and I, I first, I start by repenting to God. I apologize, I’m like, “God, “I am a jerk. “I am sorry that I was treating my, “the one you’ve given me, my wife, “my bride, this way, I’m sorry that I was “so frustrated, angry, “elevated, loud,” whatever it is. And then she gets to hear me actually, like, my heart. For her. And then vice versa, you’d pray, and you’re like, “Okay, Lord, forgive me. “I didn’t mean to, yeah, I was disrespecting my husband, “I was “throwing stuff at him,” and, and so all of a sudden we’re actually apologizing to each other, but before God.

– And I’ve never really noticed, recognized this before, but when you’re praying to God and I hear your heart that’s truth, like, I don’t, like, I believe that you going before God is–

– You’re not lying to God.

– Yeah, it’s not like you’re lying to God about the condition of your heart, or what you think about me, or your love for me, and so, when I hear those things I’m reaffirmed because I know that it’s true. And, for some reason, it’s a little bit different than you just saying to me–

– Telling you, yeah.

– “–but I love you,” you know what I mean? Like, when I hear you go to God and tell Him that you love me, it’s just different, and it really reaffirms my heart.

– Well, and it’s much more spiritually healing than just, like, “We good?”

– Yeah.

– “We’re good, okay. “We’re good, all right, cool.”

– Just the acknowledgement of–

– Just like, “Okay, I’ll “kiss you, good,” the going to the Father, and submitting ourselves to Him, and humbling ourselves before God, it’s saying, “You know, we,” again, we’re trying to not fight. That’s the goal, right? And the only way to kill the old flesh is to do what the Bible tells us, which is confess, so we’ll be healed.

– So by going to God and doing this with your spouse, again, you’re, you’re participating in the ministry of reconciliation. I just wanna bring that up cause–

– Yeah, and it’s what the new Christian does. This is how we operate, people. This is how, you know, we just wanna encourage you in your marriage, as a Marriage After God, to, and this is what keeps your ministry thriving. The ministry that you have in the world, in your children’s lives, in the, in the neighbors that you have, and in your work friends, that that you are staying close to God, and you’re staying close to your spouse, and you’re, you’re tying even tighter and tighter every single time you do it. And what happens is you fight less, the enemy loses less strongholds in your life, less footholds, and you get stronger and stronger as a unit, stronger and stronger with God, and that is just beautiful.

– Yeah.

– Right? So you can let those hard fights turn into something that turns really fruitful. But eventually you stop fighting. That’s the goal, right?

– Yeah, that’s good. Win-win. So, the last verse that I wanna read is first Corinthians, chapter 13, and I’m actually really surprised. I don’t think that we’ve shared these scriptures through the Marriage After God podcast, yet, but for being so–

– I think we have, maybe, I can’t remember the episode–

– Marriage oriented.

– Yeah.

– It just, I, I dunno, I, I’m really excited about sharing–

– It’s always relevant.

– It’s always relevant, always.

– Yeah. So it’s about love. It’s first Corinthians, 13, starting in verse four. It says, “Love is patient and kind; “love does not envy or boast; “it is not arrogant or rude. “It does not insist on its own way; “it is not irritable or resentful; “it does not rejoice at wrongdoing, “but rejoices with the truth. “Love bears all things, believes all things, “hopes all things, endures all things. “Love never ends.” And this is just a reiteration of, like, how we’re supposed to walk as Christians, and–

– And in our marriage.

– –as a new creation in Christ, and in our marriage. And so, my encouragement with this, as a practical tip in marriage, is don’t keep those record of wrongs. Once you have reconciled, you’ve repented, you’ve confessed, you’ve prayed, you gotta let it go. You can’t harbor the old things, you can’t harbor the wrongdoings and make that list in the back of your mind because you’re just, it’s just gonna come up to be ammunition in the future, if another argument breaks out.

– Yeah, and the, and the word that our version says for that is resentment. Love does not resent. And resentment is that, exactly that you, you’ve got this list, long list of things, wrongs, that your spouse has done against you, and you resent it. And every single time the opportunity comes up, you, you cherry pick from that list. We talked about it in the last episode on bickering. You know, joking, like, make a list of all their wrongs. No, this actually says, no, throw the list out. So, if you think about it, since you’re one in the marriage, you’re a unit, a single unit, and you have a list of wrongs that your spouse has done, whose list is that?

– Mine?

– It’s ours, like, we–

– Ours.

– The wrongs that you’ve kept, you, you, you literally are harping the same exact list for yourself, because it’s what, you’re one. And so, it just doesn’t make sense, it’s destructive, and you’re right. When we, when we read these things, after you’re done fighting, like, we go back to walking this way.

– And it says love endures all things, like, so we should be able to endure these arguments, these hard conversations, these things that come up because of our flesh, or circumstances, or the enemy, but we have to move past them. We can’t dwell on them, we can’t let them affect our future, and the ministry that God has for our marriages.

– Yeah. And so, you know, we just, this episode was just to encourage you in your marriage into, for a couple of things. Recognizing that we’re new, we’re new creations, we no longer walk the way that we used to walk. We have to recognize that fighting, and bickering, and that animosity in our marriages should not be common in the Christian home. It should be uncommon. It should be a rare event. And one that we repent of when it happens. And then, when it happens, we have some tools to walk in. We say, “You know, this is what we’re gonna do. “We believe these things about ourselves. “We are gonna walk this way, we’re gonna love this way,” and, at the end of the day, the purpose of this is that we have a stronger ministry, that we are having a stronger relationship with God, stronger relation with our spouse, and God can use us in the ministry of reconciliation in the world. And, because we’re the example in our homes, so.

– So, just to end off with one last encouragement, I just wanna ask you a question: What’s one thing that those listening could be encouraged by, and inspired to do, if a fight breaks out?

– Apart from all of these other things, that we should be walking, and that help us reconcile, I would say physical touch. Being one, the physical engagement, you know, holding hands in prayer, or hugging you, or kissing you, or going even further, is a huge physical and spiritual thing, to reconnect.

– And I bet–

– After something that feels like you’ve been torn apart.

– –it’s totally true, and I bet those listening could even relate to this because they’re sitting there thinking, “Oh yeah,” like, how many times have you been in a car driving next to each other and you’re close in proximity, but nobody wants to be the first one to reach over their hand and say, you know, “Hold my hand.” And I’ve been there, and I know that I’ve wrestled with, you know, you’ve come to me for a hug and I stand with my hands at my side.

– The stiff board.

– I’m like, yeah.

– And I’m like, “You’re “being stiff, loosen up.”

– But, every single time I know that it’s what our marriage needs, and it does bring us closer together, and that physical touch does remind us that we are one, and that we’re here for each other, it’s really encouraging–

– Well, what it does, is it connects our physical to, it connects the physical to what’s happening in the spiritual. So it says, spiritually, we’re becoming one again, we’re reconciling. Physically we’re becoming one again, also. And it’s just this holistic idea of coming back together and saying, “Actually, “we’re, I’m still here. “I’m still close, I’m still near. “We’re not far.”

– So if a fight breaks out, be an initiator of physical touch. Or, if your spouse is the initiator, be receptive, like, be someone who’s reciprocating by hugging back, or holding their hand back, cause I really do think that that will help bring that reconciliation to a good place.

– Yeah. So, thanks for joining us this week. We hope this was encouraging to you in your marriage, and, as always, our hearts is just that you would be have a thriving, adventurous Marriage After God, and we look forward to having you next week. Did you enjoy today’s show? Find many more encouraging stories and resources at marriageaftergod.com. And let us help you cultivate an extraordinary marriage.

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