I’ve noticed something recently. When there is a conflict in our marriage, there are three truths – my husband’s truth, my truth and the objective truth. Yes, Chris and I had a conflict this afternoon so I’m taking a little “time out” at the moment and thinking out loud on paper. Writing helps me process my thoughts.
Disagreements between my husband and I doesn’t irk me. I don’t relish conflict (in fact, I often feel quite discouraged in the midst of it) but I also don’t hold my breath through it, hoping it will go away or solve itself. I know better… unresolved conflict results in deep trench digging and once the pattern is established, the damage intensifies.
In our marriage, God has brought two very different people together and I have made peace with reality that conflict is inevitable – it’s not “if” – it’s “when.” On the other hand, I strongly believe that conflict is also an opportunity to honor God (1 Corinthians 10.31) so it’s not something that I avoid at all costs.
I’m thinking that healthy communication in a marriage is about balancing two subjective truths and communicating in a way that honors God and respects the other person. It can’t be a win/lose situation and neither person can make “changing the other person” his/her goal.
Chris and I are both Christians but we look at life through very different grids. Most of the time, I appreciate his perspective but there are days like today when well…the above comic says it all. I know that my responsibility is to humble myself, examine my own grid, recognize and confess my own sin, communicate in love and listen well. Over the years, God has entrusted me with so many opportunities to come along side others and help them deal with their conflicts but somehow, it’s different in my own marriage. Poor communication happens the same way in this house but when I’m in the conflict, I miss the cues.
It always boils down to Romans 12:18 for me. So far as it depends on me, have I done everything possible to live peacefully with Chris? No, I haven’t. So, I need to close this laptop and go to my husband. Now.
“I know two things. I’m a great sinner and God is a great Savior.” John Newton