Every little annoying thing you’ve noticed about your partner in the last couple of months comes flooding out.
Reference: “Starting a quarrel is like breaching a dam; so drop the matter before a dispute breaks out.” Proverbs 17:14 NIV
Explore: Relationships are challenging. While I know I need to work on all my relationships, I think my marriage is at the top of the list when it comes to dealing with disagreements.
I once heard a relationship specialist talk about what happens when arguments begin. While the disagreement starts out about leaving dishes on the bench as soon as anything is mentioned the flood gates open and every little annoying thing you’ve noticed about your partner in the last couple of months comes flooding out.
Backwards and forwards you could go for an hour accusing the other and defending yourself. By the end of the argument it’s hard to remember how it all started.
This specialist mentioned finding an object that symbolises the area of disagreement. If it is about finances then place a credit card on the table. That way, if the argument veers off to someone not putting the toilet seat down then you have a visual reminder of the topic you need to stay with.
Application: Clearly this type of disagreement is not new to relationships today as the writer of Proverbs – a few thousand years ago – said that starting a quarrel is like breaching a dam. Usually these type of arguments do not start with a great deal of intellectual forethought.
I must admit, often arguments start because I have not thought clearly or logically about what is happening for the other person. I am setting out to right a wrong, forgetting that often some of the blame also sits with me.
It is not wrong to stand up for yourself or to be honest with those you are in relationship with. But let’s not build a list of grievances against someone without expecting some retaliation. Let us address each other with love, patience and respect.
Prayer: Lord, the wisdom You give to us is so helpful for our everyday life. May we continually connect with You and ask for Your guidance through all the tricky paths we need to navigate. Amen.
What is a helpful strategy you have learned to deal with relationships?
This article was written by Linda Bailey
Linda started theological studies in 1999 in Australia. After working for ten years in various church ministries, she now works as the breakfast producer at 89.9 LightFM - the Christian radio station in Melbourne, Australia. She writes blogs every day about passages she is currently reading in the Bible. Follow her on Google Plus +Linda Bailey or Facebook by clicking the like button on the right of this page.