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  • Fair Fighting

    In any marital relationship, disagreements are inevitable. However, as Christians, we are called to uphold the principles of love, respect, and unity in our marriages. Fair fighting is an essential aspect of maintaining a healthy and God-honoring partnership. Let’s explore how we can navigate conflicts in ways that strengthen our marriage bonds and reflect our faith.

    Foundation of Love and Respect:
    Scripture teaches us that the foundation of a Christian marriage is built upon love and mutual respect. Ephesians 5:33 (NIV) reminds us, “Each one of you also must love his wife as he loves himself, and the wife must respect her husband.” When engaging in conflict, remember that your spouse is a beloved child of God, deserving of love and respect, even in the midst of disagreement.

    Choose the Right Time and Place:
    Fair fighting begins with wise timing and a suitable setting. Choose a time when both partners are calm and able to focus on the conversation. A private and comfortable place ensures that your discussion remains confidential and allows for open communication.

    Practice Active Listening:
    James 1:19 (NIV) encourages us to be “quick to listen, slow to speak and slow to become angry.” Active listening is crucial in understanding your spouse’s perspective and emotions. Give them your full attention, avoid interrupting, and seek to comprehend their feelings before responding.

    Use “I” Statements:
    Instead of assigning blame, express your feelings using “I” statements. For instance, say “I felt hurt when…” rather than “You always do this.” This approach reduces defensiveness and helps your spouse understand how their actions impacted you emotionally.

    Avoid Escalation and Attack:
    Proverbs 15:1 (NIV) states, “A gentle answer turns away wrath, but a harsh word stirs up anger.” Maintain a gentle and respectful tone, even if the conversation becomes challenging. Avoid personal attacks, name-calling, or bringing up past mistakes.

    Focus on the Issue, Not the Person:
    Keep the discussion centered on the specific issue at hand. Refrain from making generalized statements about your spouse’s character. Address the problem rather than criticizing their entire personality.

    Seek Resolution, Not Victory:
    Approach conflicts with the mindset of finding a solution that benefits both partners, rather than trying to “win” the argument. Philippians 2:3-4 (NIV) reminds us to “do nothing out of selfish ambition or vain conceit. Rather, in humility value others above yourselves.”

    Pray Together:
    Prayer is a powerful tool that invites God into the heart of your marriage. Pause and pray together before discussing a challenging topic. Seek God’s wisdom, guidance, and peace as you navigate through the conversation.

    Fair fighting in a Christian marriage involves upholding the values of love, respect, and unity. By adhering to biblical principles, couples can navigate conflicts in ways that strengthen their bond and glorify God. The goal is to build a marriage that reflects Christ’s love and grace in all aspects, including how we handle disagreements.