Because who wants to lose?
Who or what you want to win is a different matter.
The first year in marriage as some say is the toughest. Because this is the year to cleave to each other, where we lay a solid foundation for our lifetime of togetherness.
You would think that from our 7 years of knowing each other before getting married, everything would be pretty smooth by now. You would think that 7 years is already a long time for us to get to know each other and know how to allay each other’s anger. WRONG. Still in our first year, it’s a different ball game from when we were boyfriend and girlfriend.
When we had arguments during dating stage, we were glad to be going back to each of our homes and face the problem the next day. We also had the option to never face them at all.
But in marriage, we are bound to face each other literally (and unintentionally) during the cold night until we wake up the next day.
The stakes in marriage are higher and the hurt is deeper. Because as they say in marriage, we are already one. If I hurt him, I automatically feel the hurt too and likewise.
Even if both of us make an effort to read books on marriage and relationships, I just find myself getting more creative in rationalizing, starting arguments and finding fault. As soon as I learn new things in the book I would tell him, “Beb it says here in the book you have to be affirmative of me, you have to encourage me.. you’re not doing this. you’re not doing that.. so and so..”. How sinful my heart is to see the speck in his eye than see the plank in my own.
Other things would be that since we assume to know each other so much, we assume each other’s intentions. My husband would assume that my heart is being deceitful when in fact I was just tired to discuss certain matters. I would get so angry on how he could think he knows so much about my heart and accuse me based on his assumptions.
Little hurts would pile up and turn into resentments and soon enough little arguments would blow up into big fights. To the point that we would be reckless with words and our hearts would grow cold and bitter toward each other. The design for which God wanted man and wife to live in peace and joy would be distorted and destroyed because of our pride.
How do we win this battle of words? Will a louder voice do the trick? Or the most logical and intelligent argument? Will belittling my husband’s point or he belittling mine solve it?
Most importantly, will winning the argument but losing my husband in the process be worth it?
So what if I won? So what if had a carefully crafted speech to present to my husband that he has no other choice but to accede? Will it count in building a good foundation for our marriage? Will it count with God?
Sometimes when we find each other a stalemate in arguments, I would feel frustrated and he too.
But we are reminded how God is important in making marriages work. Without Him, it is impossible to make it work. Because He designed marriage. He has brought man and woman together. He completes the divine triangle in marriage and He is the ultimate mediator when we find ourselves in the stalemate position.
It helps and it counts a lot to have developed the habit of quiet time even before marriage. Quiet time meaning having a personal, quality and quiet time with God. After arguments, we knew that in the morning at a designated time we would eventually meet with God and He would ask us, where we are in our marriage. Did we become more loving, more forgiving, more selfless with each other?
Soon we realized that spiritual warfare is stronger in marriage because the enemy seeks to divide. I found out that to win this spiritual fight is to come to God and apologize not just to Him but to my husband. To admit to God how untrusting I was that He would work in my husband’s life and mold Him to be Christ-like. To admit to my husband how selfish I was and how self-righteous I was in pointing out his mistakes, or how I was doubtful of his intentions.
When a sincere apology is made with a repentant and a forgiving heart, it breaks down our frozen hearts and the walls of pride and we are restored into a loving relationship with God and with each other. Marriage once again becomes the source of our peace and joy.
Yes I don’t want to lose and lose this marriage. Winning spiritual fights in marriage is more important than winning arguments. What profit is it to gain points in logic but lose my soul? To gain the world and lose my soul?
We will always be in the process of being sanctified and cleansed from our sin and pride and arguments will not stop as our marriage progresses. As marriage becomes more stable, we expect that it will be tested but we have hope that in this world we will indeed experience trouble, but we take heart because Christ has overcome the world. (John 16:33)
Proverbs 15:1 A gentle answer turns away wrath,
but a harsh word stirs up anger.
Matthew 16:26 26 For what will it profit a man if he gains the whole world and forfeits his soul? Or what shall a man give in return for his soul?