C.O.R.E. of a Good Fight – Drs. Les and Leslie Parrott

In this You Tube video Drs Les and Leslie Parrott talk with James and Betty Robison on the issue of the C.O.R.E. of a good fight. What makes a fight a “good one?” Is it possible to have a good fight? Les and Leslie believe it is possible. And that’s what they discuss in this You Tube video.

The C.O.R.E of a Good Fight

In this video the Parrott’s give their explanation of what is at the “C.O.R.E.” of an argument that goes in a helpful direction. You’ll need to watch the video to gain their wisdom on this. But after doing so, we’re expanding their explanation a bit from quotes that we have gleaned from others. These will just build upon Les and Leslie’s points.

Here’s the acronym that the Parrott’s give for the term, “C.O.R.E.” which you need so that you have a good fight (as opposed to an unhealthy bad one). The acronym C.O.R.E. stands for the terms: Cooperation, Ownership, Respect, and Empathy.

Drs Les and Leslie give their explanations (which are great ones). But here are a few more tips to add to their points:


This first point is an important one. Actually all of them are, but without cooperation, you can never get to a good place of strengthening your relationship. And isn’t that truly at the core of what you want to achieve in your marriage partnership? You want to bridge your differences so you both feel good about your marriage.

When it comes to cooperation, prayerfully consider the following:

“To sum up fighting fair in a single word, it would be cooperate. You must be willing to flex and yield to your spouse. Scripture says, ‘Wisdom… is first of all pure; then peace loving, considerate, submissive, full of mercy and good fruit, impartial and sincere(James 3:17). If you cultivate a cooperative attitude with your spouse, you’ll save yourself and your marriage a lot of unnecessary grief.” (Drs Les and Leslie Parrott, from their article, “Learn to Fight Fair”)

Also keep in mind:

“If you’re locked in a power struggle with your mate, step back. Take a breath and consider solving the problem together. Let go of your anger and realize that ‘a house divided against itself cannot stand.(Matthew 12:25) Relax, remembering the good traits of your mate and work together in solving your marital problems.” (David B. Hawkins)

If you are struggling on this point we recommend you read the Marriage Insight titled: RIGHT FIGHTING IN MARRIAGE.

And then, for a Good Fight to Happen There Must Be:


The Parrott’s talk about Ownership being important in a “good” fight. It’s not a matter of who is to fault. You need to each “own your own reaction.” It’s important to own your part of what they call the “chaos pie.” In doing so, you are taking personal responsibility for your part. Here’s an added tip to consider concerning that particular point:

“Even if 95% of the problems in your marriage are her [or his fault], you can still work on the 5% that’s yours. It’s what you have power over. Working on that 5% will do more for your marriage than whining about the 95% over which you have no power. What’s more, when you work on your stuff you give an example to follow.” (Paul Byerly)

And don’t forget the importance of treating each other with:


“Have you ever made sure that your spouse knew exactly how irritated you were by letting loose with a huge disappointed sigh and an exaggerated roll of your eyes? How do you feel when one of your children does that to you? If your child has done that to you, then you know how incredibly disrespectful it is. Why would your spouse feel any different when you do it to him (or her)?” (Kim, from the article, “Love by the Book”)

Here’s a good tip that relates to applying respect:

“Utilize your teeth as gates that prevent ugly speech ‘creatures’ from getting out and gnawing on your spouse (or anyone else for that matter). Worse than having poor communication skills is having the ability to clearly articulate your thoughts if all you want to do is say something mean or demeaning. Never say anything that will confuse or hurt anyone and start being good by practicing on your spouse. Think of mean speech as a verbal dagger aimed for the heart. Never is there an acceptable reason to be mean.” (Paul Friedman, from “Lessons For a Happy Marriage”)

Dr Emerson Eggerichs adds to this point that is something we should all adopt:

“I am going to try to let my love and reverence for Christ spill over onto my spouse. If I love Christ, I should come across more lovingly to my spouse. If I reverence Christ, I should come across more respectfully to my spouse.”

And lastly, as it applies to having a good fight, sincerely give your spouse:


Les Parrott defines empathy as “the capacity to put yourself in your partner’s shoes and see the world from their perspective.”

Here are some added tips to go along with that point:

“The other day I was watching a couple talk. They were constantly interrupting each other. Neither of them felt heard and as a result neither was willing to listen. It was a sad cycle. The moral of this story is that, in difficult situations, someone has to start listening. …Practice the skill of listening, perhaps ask a few questions. Listening deeply says you care and you want to hear his [or her] heart.” (Lori Byerly, from the blog, “Listening Is a Good Start”)


“Keep your defensiveness volume turned down to consider what your mate is saying. While you may want to argue with your mate, don’t. Consider what they’re saying and the truth of it. If you cannot agree with all of what your mate is saying, see if you can agree with a ‘kernel of truth’ in what they’re saying. …Scripture tells us that we should be ‘quick to listen and slow to speak.(James 1:19)” (Dr David Hawkins, from the article, “Active Listening: Slice it Thinner”)

Keep in mind:

“Couples who are successful adopt the motto that, ‘If you’re hurting, the world stops and I listen. I’m with you.'” (The Gottman Institute)

This is also true:

“Regardless of the habits you saw growing up and those that may have characterized you for most of your life, you can teach yourself to take radical responsibility to listen, to understand, to accept, to be kind, to be patient, to forgive, and to love even when your partner may not be making that same choice. In fact, we are most like our Lord Jesus Christ when we love in this kind of situation.” (Gary and Carrie Oliver)

In Closing, as you apply the principles of having a good fight:

May the God who gives endurance and encouragement give you a spirit of unity among yourselves as you follow Christ Jesus, so that with one heart and mouth you may glorify the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ!(Romans 15:5-6)

F.Y.I. = You can learn even more from Drs Les and Leslie Parrott, on their web site at Lesandleslie.com.

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