They say there are two perspectives to every situation that happens. But we believe there’s actually three perspectives, as it pertains to marriage conflict. There’s the husband’s, wife’s, and God’s perspective —in other words, what REALLY happened.
Ultimately, it takes a willingness on both the husband and wife’s part, to work through those perspectives to find a way to build relationship bridges, rather than walls dividing them. It’s also important to seek God’s perspective on all that divides us. When we do this, God can help us to find ways to work through our differences to the point of reconciling them. It’s important to learn to relate to each other from His perspective, rather than ours for the rest of our lives!
Perspectives in Marriage Conflict
We serve a God of reconciliation. (See: 2 Corinthians 5:14-20.) He is a God who wants to draw us to Himself, which ultimately draws us toward each other. That’s especially true since marriage is a living picture of God’s love for His church.
Learning to be reconciled to God and to each other is what we had to do earlier in our marriage when our relationship was going in a bad direction. And that’s what we still have to do as life bombards our relationship in different ways. No relationship is stagnant. Life happens!
If anyone had talked to Steve during our marital rocky time, they probably would have thought I (Cindy) was the wrong one. And if anyone had talked to me during our rocky time, they probably would have thought Steve was the wrong one. We both could paint the picture of what was happening so we personally, looked mostly “innocent.” Sure, we would have admitted that we had our own faults. But somehow we could find our own faults excusable in comparison to what our spouse was doing. (At least that was our truth from the way we saw things.)
Our actions seemed to be excusable, but what about our spouse’s actions? Usually, we think they should know better!
Emptying of Selfism
But the point is that with God’s help, and a lot of emptying ourselves of our own selfism, we’ve been able to marry our two perspectives into God’s. We’ve found ways to build bridges of compromise and reconciliation. (You can read our testimony in The Love Story of Steve and Cindy Wright.) We’re still working on this mission and will for the rest of our lives, but we’ve learned a lot that has and is still helping us reconcile our differences.
We heard it once said, “If we strive to seek the Light, rather than striving to be right, a lot of our problems will resolve themselves.” And that’s true. When we each stop focusing on who’s “right” and who’s “wrong,” and instead recognize that what is happening between us is wrong, we’re able to resolve that, which divides us.
We’re able to resolve our differences when we honestly look to God’s Light to help us throw out the garbage we drag into our relationship.
So, in our readings, we came across two linked articles concerning this matter that you may find helpful to read. Each article gives different perspectives to the problems a husband and wife were having with each other. We thought you might learn something from reading both of their perspectives. So here goes:
• Why I Stayed: A Wife’s Focus on God Saves Her Marriage, written by Carla Anne Coroy
• Why I Stayed, Too: A Husband’s Focus on God Saves His Marriage, written by Trent Coroy
On this same issue, there’s a book written by Pastor Tim Savage titled, “No Ordinary Marriage.” In it, he gives an important “principle of matrimony” that we’d like you to prayerfully consider. He believes (and we do too) that we are to approach our marriage and live it out for the glory of God.
“When this becomes the guiding impulse of our unions, when the glory of God becomes our primary focus and greatest love, husbands and wives will track along a trajectory that is decidedly upward… Nothing cements a marriage like focusing on the glory of the Lord. It is the tie that binds.”
We whole-heartedly agree. It’s like what Dennis and Barbara Rainey wrote in their book, Moments With You:
“Most Christian marriages are patterned after the world, with a few threads of Christianity woven in. Couples know certain Bible verses. But few practice the Word of God and use it as the defining standard for their lives. If you want your marriage to become all that God intended, dig deeply into His Word. Let it become the source of your lives together. Pray for one another that you’ll abide together in Christ.”
Help With Marriage Conflicts
In addition, we have a lot of articles, testimonies, Marriage Communication Tools, quotes, and links to additional web sites on the Marriage Missions web site that can help you with your marriage conflicts. You just need to “Ask, seek and knock” and then apply what God is teaching you.
We encourage you to ask God to examine your heart and pray:
“Search me, O God, and know my heart; test me and know my anxious thoughts. See if there is any offensive way in me, and lead me in the way everlasting.” (Psalm 139: 23-24)
Some additional advice comes from JB and Shugie Collingsworth:
“If you’re struggling in your marriage, be willing to take action. Do the right thing, believing God all the way. When your strength is depleted, remember He has promised to give you His strength. Search His Word. Humble yourself and be willing to do the right thing. What have you got to lose? What have you got to gain?”
We encourage you to seek the Lord’s perspective in all you do—especially when you are conflicting with each other. And as you do:
“May grace and peace be multiplied to you in the knowledge of God and of Jesus our Lord.” (2 Peter 1:2)
Cindy and Steve Wright
— ADDITIONALLY —
To help you further, we give a lot of personal stories, humor, and more practical tips in our book, 7 ESSENTIALS to Grow Your Marriage. We hope you will pick up a copy for yourself. (It’s available both electronically and in print form.) Plus, it can make a great gift for someone else. It gives you the opportunity to help them grow their marriage. And who doesn’t need that? Just click on the linked title or the picture below:
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