“Darren my wife has summoned me to court, hit me with a restraining order and has kidnapped our children…this is the worst Christmas of my life.”
Above is a brief synopsis of a phone call I got from a friend a few days before Christmas of 2018. Apparently, he and his wife got into a pretty bad fight and it resulted in her calling the police on him and leaving not only the home but the country with their children. He was distraught, worried and angry thinking his wife had taken things a bit too far. Since then the resentment between them has grown as both their sides of the extended family has come to their defence and their family matters are now before the court as they both consider legal action against each other. It’s amazing how 5 years before I was at their wedding where they seemed so inseparable and now, they seem to be on the brink of divorce.
Since the start of the whole fiasco I’ve been praying with and for them encouraging them to communicate outside of the court and reconcile quietly. However, the pain that has built up over the years has reached its boiling point and so to both reconciliations seems impossible. I, however, have faith that God can soften their hearts toward each other once more.
I am currently on the path to my wedding and while I don’t know the challenges that will confront me and my wife in the years to come, I do know I will do everything in my power by faith in Christ to ensure my wife and I don’t get to the point of separation or divorce.
Nip it in the Bud
My friend’s marriage didn’t go sour in one night or one year for that matter.It went sour because of an accumulation of offenses that went unaddressed and unforgiven from even before their wedding ceremony. I believe in my heart of hearts that it is possible to be in relationship with another person and never have arguments. I know many people disagree with this statement, including my own fiancée, but I also know of many including relationship psychologists and counsellors who agree.
Let me define what I mean by argument before I continue. According to the Oxford dictionary an argument is “an exchange of diverging or opposite views, typically a heated or angry one.” I’m going to add to that and say, “where both parties involved believe they are right and may include the use of offensive language, tones and even weapons.”
Note, I am not saying couples may never have disagreements.Disagreements are inevitable. However, arguments are purely dependent on how the parties involved handle the disagreement.
There is an approach Jesus recommends we take to conflict resolution, in Matthew 5 verses 21-22 and 25-30. It’s interesting how right after these verses Jesus goes on to speak about divorce. In those verses Jesus instructs us to nip things in the bud. Before you get defensive, before you jump to conclusions, before you raise your voice, ask yourself, is there any truth to what the other person is saying? Why is he/she saying this? How can I respond without escalating the discussion to an argument?
Don’t aim to WIN, aim to UNDERSTAND
Generally, when people argue they are trying to prove themselves right but many times the issue isn’t as simple as black and white.Even if one person can triumph over the other, in the end one person may feel vindicated while the other person feels disrespected, unappreciated, and misunderstood and is now less open to having conversation with their partner.
Typically, it is observed that women tend to win most arguments, not because they are always right but more so because men will more readily fall back in order to keep the peace and will do what it takes to make their wife happy. I believe the popular saying goes “happy wife happy life” (sadly nothing rhymes with husband). However, the effect it has on men is profound because it makes us less willing to talk to our wives.We would much rather watch TV, work, read, hang out with friends, play games or sleep than run the risk of ending up in an argument with our wives by engaging in conversation. Many times, we say things that are meaningless to us but offensive to our wives and they make a big deal out of it causing men to become less open to sharing their honest feelings, and so one of the bedrocks needed to uphold stable and healthy relationship, communication, is eroded over time.
What both men and women need to keep in mind while they discuss their differences is that:
- We are both human and so liable to make mistakes
- We cannot read minds
- We have different backgrounds
- The person in front of me is my lover not my enemy.He/she has my best interest at heart and is not trying to hurt me.
If we allow these thoughts to pass through our minds before we get into an argument it will maintain the cool complexion of the discussionand keep communication fluent and healthy.
My Finacee and I wear bracelets that symbolize our commitment to each other they stand in the place of rings for now. On one of the bracelets is Ephesians 4 verses 2-3(NLT)
“Always be humble and gentle. Be patient with each other, making allowance for each other’s faults because of your love. Make every effort to keep yourselves united in the Spirit, binding yourselves together with peace.”
Darren Salmon is a 27 year old young man from Kingston, Jamaica where he read for his Bachelor of Science degree in BioTechnology at the University of West Indies. He became a follower of Jesus when he was 10 and has since developed a ministry of Christian Poetry for which he has gained a godly reputation. He became a young writer with Christian Today through the recommendation of Stacy-Ann Smith an established and award-winning young writer. To read Darren’s previous articles visit his weebly site athttps://www.pressserviceinternational.org/darren-salmon.html
Darren Salmon is a young man from Kingston, Jamaica where he read for his Bachelor of Science degree in BioTechnology at the University of West Indies. He became a follower of Jesus when he was 10 and has since developed a ministry of Christian Poetry for which he has gained a godly reputation. Darren is husband to the lovely Mrs. Kimberley Salmon (previously Morgan), another talented young writer with Christian Today. Darren is a joint 1st place recipient of the Tronson award for international young writers with Christian Today for the year 2019. To read Darren’s previous articles visit his weebly site at https://www.pressserviceinternational.org/darren-salmon.html