We can speak the most eloquent words or make the most persuasive argument, but only God can change a heart. And really, only He knows what is truly best for us, our spouse, and our marriage. Hes strong enough, present enough, and powerful enough to work all things out for our good and the good of our relationship. Whats more, Hes retained the role of Lord, Savior, and Judgeover us and our spouse. In other words, were not to attempt to play Holy Spirit. Whenever we try to manipulate the situation or their reaction, thats precisely what were doing.
Instead, were to seek Gods guidance, do our best to follow His lead, then surrender everything else, our husband included, to Him. When experiencing relational conflict, I try to remind myself of the truths revealed in Romans 12:18, which says, If it is possible, as far as it depends on you, live at peace with everyone.
Notice the two introductory phrases: If it is possible, and as far as it depends on you.
If it is possible, because frankly, peace isnt always possible. Not everything will get resolved this side of heaven, and we may act in a loving and gracious way, and our spouse may grow angry anyway. Similarly, this verse says, As far as it depends on you, because healthy relationships dont solely depend on us. Were responsible for our behavior, but we have no control over our spouses reactions. We must entrust him to Christ, knowing that God loves us, sees us, hears our prayers and understands our hurts, and is always fighting for our marriage. During times of conflict, we cooperate with Him when we remove the planks in our eyes, pray for wisdom, resist defensiveness when our spouse shares concerns, affirm them, and then leave the results to God.
With every grace-filled conversation, Christ can help us resolve our most troubling marital issues and reach a place of increased intimacy and trust.
Jennifer Slattery is an author, speaker, and ministry leader passionate about helping God’s children reach their full potential and live fully surrendered to Christ. Find her online at JenniferSlatteryLivesOutLoud.com.
In her new podcast Faith Over Fear, Jennifer helps us see different areas of life where fear has a foothold, and how our identity as children of God can help us move from fear to faithful, bold living. You can listen by clicking on the link below or by visiting LifeAudio.com.
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