Why Do I Argue with My Spouse?
- Pam and Bill Farrel Authors
- 2014 6 Oct
“Do everything without grumbling or arguing, so that you may become blameless and pure, children of God without fault in a warped and crooked generation" (Philippians 2:14-15).
In the small group Bible study for Men Are Like Waffles, Women Are Like Spaghetti we joke: “Argument (ar*gyou*ment) n. A discussion that occurs when you're right, but your mate just hasn't realized it yet.”
We joke about arguments because it is so easy for everyone to find themselves in this rough place. We both grew up in homes with a daily dose of disagreements. Once I refereed an hour long argument over whether the Chevy my dad was driving was a 1959 or 1958! Couples can get into a cycle of disagreement where everything becomes a point of contention. We could have repeated this unhealthy, destructive, time-wasting way of life but instead, we made a simple choice: Let God’s Spirit select our words.
Set a guard over my mouth, O Lord; keep watch over the door of my lips (Psalm 141:3).
Now that we have the principle in place to think and pray before you speak. In our book, A Couple’s Journey with God, we look a little closer at the type of words to avoid and why:
Put away perversity from your mouth; keep corrupt talk far from your lips (Proverbs 4:24).
Perversity is words that are “bent,” “crooked,” or “twisted,” applied to persons involved in moral error. You know when you twist words just to make your mate feel bad or look bad.
Corrupt talk is a pretty strong phrase meaning things like: to debase, brutalize, demoralize, degrade and ruin. This goes to your motive, the “why” of your word choice. What was in your heart when you said what you said?
Nor should there be obscenity, foolish talk or coarse joking, which are out of place, but rather thanksgiving (Ephesians 5:4).
Obscenity means filthy or shameful. Foolish talk is silly or unnecessary. Coarse joking is anything vulgar or nasty. To sum it up, ask “Would my mama, Nana, or pastor want to hear me say this?” (Then Jesus wouldn’t want to hear it or have you say it either.)
But by far, the couples that allow poor word choice to destroy their love comes from one main source: tearing down their mate, word by word, like a slow steady drip.
We live on the side of a mountain, and one winter, a gentle a rain soon turned into a full on storm, then a torrential downpour that pounded away at the mountain side. The puddles turned into streams, and the streams became rushing rivers, creating a flash flood until, in a moment, the entire side of our yard slid down the hill. It was gone in what felt like a heartbeat, but in actuality, it eroded one tiny raindrop at a time. We just hadn’t noticed until what was once ours was washed completely away. The devastation was immense, and everyone had a view of the catastrophe because it was so apparent.
In the same way, harsh words are like the consistent rain and it will wash away your love. Nit picking, criticizing, critiquing, name calling, fussing, cruel, unkind, inconsiderate, mean words will ruin your marriage and the devastation will be obvious to all around. There is an art to the unsaid.
Pam and Bill Farrel are relationship specialists, speakers, and authors of 40 books. www.Love-wise.com
Publication date: October 6, 2014