For this post, I’m going to just have to shoot straight (at least that’s the metaphor I’m going for!).

Some marriages are a war zone at times.  The spouses go from one battle ground to the next, sometimes one wins, sometimes they lose, but the fact is that there are casualties in every battle.

The consecrated ground that marriage is founded becomes blood soaked. Fragments of flesh are strewn all over, and lifeblood is oozing from self-inflicted wounds. For when one spouse attacks the other, they are attacking their own flesh (Genesis 2:24).

It’s time to call a truce.  It is impossible to have a battle when one army refuses to engage.  Oh sure, massacres do occur when one powerful entity destroys and annihilates an opponent — but only a sadistic or hurting husband*  will attack and purposely destroy his own wife. It is a husband’s nature to nourish and protect his wife (Ephesians 5:29).

I’m talking about the petty spats, the verbal warfare, the constant friction that often occurs in marriage because we’re not getting what we want.

What causes fights and quarrels among you?  Don’t they come from your desires that battle within you?  You want something but don’t get it.  James 4:1-2

Today’s challenge: Consider this question just before the first shot is fired:

What do I really want?

The answer to that question will reveal why you are fighting, posturing, defending, and attacking in the first place.  Take a few moments before engaging in battle to at least sit down and ask yourself the question.

What do I really want?

Every military commander knows that it is futile to engage in warfare without a battle plan, a strategy, a mission.  Perhaps we will discover that what we think we want is not really what we are fighting about!

  • Perhaps we’ll discover that what we really want is respect (and this present battle is stripping us of every ounce of respect).
  • Perhaps we want intimacy (and the battleground is not conducive to tenderness).
  • Perhaps we want provision and tender care, (but a conflict forces him to retreat).
  • Perhaps we want to lay it all out there, to force a conflict, because at least after we have beaten each other to an emotional bloody pulp, one will take pity on the other and bandage the wounds later in a tender, sick kind of compassionate combat.

If you keep on biting and devouring each other, watch out or you will be destroyed by each other.  Galatians 5:15

It’s time to wave the white flag.   Don’t worry — you won’t lose the war.  You were fighting the wrong enemy.  Friendly fire kills just as fatally as enemy fire. There is a battle, and there is an enemy, and it isn’t your husband.  Let’s lay down our weapons and learn some strategies for armistice in the next few days!

A ticker tape parade awaits the victors of this particular and very personal battle!

During the cease fire, consider one of these:

  1. Concerning your last argument. . . it seemed to be about one thing, but was it really about something else? Journal what was really at the heart of the conflict. . . what did you really want? Be honest.
  2. Was the cost of the battle worth the victory? Why or why not?
  3. What would happen if you waved the white flag at the first sign of an impending battle?

*If you have such a husband, and you have reason to be concerned about your physical well being you should seek counsel immediately from family, church and friends.

photo credit