“Fighting is good for your marriage, it helps to get everything out of your system”…
“Fighting in a marriage is a sign of a very strong, healthy, and passionate love for one another”…
“All couples fight… if they tell you otherwise, they are lying”…
“We fight a lot because making up is so much fun.”
All of these statements are made by those who desire to justify anger and fighting in the marriage relationship… but can anger and fighting in a marriage really be justified?
Is fighting in a marriage a good thing? Is fighting a sign of a true deep passionate love for one another? Is fighting a “normal” activity in a marriage? Does a great makeup session justify getting angry at one another?
In this Valentine’s Day devotional, we will be looking at the interrelationship of self-sacrificial love, and anger within the marital union, but first, we will look at how each should manifest itself within the marital union…
Psa 97:10 KJV – Ye that love the LORD, hate evil: he preserveth the souls of his saints; he delivereth them out of the hand of the wicked.
1Co 13:4-7 KJV – Charity suffereth long, and is kind; charity envieth not; charity vaunteth not itself, is not puffed up, Doth not behave itself unseemly, seeketh not her own, is not easily provoked, thinketh no evil; Rejoiceth not in iniquity, but rejoiceth in the truth; Beareth all things, believeth all things, hopeth all things, endureth all things.
Jas 4:1-3 KJV – From whence come wars and fightings among you? come they not hence, even of your lusts that war in your members? Ye lust, and have not: ye kill, and desire to have, and cannot obtain: ye fight and war, yet ye have not, because ye ask not. Ye ask, and receive not, because ye ask amiss, that ye may consume it upon your lusts.
Before we begin our study I would like to include a very important definition. For today’s devotional “fighting” does not mean “disagreeing”…
Disagreements in marriage are inevitable due to our sinful natures. None of us perfectly understand God’s Word, therefore none of us perfectly understand His will for our lives. Because of this, there are times that couples will disagree on the issues of life. These disagreements should be resolved through self-sacrificial spirits and/or compromise.
By “fighting” we mean to become angry at our spouse, to hit our spouse, to yell at our spouse, to call our spouse names, to say hurtful things to our spouse, to speak ill of our spouse to others, to give our spouse the silent treatment, etc etc etc.
We all understand the difference. Please keep this in mind as we proceed with our study.
How love should manifest itself within the marital union…
1Co 13:4-7 KJV
Charity suffereth long, and is kind; charity envieth not; charity vaunteth not itself, is not puffed up,
Doth not behave itself unseemly, seeketh not her own, is not easily provoked, thinketh no evil;
Rejoiceth not in iniquity, but rejoiceth in the truth;
Beareth all things, believeth all things, hopeth all things, endureth all things.
Here, we find how love exhibits itself. Some of the most basic ways that a Godly love is shown to others are in acts of patience, kindness, humility and a self-sacrificial desire for the good of the one that is loved.
No place in this list do we find anger, selfishness, nor fighting on the list; nor is it implied. As a matter of fact, the root cause for fighting is actually rejected. Folks, when we love others we will not seek our own but give sacrificially for the good of others. It will result in us acting kindly, with a spirit willing to give for the other, not being easily provoked nor behaving ourselves in ugly, distasteful ways that will take place during fights.
The Bible is clear, based upon this passage and many others, fighting should have no place among those who love one another. Period.
So why do we fight?…
Jas 4:1-3 KJV
From whence come wars and fightings among you? come they not hence, even of your lusts that war in your members?
Ye lust, and have not: ye kill, and desire to have, and cannot obtain: ye fight and war, yet ye have not, because ye ask not.
Ye ask, and receive not, because ye ask amiss, that ye may consume it upon your lusts.
Just as the Bible is clear that fighting has no place in the marital union, so too, it speaks clearly about why fighting takes place. Here, we are told that the root of all fighting is the selfish lusts that lie within us. Instead of working through our disagreements in a spirit of love, compromise and self-sacrifice, many times we allow our selfishness to rule over us. This results in us doing “whatever is necessary” to “win” the argument, “the gloves come off” and the “games begin”! All because we want to selfishly get our way and, in effect, force our spouse to fulfill our desires and submit to our wishes.
So what about the title of this devotional “If you love, you will hate”?
This is the key principle that lies behind all that we are looking at in this devotional. If we love our spouse, we will hate anything that harms or wrongs them. Please note this verse…
Psa 97:10 KJV
Ye that love the LORD, hate evil:…
Here, we see that if we love the Lord, we are to hate evil… Why?
We hate evil because it harms our Lord, it displeases Him, it hurts Him to see us commit it, it takes away from His glory, He suffered because of it on the cross, it opposes His work etc. etc.
In other words, if we love the Lord, we will not want to see Him abused, mistreated, blasphemed, or opposed in any way. When we sin, or are accepting of the sin around us, we are doing all this to Him and more. This is why when we love our Lord we will hate sin and its effects on Him.
This same attitude should hold true in our marital relationship. If we love our spouse as we should, we would never want to see our spouse hurt, abused, harmed or saddened in any way. Sadly some, if not all, of these things are normal results of fighting and conflict in our home.
Truly “if you love, you will hate” anything that harms or saddens the one you love.. this includes fighting with them.
Folks, when we see ourselves fighting with our spouse, it is a clear indication that our love is not what it should be. Something is wrong.
Sadly, for there to be peace in the family it takes two. If only one spouse is committed to loving in a Biblical way, the other spouse can take advantage of them, selfishly abuse them, and always get “their way”. In these cases, the abused, unloved spouse many times will enter into arguments out of desperation, simply wanting the abuse and mistreatment to stop.
The spouse who is not committed to loving as Christ loved His church, clearly carries the greater load of guilt, knowingly disobeying their Lord. They will give an account to God for their lack of love and selfish abuse of their loved one suffering great loss of reward. Not only are they committing sin by not loving their spouse as they should, but they are also a contributing factor in the sinful actions of their spouse. Their actions are practically begging their spouse to sinfully rise up against them in desperation and self-defense. They are laying a stumbling block which causes their spouse to fall. These are serious issues indeed.
If both spouses are committed to loving one another with a Biblical love, it is very easy to live in peace. Both spouses work for the good of the other and place their spouse’s needs above their own. When they do this, it makes disagreements in the decision making very easy to reconcile. When both are committed to this, they will not allow themselves to take advantage and selfishly gain from their spouse’s desire for peace.
Can living in peace really be accomplished ? Absolutely, I saw this attitude in my parent’s marriage, I lived at home for 20+ years, and I can truly say I cannot remember ever seeing them fight. They did disagree at times, but they always worked it out through unselfish compromise seeking the good of the other and the family as a whole. It is one of the many things that I have learned to appreciate about my parents and the living example they had so graciously set for me.
I can say the same for myself and Eva. During our 15 years of marriage, we have rarely disagreed, but when we do, we simply put the other first and work things out. We have never fought.
Eva’s saying is “We have only been given a fixed amount of time to be together here on earth, we don’t have the time to waste fighting”. All I can say is “AMEN” to that.
(I know this may seem to be a very unusual, and perhaps inappropriate, subject to be addressed in a Valentine’s Day devotional. And I admit it may be. However, I truly believe this is a greatly needed devotional. For those who are struggling with this issue in their marriage, by faithfully applying the principles of God’s Word that have been presented, our marriages will never be the same. And this will become the most precious Valentine’s Day that we have ever experienced. )
May the Lord bless you as you seek His truth.
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