I want to share something Rick and I have learned, after all these years, that breaks the cycle of arguing for us: If I’m having a bad day or may be hormonally challenged, Rick will listen to me rant, but he holds his tongue and says nothing. He also tries not to smile at my silliness. I usually wind down and see the stupidity in my ranting then apologize if I need to. Rick doesn’t take it to heart, and I never have the chance to get offended by something Rick might have blurted out in retaliation that could lead to a fight. An argument is eliminated, and I’m convicted of the foolishness of my words. I do the same thing when he’s had a rough day. We don’t allow a fight to begin.
If we have a response to the other’s irrational behavior, and if it is important enough to say, it can wait until the next day when the other person is feeling rational. We don’t allow the devil to infiltrate our marriage oasis by instigating an unnecessary reaction that could turn into a full blown fight. This practice becomes easier the more you do it. It will become a habit that annihilates most fighting. (It’s not always so simple, though, if you are BOTH in an unreasonable mood.)
I believe that this lack-of-arguing state started with my husband when he began to initiate his role as the spiritual leader of our home. He taught me how to remain calm and just listen as I witnessed- his reaction to my irrational behavior. (Obviously, he had a lot more practice at it!)
On top of that, he is always quick to take us to prayer to resolve issues. There is nothing more powerful to me than having my husband grab my hand or hold me in his arms and say, “We need to pray”. That is how a spiritual leader leads. (Of course, he’s very tactful how he does this.)
What if your spouse is not the spiritual leader in your family? Or is a non-believer? Be an example. But more than anything watch your words! Keep your mouth shut and don’t respond to negative words. He will gradually see a change and see the impact God is having in your life.
I Peter 3:1-2 says “Wives, in the same way be submissive to your husbands so that, if any of them do not believe the word, they may be won over without words by the behavior of their wives, when they see the purity and reverence of your lives.”
Don’t give up, keep praying. Many men are brought to God through their wives. You don’t want to make a judgment based on the middle of the story. You don’t know the latter part God has planned for your husband’s life and your own.
Let me ask you, if your husband isn’t the spiritual leader of your family or isn’t a believer, are you still respecting him? Are you a helpmate to him or do you whine and complain and try to tell him what to do? Are you fulfilling your marital duties sexually (a sure sign of respect to a man), or has it become a battle of wills in your home? Are you submitting to him and giving him the respect he needs? Lack of respect will quickly turn a man away from his wife and away from God.
It is difficult to show respect to a husband who is not the spiritual leader at home. But keep in mind, as you hold out on respect, he in turn will hold out on giving you the love you need. Take the first step in breaking the harmful cycle of arguing or disrespecting each other you may have fallen in to. The first step is a positive move towards making the changes in your marriage that will lead to a healthier relationship. Show respect.