Elton John was right in his song, “Sorry Seems to be the Hardest Word”. It is always hard to say “sorry” in an argument.
I can attest to that because whenever I find myself in an argument with my husband, I often find myself chewing my lower lip and crossing my arms over my chest. I know that I should apologize first, but I always struggle to bring myself to do it. Thankfully, I have a husband who (bless his heart) often apologizes before I do. But I recognize that this is something I need to work on—especially when I’m the one in the wrong!
While our marriage isn’t perfect (trust me when I say that it’s a struggle to get through the conflicts), we have developed three ways to work out our differences, which I’d like to share. It’s going to be tough, but it’s totally worth it.
1. Make up before the day ends
My husband and I have made it a point to clear up whatever misunderstandings or conflicts we have by the end of the day. We take Ephesians 4:26 very literally. It says: “‘In your anger do not sin’: Do not let the sun go down while you are still angry”. Another reason to resolve our conflicts quickly is that I have to see my husband every day for the rest of my life. I can’t stand awkward silences and cold wars, so I reckon that it would be much easier to sort out the disagreement sooner rather than later!
2. Delete the “D-word”
We promised not to mention the word “divorce”. It should not be, and is never a solution to marital conflict. As Jesus explained to the Pharisees in Matthew 19, divorce was something God had permitted only in light of the Israelites’ hard hearts (v. 8). The only reason to justify a divorce was adultery, and even then, it was merely permitted, not encouraged. A marriage needs two people to work at it, and in cases of adultery, it is sometimes hard to determine who the victim is. A biblical response should be to forgive. This can be extremely difficult, but it is what Christ commands us to do.
3. Always forgive
I laughed when I first heard the joke, “Marriage is a relationship in which one person is always right, and the other is a husband.” But I admit that most of the time, I actually take that statement quite seriously. Apart from my husband, I also struggle to forgive others. Forgiveness can be a painful process, but it needs to be done. Ephesians 4:32 reads, “Be kind and compassionate to one another, forgiving each other, just as in Christ God forgave you.” I cannot imagine how God can forgive the people who crucified Jesus. More importantly, I cannot imagine how God can forgive me when I disobey Him time and time again. I’m not that different from the Pharisees, after all. The love and grace that He has shown me humbles me and spurs me on to forgive, time and time again.
I’ve learned that “sorry” might be a hard word to say during conflicts, but sometimes, the words “I forgive you” can be even harder. Through my struggles to forgive, I’ve come to realize that at the end of the day, whatever differences we have are not really irreconcilable. What it takes is some humility, some forgiveness, and plenty of faith in our living God.
Click here to view “Editor’s Picks: Top 3 Articles | Choices“