May 14, 2013

Contentment in Disagreement

When I married my dear husband almost ten years ago, I didn't feel like there were too many big surprises...nor did he.  Love and marriage didn't seem difficult.  But really sometimes it is.

Sometimes it is really hard to be a loving wife.
It is hard because I am selfish.  Add to that tired and whatever other circumstantial issue I face (three grumpy children??), and my husband has a cranky woman on his hands who wants to be understood.

I do not need to be right in a disagreement (even when I *know* I am), but it does not help the problem when I feel that he must understand my perspective (because that is just more of being right) and I just keep defending and explaining my side of the issue.

Please don't misunderstand.  In a disagreement I will share what I think and feel, respectfully-I hope.  But it really is futile to keep going at it when we do not agree on some minor point.

Hours ago we were in a disagreement over something absolutely not important (a spatula!),  I was shocked when I was able to say what I needed to say and then I literally closed my lips (rather tightly) so that the disagreement could end there.  And it did.  More than that, I am content with the end results.  We didn't come to an agreement about the ridiculous situation, but it was not a matter of importance.  And there is peace in our home and marriage.  And peace is more important than being right and understood.

What if it is a matter of importance?
My husband is the head of our house.  He leads our family and values my input, but for us, the bottom line is that the final decision is his.  You may disagree with this, but as a woman who values what the Bible says, I try to not lead so that he may; only one can lead.

This is not always easy especially regarding a matter of great importance.  When it is not easy, what can I do?  Obey?  Yes, and ideally without fuss or nagging.  (Yes, me!)   How am I to show that I respect and honor him-and his leadership-if I do not let his decision be the final say?

Not all "issues" come to a quick and easy resolution.

Discussion
If we aren't to let the sun go down on our anger, then something needs to change.  When I consider when to continue with a difficult discussion or to let it go, I know taking a break during the heat of the moment is wise.  Whether or not to bring the situation up again takes time.  If after an hour or more I don't feel the need to discuss it, then I do not.  Talking about the matter when I rage with emotion is not productive.  It will automatically put my husband (or the other person) on defense.  We may need to revisit the matter in kindness...maybe even a day or two later.
Prayer
Some situations, even important situations, will take months or years to find a resolution.  During times such as these, I must be careful how I pray.  Things will work themselves out as God desires them.  I do not want to pray only to see my desires met...because, really, that may not be the will of God, even if they are sensible and good desires.

I am learning as I go, but for now...
I pray for contentment.  I pray for patience.  I pray that our God would be glorified and my husband loved.

If you are looking for books to help you as a woman or wife, I highly recommend the following books in addition to the Bible.  They are linked to my reviews.
The Beautiful Wife, by Sandy Ralya
The Fruitful Wife, by Hayley DiMarco (linked to Amazon, an affiliate link, since I am not quite finished yet)
Choosing Gratitude, by Nancy Leigh DeMoss for any woman, not just wives
God's Priorities for Today's Woman, by Lisa Hughes

What do you do when you disagree with another?

~ Annette {This Simple Mom}

5 comments:

  1. It is so hard sometimes to agree and submit when you really want to scream at them "I think you're wrong." Prayer really is a powerful way to respond.

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  2. Wonderful post! I've been reading through The Fruitful Wife, too, and it's made me realize just how hard it is to be a godly wife(not that I didn't know, but more so now). Sometimes it's overwhelming just how imperfect I am, but God is working with me. Prayer is a tremendous help!! I'm so happy I'm not alone with these struggles!

    I'm proud of you for ending that argument. Sometimes that's the hardest thing in the world to do! ;)

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  3. Thank you for your encouragement. Biting my tongue to not be understood is quite new to me. I don't particularly like it, but it IS the right thing!

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  4. Peace is precious. And it's so valuable when we can view a disagreement from the perspective of its importance against the value of peace. I agree with my whole heart that prayer is what can make the difference. Isn't it a wonderful gift that the Lord can always understand our perspective? (even when it's wrong. LOL)

    ps - Love the book "Choosing Gratitude" What an attitude shift!

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  5. This is a difficult subject to talk about but you did so very well. Closing the lips and letting an arguing die wherever it probably should is very hard for me to do. My mouth keeps OPENING! So I get the idea of shutting one's mouth TIGHT.

    You are right, some issues just take awhile to work themselves out, the way we pray is definitely important (as is the fact that we DO make the time to pray) and loving and respecting one's husband is important. And difficult. So very difficult.

    Thanks for being brave enough to address this subject!

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