Give a Soft Answer
“A soft answer turns away wrath, but a harsh word stirs up anger.” (Proverbs 15:1)
In marriage, quarrels often arise when spouses come at one another with accusations. “You did this!” or “You didn’t do that!” The accused spouse immediately becomes defensive. Harsh words are exchanged, and tempers soar through the roof. What if you gave your spouse a soft answer whenever they come at you guns blazing? Instead of getting defensive, how about responding gently with a soft, disarming answer?
A soft answer will pour cold water on their fury and make them drop their ammunition. You could, for instance, say, “I am sorry that I have disappointed you. I am willing to do what will make you feel better.” At this point, you may not even be fully aware of your spouse’s misgivings, but you have one mission – to quell their anger. You can trust a soft answer to do the job. Your gentleness will frazzle your spouse, and they will have no option but to follow your gentle lead. Instead of giving in to offense and joining them in the boxing ring, issue a soft answer and watch their furry ebb away. Paul asked the Roman church not to be overcome by evil but to overcome evil with good (Romans 12:21).
Embrace Healthy Communication
Healthy communication is a foundational pillar in marriage. Poor communication can rip a marriage apart. Scripture teaches us that death and life are in the power of the tongue (Proverbs 18:21). How you exchange words with your spouse can either be building your marriage or razing it to the ground. You need clear, prompt, and effective communication to make your spouse feel respected and emotionally connected to you. Good communication between spouses also fosters trust.
Couples must uphold respect as they communicate. Paul asked the Ephesian church to speak the truth in love. While confronting your spouse, learn to douse your words in love (Ephesians 4:15). Also, ensure that you are taking time to listen to your spouse and not just demanding to be heard. Every man must be quick to listen, slow to speak, and slow to anger (James 1:19).
Additionally, choose your words wisely and refrain from attacking your spouse and instead address the issue at hand. Let your conversation be full of grace, seasoned with salt, so that you may know how to answer your spouse (Colossians 4:6).
Other tips for healthy communication include not giving each other the silent treatment, keeping your spouse updated on your daily schedule, ensuring constant communication when apart from each other, not sweeping issues under the rug, and using a respectful tone. When couples uphold healthy communication, strife and quarrels have no room.
“Love suffers long and is kind; love does not envy; love does not parade itself, is not puffed up; does not behave rudely, does not seek its own, is not provoked, thinks no evil; does not rejoice in iniquity, but rejoices in the truth; bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things. Love never fails.” (1 Corinthians 13:4-8).
The perfect antidote to unnecessary squabbles between couples is loving each other how God expects them to. The love the passage above depicts is gentle, enduring, and patient. It doesn’t seek its own good but prefers the other person above itself. It doesn’t give up on people. It trusts, hopes, and never fails. Many unnecessary quarrels will be snuffed out if couples practice this kind of love.
Although conflict in marriage is inevitable, couples do not have to tear each other down with words and constantly get embroiled in fights. The above suggestions are useful in helping spouses live peaceably with each other.