Wednesday, March 4, 2015

Marriage Tip #13

Ephesians 4:25-27New International Version (NIV)

25 Therefore each of you must put off falsehood and speak truthfully to your neighbor, for we are all members of one body. 26 “In your anger do not sin”[a]: Do not let the sun go down while you are still angry, 27 and do not give the devil a foothold.

We have all heard it a thousand times before, whether we are married or not. Don't let the sun go down on your anger. I think in our marriage advice book, that was probably one of the more common pieces of advice. 

And there is a reason for that, and a reason why this is the topic of our marriage tip today. 

When you bring two imperfect, sinful people into a relationship of one, under one roof, and in covenant, you are guaranteed conflict. That is a fact of life (married or not) that you will inevitably face conflict with those you are close to. 

The key lies in how we handle that conflict, how we manage our anger, and how we work to resolve conflict. Conflict in and of itself is not a bad thing. It is the way we handle it. And this is a lesson I began learning even before I was married. 

In our short experience of marriage, Zach and I have realized just how crucial communication and honesty is. Of course we always know that, but we always strive to practice that in our marriage, and that plays into how we handle conflict. 

I agree that we should not let the sun go down on our anger. Honestly, there are little worse feelings to me in the world than going to bed angry with the one I love most. Thankfully Zach and I have not really had it happen, but we have definitely stayed up late at times to talk through issues at hand that need to be addressed. 

Of course, it may not always be the hard and fast rule. At times, we must take into account whether or not we are in a place where we can respond instead of react. We must keep in mind the ones we love and be willing to listen. 

I think the key is to not use it as an "out" or an excuse to NOT address or or talk about it. In marriage, you have to address hard things together, and it is better to take care of it sooner instead of letting anger, sadness, hurt and emotion build up slowly over time. 

So in short, the marriage tip today is to not let the sun go down on your anger. Be open and honest with your spouse. Even if that looks like telling them that you would like to talk on the morning. Give yourself the 24 hour rule to address it. Take time to pray, separately and together, and take time to respond to the situation instead of reacting.

What is your take on it? What works for you and your spouse?

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