Couples cannot practice good fighting until they understand the substance of a good fight. We need to take a good fight apart and see what it is made of.
When you and I affirm other people, we’re doing something incredible. We are showing love. We’re letting people know they matter. We’re letting people know that we care about them.
“The prudent see danger and take refuge, but the simple keep going and suffer for it.” Proverbs 27:12
This verse introduces us to two types of people – the prudent and the simple. In other places in the book of Proverbs these two companions are referred to as “wise” and “naive.” It’s interesting to note that both start off on the same path and both “see danger” but they respond very differently. As a result of their responses they experience two very different outcomes.
Conflict is inevitable in any marriage relationship. I used to falsely believe that all conflict was bad. This led to more harm than good.
The issue is not whether couples will have conflict; the issue is how they approach or deal with the conflict. The truth is: all conflict is not created equal.
Good conflict, in contrast to a bad conflict, is helpful not hurtful. It is positive, not negative. Good conflict stays clean but bad conflict gets dirty.
Everybody blows it. We all make mistakes. This means: “I’m not perfect. I don’t bat 1000. I don’t measure up to God’s standard. I don’t even measure up to my own standards. I disappoint myself a lot of the times.”
So because we’re all imperfect, we’re going to hurt other people and other people are going to hurt us in life: intentionally and unintentionally. What’s more important is this: What do we do with that hurt?
What we do with it is more important than the hurt. Are we going to allow it to make us better? Or are we going to allow it to make us bitter, resentful, and carry a grudge?
Now often, it’s not the big things in life that make us resentful. Those can obviously and they do but it’s also a lot of little things that just pile up. And a lot of little things can break the camel’s back. So we get irritated. And those irritations when we hold on to them turn into resentment.