Let’s discuss destructive arguing in marriage— what it is, where it comes from and why you should avoid it.
To begin, what is destructive arguing in marriage?
Destructive arguing in marriage occurs when we speak to our spouse with a “voice” of accusation or condemnation. It’s when we put pressure on our spouse to do what we want them to by condemning them or by verbally and emotionally punishing them for not behaving the way we want them to.
You might think destructive arguing is something only a bully would do, but the truth is most of us do it at one time or another in our marriages.
The conversation below is an example of how we engage in destructive arguing.
Wife: Honey, will you be home in time for dinner tonight?
Husband: No, I don’t know how late the game will run. Dan and I are planning to go for coffee afterwards anyway. Just go ahead and have dinner without me.
Wife: Tom, you never spend time with us. I‘m tired of having to deal with the kids all by myself.
Husband: What are you talking about, I took Amy to her recital just yesterday. You never appreciate the things that I do. I just want to spend a little time with my friends.
Wife: Give me a break Tom. You’re always with your friends. I need help around here and you’re never around.
Husband: Maybe I’d want to be here more if you weren’t always nagging me.
This conversation is well on it’s way to becoming an out of control destructive argument. Notice that the husband and wife in this conversation use phrases like “You never” or “You always”.
These phrases are signs of destructive arguing. Because this couple has unresolved issues they are trying to control each other by using the VOICE OF ACCUSATION.
Subconsciously they think that they can change the other person by shaming them. But if they understood the underlying motivation behind every accusation, they wouldn’t do it because every accusation has an evil source, Satan.
Satan, who leads the whole world astray..... the ACCUSER of our brothers, who accuses the (saints) before our God day and night, has been hurled down.
Satan is the hidden source behind every accusation and he MOTIVATES us to accuse. But why? Satan wasn’t always an accuser. His original name was Lucifer and he was created as the highest of creation.
You (Lucifer) were the model of perfection, full of wisdom and perfect in beauty. You were blameless in your ways from the day you were created... till wickedness was found in you.
Ezekiel 28:12, 15
“Till wickedness was found in you”, what happened to cause this wickedness? Some will say Lucifer (Satan) became prideful and sought to usurp the throne of God.
But was it God’s throne Lucifer sought? Surely Lucifer, the wisest of all of God’s creation, would know that he could not overthrow God, his creator. So what was it that spawned “war in heaven” (Revelation 12:7).
In Genesis 1:26, we begin to get a clue. Then God said, "Let us make man in our image, in our likeness”. And in Genesis 2:7, “man became a living soul.”
Like no other creation before him, man was created in God’s image. We get a clearer picture of why Lucifer rebelled when we read Psalms 8:5 it says,
“You have made him (man) a little lower than GOD, and You crown him with glory and majesty!”
Man was created just a little lower than God Himself!
Can you imagine the look on Lucifer’s face as he begins to realize he’s no longer going to be the apex of God’s creation? That he’s being downgraded to second banana? The new king of the hill is man and Lucifer is going to be his servant (Hebrews 1:14).
Lucifer is furious at God, but what can he do? What we find is that like a spurned lover, Lucifer plots his revenge against the object of God’s affection, man.
The five “I wills” of Isaiah 14:13-14 are not Lucifer’s declaration to overthrow God so much as Lucifer’s declaration that He will overthrown God’s PURPOSE for his life. In these verses Lucifer states that HE will be “Like the most High”, NOT man. Lucifer is filled with jealousy for man and God’s purpose for him.
Therefore Lucifer’s wants to destroy man. In his twisted imagination he believes that if he can discredit man, God will somehow “take him back”. This process of discrediting and negotiation can be seen in Satan’s open discussions with God in Job (Job 1:10-11)
Why is this so important to understand?
Because in Ephesians 6:12 we are told that when we argue with people we are not fighting each other, we are fighting the demonic influences that inspire “accusation”.
Our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms.
There is voice that encourages us to accuse each other, because accusation is all about tearing the other person down. When we accuse each other we are “aiding and abetting” the enemy of man, Satan. Satan is using our voice to get what he wants, the destruction of man and marriages. It may seem like you are doing the right thing, after all most of the time we are simply pursuing what we view as our legitimate rights. What’s really happening is that we are being used by Satan to do his dirty work for him.
It is also true that when we use accusation to get what we want we are committing the same sin Lucifer committed in heaven. Lucifer refused to accept God’s PURPOSE for his life. He wanted to be what he wanted to be in heaven, not what God designed him to be. Did you know that God designed man and women to fulfill particular roles in each others lives?
What those roles are and how they work can be found in my article, The Purpose of Marriage.
As each spouse understands their own particular role and purpose in marriage, harmony will rule and the enemy will be defeated in his attempt to inspire destructive arguing.