How To Handle an Argument

Satan loves to drag us into destructive arguments with our spouses. But there are some constructive steps you can take to defeat his efforts. When you recognize that you and your spouse are entering into a heated disagreement take the following steps.

1.  Think before you speak.

My dear brothers, take note of this: Everyone should be quick to listen, slow to speak and slow to become angry, for man's anger does not bring about the righteous life that God desires.
James 1:19-20

Usually when we speak hastily we are reacting rather than responding to what our spouse is saying. Take time to consider what they are saying. Keep your composure, don’t let it make you mad. You don’t have to agree with what they are saying.

2.  Use few words.

When words are many, sin is not absent, but he who holds his tongue is wise.
Proverbs 10:19

When it is time to respond to your spouse, don’t go into long explanations. Keep it short and sweet. The more you talk, the more likely you’ll let your emotions take over. Heated emotions can make you say the wrong thing only compounding the situation.

3.  Never condemn.

There is now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus.
Romans 8:1

We have to remember who we are— citizens of God’s Kingdom. Through a spiritual rebirth we are born into God’s Kingdom. We live there. If we are to stay there mentally and bring resolution to the impending argument, we have to choose to speak in God’s voice— with a non-condemning voice. You can say the right thing in a wrong way. You can speak the truth in hate. Watch the statements that come out of your mouth. Never let them be condemning.

4.  Be self-effective looking to receive your justification from God not others.

Therefore, since we have been justified through faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ.
Romans 5:1

The temptation is to explain ourselves to our spouse in order to receive justification. The more we talk the more we can dig ourselves in. Rather, listen to what they have to say, be available to admit wrongdoing, but in the end if you feel you are clean before God just rest in Him. Let God bring justification to the situation in His own time. You don’t have to be right. Let God get the glory.

5.  Trust God for the outcome.

Trust in the LORD with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways acknowledge him, and he will make your paths straight.
Proverbs 3:5-6

If you keep your eyes on God rather than your ability to solve the situation, God will make your paths straight. Even when things look like they are not changing, keep giving it to God. God brings results to those that “fear Him, who hope in His unfailing love” (Psalms 147:11).