Rules for Fair Fighting: Rule #4

Rev. Deb Koster

August 30, 2018

FAIR FIGHTING RULE #4: Check Your Weapons 

Words can do real damage. During a fight, it is easy to say things that can’t be forgotten, things we’ll regret later. So we will be careful not to attack our spouse with deadly emotional force. 

For starters, there are words that should never enter the vocabulary of a Christian when addressing a spouse. We should never stoop to name-calling, cursing, or harmful generalizations. Do not attack your spouse’s character or person-hood—they are not stupid, lazy, or disgusting. These assassinations are not only unhelpful, but they can also cause deep emotional wounds that are very difficult to repair. Many couples struggle with moving past words that were said to them in anger. Apologizing later does not remove the sting of ugly words that hit a vulnerable place.

EPH. 4:29 — Do not let any unwholesome talk come out of your mouth, but only what is helpful for building others up.

When we get to know our spouses deeply, we also learn their weaknesses and vulnerabilities. But we need to be careful not to betray our spouse’s trust and exploit their insecurities in the heat of an argument. Our intimacy will be doubly damaged if our spouse feels betrayed. Who would want to continue sharing their souls with someone who abuses the privilege?  

Remember, you are not out to annihilate your spouse! Our goal is supposed to be gaining understanding, not beating our spouse into submission. Your words can do real damage. So choose your words with care.

About the author — Rev. Deb Koster

Deb Koster is a producer, writer, and speaker for Family Fire. She is also an Innkeeper at The Parsonage Inn in Grand Rapids, MI where she leads marriage retreat on weekends. After over 20 years as a Registered Nurse, she completed a Master of Divinity degree and was ordained as a pastor in the Christian Reformed Church. Deb and her husband Steven enjoy doing ministry together and they are the parents of three awesome young adults.

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