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Spare Change - March 2023

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Fighting Fair: 5 Steps to Resolving Conflict with Your Spouse

Do you fight with your spouse? It might be a small skirmish or an all-out war but at one point or another you will have a dispute with your spouse. Since conflict is inevitable, we need to come to some kind of agreement on how we should address these quarrels. You might be saying, “Hold up, Pastor Bryan! Shouldn’t we be striving to avoid fighting?” Avoiding conflict is not a biblical idea and often leads to resentment over time. Look at what the scriptures says:

So if you are offering your gift at the altar and there remember that your brother has something against you, leave your gift there before the altar and go. First be reconciled to your brother, and then come and offer your gift. Matthew 5:23-24

Conflict must be addressed if we are to follow scripture. However, most couples do not fight fair. Instead of having a Christlike mindset, we seek to hurt the other person. We seek to win and conquer our spouse until they relent and recognize that we were right all along. We fight from a place of intense emotion and sometimes manipulation. All of this is a sinful way to resolve conflict. We need to learn to fight fairly! Here are some steps to resolving conflict in a biblical way:

  1. Reconciliation is the goal: We must remember that reconciliation is the goal. We should always be seeking to restore the relationship with our spouse. Our model for dealing with conflict is how Jesus Christ has treated us. Instead of letting us stew in our sin and receive our just punishment, He came to seek reconciliation through the cross (Romans 5:10).
  2. Be quick to listen and slow to speak: Communication is assumed and you must learn to share your heart with your spouse. One key part of communication is listening. The Bible tells us in James 1:19 to be quick to listen and slow to speak. It has been said that God gave us two ears and one mouth so we can listen twice as much as we talk. You must listen to your spouse and understand where they are coming from before any conflict can be resolved.
  3. Watch your words: When you do talk, be careful with how you talk to one another. Remember, once you say something, you cannot take it back. Even if you say sorry, the thing you said is out there. Do not resort to calling names, swearing, or using accusing language. It doesn’t help when you are attacking your spouse with words; you will most certainly regret it later on. According to Ephesians 4:29, we should not let any corrupt talk come from our mouths. Also, we see in James 3 an example of how powerful the tongue is in tearing down or building up.
  4. Deal in facts: When we fight emotions can rise quickly. We need to remember that emotions are important, but they can mislead us if we are not careful.  We must deal in the facts and not emotion. Try to talk through the facts of the situation when you fight. Take a break from talking if the emotions get too high. Also sitting down at the same table rather than standing toe to toe helps. According to Ephesians 4:26-27 we can be angry and not sin. The sin happens when our anger produces hatred in our hearts, which usually results in shouting, withdrawal, and resentment. 
  5. Run to forgiveness quickly: Forgiveness is the most important part of reconciliation. Once again, we look to Christ as our example. Colossians 3:13 says, “...if one has a complaint against another, forgiving each other; as the Lord has forgiven you, so you also must forgive.” How can we not forgive our spouse when we have been forgiven so much by our Lord? If you refuse to forgive your spouse, you need to do a heart check. I understand that sins have varying consequences and work must be done to complete reconciliation.  I am not saying that forgiveness is easy or quick, however, we must be working toward forgiveness if we are to fully reconcile conflict with our spouse. We can bring glory to the Lord if we address our conflict in a biblical way!

For more on communication in marriage check out the Families for Life podcast Marriage series at oakhillbc.org/f4l

Posted by Bryan Gotcher with

Women On Mission - March 2023

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Week of Prayer for North American Missions
March 5-12, 2023

It is estimated 275 million people in North America are lost. That’s men, women, young adults, and children. Among that population is more than 40 million people living in the United States who were born in another country. That’s about one-fifth of the world’s migrant population—more than any other country. Almost every nation in the world is represented in North America, making it one of the most complex missions fields. And immigrants, even from countries closed to the gospel, continue to come here for a better life. Your generous giving to the annual Annie Armstrong Easter offering makes an eternal impact across North America. You and your church are the fuel that enables thousands of missionaries to be sent, to plant churches, and to serve the needs of people who desperately need a gospel witness. The national goal is $70 million. Oakhill’s goal is $10,000.

Who Is Annie Armstrong?
Annie Armstrong was born in 1850 in Baltimore, Maryland. While her opportunities were limited as a women, she was dedicated to Christ and led a life of service and leadership. She organized women to pray, give, and meet needs. As the first executive director of Woman’s Missionary Union, Annie challenged pastors and churches to action and rallied vital support for missionaries. Her life of missions work included leading the formation of missions organizations for children, raising support for missionaries to Italian and Jewish immigrants, initiating fundraising “brick cards” to build churches in Cuba, gaining support for the first Black female missionaries with the Home Mission Board (now NAMB), and advocating for Native Americans and impoverished mountain people. In 1934, because of her trailblazing and visionary leadership, the offering started in 1895 to support the work of the Home Mission Board was renamed in her honor to encourage more people to follow her sacrificial example. Today, more than $2 billion has been donated by Southern Baptist churches and individuals through this offering.

Women on Mission will meet next on Thursday, March 2nd in the Grace classroom at 1:00 pm.

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