Eric Speir

Thrive In Your Faith and Family

10 Seconds To A Healthier Marriage

Have you ever had an argument with your spouse? If you’ve been married a while then you probably have.

Marriage Is Not About Winning!

If you’ve never had an argument with your spouse then you either haven’t been married long enough or you never talk to each other. One is good and the other is bad. I’ll let you decide which one it is!

Have you ever noticed that arguments (discussions as my wife and I call them) can quickly escalate into something bigger than it should be? Have you ever stopped to understand the reason for this?

The usual culprit for this is that out of anger and frustration we raise our voice at one another. The best way to stop an argument from escalating is to talk gently to one another. This is hard to do in the heat of the battle!

My first response is usually to try and “win” the argument. When I try to win the argument by raising my voice I usually end up losing. It’s rough to win the argument and the house is silent the rest of the night!

The books of Proverbs offers us some great relationship advice in 15:1, “A gentle answer turns away wrath, but a harsh word stirs up anger.”

The next time you have an argument (discussion) with someone and you find yourself wanting to raise your voice then call a 10 second time-out to think before you speak.

You also might need to count to 10 and cool off before you speak. In either case, 10 seconds is usually the difference between a constructive conversation and a destructive one.

What other advice would you give a couple to have a healthier marriage?

About Eric

I'm a pastor, writer and serial encourager. I like to help people to grow in their relationship with God. I live outside of Atlanta, GA. I've written a book, Stubborn Faith: 30 Day Devotional Guide For New Growth. It's available for download on Amazon. Feel free to follow me on Twitter at @ericspeir

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6 Replies

  1. I couldn’t agree more! Yesterday, I published a blog post on the power of kind words based on these three verses.

    Now go; I will help you speak and teach you what to say. Exodus 4:12

    An anxious heart weighs a man down, but a kind word cheers him up. Proverbs 12:25

    The Sovereign Lord has given me an instructed tongue, to know the word that sustains the weary. He wakens me morning by morning. Isaiah 50:4

    Proverbs 15:1 folds in really well here. To me, taken together, they build upon one another. In Exodus, God tells us he will teach us what to say, and later follows through by teaching us about the power of kind words and gentle voices.

    1. Eric

      Thanks Joel. The Bible speaks a lot of controlling our tongues. It’s one of the smallest organs in the body but it still gets us in the most trouble!

  2. So true. I’ve found that the best way to not say hurtful things is to not say anything at all. I’m with you that my first response is to win…which usually means that something very “un-gentle” comes out of my mouth.

    1. Eric

      I agree with you. It’s sometimes better to hold your tongue than say something that you will regret. It’s easier to hold your tongue than to try and take back words!

  3. I think every couple has to sit down and come up with rules for fighting. It may vary from couple to couple. Some may be able to calmly collect themselves and reason with each other, while other couples may need to take a 20-minute break to blow off some steam before talking with each other. There are lots of individual variables, but couples need to communicate what the procedure is for arguments BEFORE they get in an argument.

    1. Eric

      That’s a great idea. it’s better to have a game plan for fighting before it actually opens. If we don’t then we set ourselves up for failure.

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