The Rules of Combat

Pride leads to disgrace, but with humility comes wisdom.
—PROVERBS 11:2

It has been said that marriage was made in heaven, but then so are thunder and lightning! For many couples, the clouds of marital discord soon gather on the horizon after they say “I do,” and the calm of the honeymoon quickly becomes more like a hurricane. This catches many off guard, and if we don’t know what to do about it, we can draw some illogical conclusions, like “I guess I married the wrong person.” No, it is not likely you married the wrong person. You just need to learn what to do when your honeymoon cruise goes through a hurricane and the inevitable disputes of life arise in your marriage. It doesn’t mean your marriage was a mistake or you made the wrong choice. It simply means you’re normal and human, and two becoming one is going to take some getting used to. That’s what this chapter is all about.

Many factors contribute to stress in the home. These stresses lead to communication problems that result in the forsaking of good manners. Remember what 1 Corinthians 15:33 says: “Evil communications corrupt good manners” (KJV). Financial stresses, work pressures, family issues, and even health challenges can all precipitate strain in a marriage. If we’re not careful, we can begin blaming and turning on each other at the time when we need each other the most. This is one of the enemy’s most successful traps that snare many couples: allowing life’s pressures to become marital stresses.

When you face conflict in your marriage—and you will—remember the rules of combat. First, leave the past out of the present conflict. Deal only with the issue at hand and nothing more. Second, never, under any circumstances, wander into fighting over opinions; that’s a foolish endeavor. You do not have to like the same things as your spouse and think the same thoughts in order to get along. Your differences can expand your character and even add spice and interest to your marriage. Third, do not let the sun go down on your anger. The silent treatment never cures a problem; it only creates more. These are the rules of combat. These are the ways to deal with conflict and discord. These are the ways to ensure that you will live happily even after a dispute with the mate of your youth.

Excerpt from “Happily… Even After” now available on Amazon.

BARRY STAGNER

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