Monday, February 25, 2013

learning to fight fair


In our current series at The Community we are talking about 5 ways to fail proof our marriage.  Making these Commitments will make a difference in our marriages and in all our relationships.  Whatever your situation in life, there are things that will help you be successful in all your relationships.

Ever fought with anyone?  We all have fights.  Even my wife and I have some fights from time to time.  And we must be careful to not let what seems so important to become insignificant. 

All couples will fight.  We are sinful beings and will deal with things in a way that doesn’t honor.  We have issues.  That’s when I realize that the differences between healthy and unhealthy relationships are huge.

Healthy couples fight fair.  Unhealthy couples fight dirty (below the belt, jabs, undercuts, accusations).  Healthy couples fight for Resolution.  Unhealthy couples fight for victory.  As couples and in all of our relationships we must learn to fight fair.  The way we fight makes a difference.

James 1:19-20  NLT
19 Understand this, my dear brothers and sisters: You must all be quick to listen, slow to speak, and slow to get angry. 20 Human anger does not produce the righteousness God desires.

There are some things we can do to make our marriages stronger, but are we willing to take these steps?  Are we willing to pay the price and declare a truce or to recognize that God has made us to win in our relationships?  That will only happen when we seek God first.  By learning to fight fair we will seek God above all else and seek the good of the people we care the most about.  We need to learn…

Here are 3 rules to fighting fair.  First, stop to listen carefully.  Second, guard our words, and third, learn to handle anger in a way that honors God and shows the righteousness of Christ.

Each of those rules can’t be overlooked.  They flow from the verses above.  Listening and speaking are linked, and how we respond to the people we care about is a big deal.  Often we are quick to throw a low blow or get angry or too quick to speak, but when we start to fight, we stop and focus on what matters.

Proverbs 18:2 (NLT)
Fools have no interest in understanding; they only want to air their own opinions.

We just want to be heard when things aren’t right.  We aren’t trying to understand what is being said when things are right.  By fighting fair the focus moves to the other person and what they saying, and literally we are letting them know that they have value and are important to us.

Proverbs 21:23 (NLT)
Watch your tongue and keep your mouth shut, and you will stay out of trouble.

Working toward resolution in our relationships begins with guarding our words and making sure that we are working on our marriage before a problem comes up.  Give yourself and your spouse time to share and build momentum for a good and blessed marriage.

It’s hard to be intimate with God when you are angry and fighting with your mate or when you are holding on to bitterness.  When you get married, you learn quick how to fight, the wrong way, most of time.  When we don’t deal with our fights or our anger, you give the devil a foothold.  Little problems get bigger, and by not working on our issues they tend to grow bigger.

Ephesians 4:26-27 (NLT)
26 And “don’t sin by letting anger control you.” Don’t let the sun go down while you are still angry, 27 for anger gives a foothold to the devil.

Seeking God together is a big deal.  Last week I asked our church family in their marriage to begin praying together every day.  If you have started, start now.  If you have started praying together, don’t stop now.  If you did stop, start again.

By dealing with our fighting or learning to fight fair we don’t react but respond to each other.  Remember it’s hard to fight and pray with someone.  Remember it’s hard to be intimate with God and have bitterness and unforgiveness in your life.  If you seek God and you fight fair, God will protect your marriage, and God will bring healing to your marriage

Luke 1:37  NLT
For nothing will be impossible with God.

Make a commitment: We will not fight against each other.  We are going to fight for our marriages with every thing in us.  It always takes us.  We are in this together.  God wants our relationships to be strong and be successful.

I do want to thank Pastor Craig Groeschel and Lifechurch.tv for helping us use this series in the life of our church.  It is my prayer that God will use these messages to bring restoration and healing to broken relationships.  I am praying for you!

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