Fight by the Rules

Think a minute… 28 June, 1997 was the date of the famous Bite Fight between world heavyweight boxing champion Evander Holyfield and Mike Tyson.

During the fight, Tyson completely lost control of his anger and actually bit off part of Holyfield’s ear! Tyson lost his license to box and paid a $3 million penalty for not fighting by the rules.

Hopefully husbands and wives never lose control like that in a conflict! Our marriage should be a harmonious duet, not a destructive duel in which we shoot hurtful, damaging words at each other. We must learn how to disagree and argue in a fair, constructive way that brings better understanding and closeness.

Whenever you and your spouse disagree and have conflict, here are six helpful guidelines to follow.

The first one is timing. If either of you is too angry to talk about the problem, then wait for a time when you both can calmly discuss the issue. Take time out, don’t take it out on each other!

The second guideline is to allow each other the freedom to say, “I’m angry” or “I’m hurt.” From time to time we all need to express how we are really feeling inside. Remember, our feelings are not right or wrong, but real! So we should respect each other’s freedom and right to express them.

Number 3, know why you are angry. Sometimes the thing that triggered your anger was only a small thing, but behind it is the real problem. And that is the one you need to understand and talk about.

The fourth guideline is to realize that your anger is the real enemy, not your wife or husband. So stay on the same side and fight together against the anger and problems that are hurting your marriage and family.

Number 5: Lower your voice, and you will raise the quality of your communication and relationship.

Last, but definitely not least, invite God to the fight. You need to ask Jesus to take control of your heart, since only He has the kind of real love, wisdom and self-control you need to actually use your differences to build a stronger, closer, more satisfying life together.

Just think a minute…

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