We argued the entire car ride. It was such a silly argument that I don’t even remember what it was about but I do remember how I felt.
I was SO mad–not the kind of mad where you give a little stink eye and get over it two seconds later. I’m talking about the kind of mad that makes you want to pull the car over and walk the rest of the way.
We were on our way to small group (of all places) but the feelings of bitter resentment between us made me not want to go. I remember thinking to myself, “What is wrong with us?! How can we even claim to be a Godly couple? This is so stupid.”
And then I got angrier. I was angry at the fact that we were angry at each other. I got angry at the fact that my relationship didn’t look as sweet and cozy as all the other couples I see in church or online.
Isn’t that crazy? It’s like tossing gasoline on a fire.
I’m sure you know what I’m talking about. I’m sure you’ve been a little irritated when he forgot to pick up his underwear off the floor, which then frustrated you and led you to make a snarky comment under your breath, which of course he heard and challenged, which then unfolded into a complex lovely little origami design that no one really understands, otherwise known as an argument.
You don’t start off really angry–just frustrated. But the frustration builds and then suddenly you’re angry and then you get angrier at the fact that you’re angry.
And maybe you’re left asking the same question I find myself asking,
“WHAT IS WRONG WITH US?”
So, what do we do in situations like this? How do we bring it back to earth when our emotions make us want to either explode or shut down instead of handle said situations with dignity and strength?
It can be difficult to be kind and calm when our emotions are involved. But instead of shutting down or exploding, it may be better to take positive action that brings God right into the angry moments and help shut down the enemy’s schemes to divide and destroy.
1. Read Scripture Out Loud
The last time my husband and I got in an argument, I noticed my blood starting to boil. After a few minutes, I noticed my Bible was in my purse, near my feet. As we drove on in awkward silence, I thought about opening it and just reading 1 Corinthians 13:4-8 out loud. I brushed off the thought for a few minutes until I couldn’t resist Holy Spirit’s stubborn nudges anymore.
So, I tried it. I began to just read the Word in the midst of a moment that didn’t feel so Godly. I had barely read three verses when I felt the mood lighten and the atmosphere shift. He looked over at me, cracked a half smile, and took my hand.
By the time I finished the passage, we were able to calmly and rationally solve the problem.
I know it may feel unnatural to read the Bible when you’re angry but God is a living God–He’s not confined to quiet time or when you’ve got it all together. You’ve gotta rely on His Word when you come unraveled. It’s alive and active, sharper than any two edge sword. It can tear any wall the enemy tries to build between you.
It’ll likely be awkward and uncomfortable at first. Do it, anyway.
2. Say What You Love About Your Husband Out Loud
I don’t know about you but when I’m angry or upset with my husband, I’m not thinking about his great qualities. Instead, I’m magnifying his flaws. Sometimes I catch myself thinking about everything that I see wrong with him, instead of just the one thing that initially frustrated me.
If I let my anger fester, I don’t only focus on the fact that I don’t agree with his point of view and/or can’t understand where he’s coming from, but I tend to start thinking about all the things he’s done wrong before and all the little flaws I want to “fix.”
When I do that, I no longer see him as a whole person nor as a son of God. In my heart, I strip him of his true identity and my emotions begin to cloud my vision of who he really is.
This can be dangerous if it’s not addressed intentionally. One thing I’m learning to do is SPEAK or WRITE out the things I love about him and the gifts God has given him…while I’m still angry.
For example, if I share with him how I feel about a certain issue and he disagrees or defends himself, I immediately feel myself getting angry. I mean, what wife doesn’t want her husband to understand her?
Sometimes it turns into a little back and forth argument which can end one of two ways: awkward silence or intentional affirmation.
Even if I don’t agree with my husband, I can choose to affirm the qualities I know he has. For example, if I shared with my husband that I feel like he needs to help around the house more and he responded with the argument that he works full time and doesn’t have time, that would hurt me. I may even say, “Hey, I work, too, but I pull my weight.”