Have you ever heard the joke, “I married Miss Right, I just didn’t know that her first name was Always.” I’m sure my husband has thought the same thing because I sure do love to be right. While God made me to be a relational woman (not just your stereotypical emotional woman), there is part of me that is also very logical. I enjoy arguing my point and hoping that others will see the convincing logic behind what I’m saying. There are times when I’m too tenacious in my efforts to get my point across and I’m stepping all over my husband’s feelings.
In most marriages, including ours, these moments can quickly escalate into an argument. Each person is attempting to be understood and to share their point of view, but it’s coming across as disagreement. Spouses begin to feel like their mate is trading in understanding for their desire to “always be right”, and that can be down right annoying.
I’m still working on being more empathetic in my marriage, but I also want to be right. I’ve found a few ways that you can ensure that you’re the one who is always right in every argument in your marriage.
Three Steps To Always Be Right
Step 1: Get Right with God
The most important thing to consider in your pursuit of communication is whether or not you are in line with God. As soon as you feel yourself escalating you can begin to pray and ask God to bring to mind what the Bible says. Make sure you are aligning yourself with God’s teaching and commandments. In 1 Peter 4:10, we are instructed to use God’s grace to serve one another. This brings forth a vision of Jesus, the King of Kings and Lord of Lords, quietly washing the feet of His disciples just before he endures the physical and emotional pain of His path to crucifixion. Are you (metaphorically) kneeling at the feet of your spouse and humbling yourself even in the face of total abandonment? This is complete self-sacrifice.
One key verse in helping us to get right with God is Philippians 2:3 which says,
“Do nothing out of selfish ambition or vain conceit. Rather, in humility value others above yourselves”
Ask yourself if you are valuing your spouse over yourself in the conversation. Are you listening and understanding, or are you eager to keep pushing your own point?
Step 2: Get Right with Yourself
When a disagreement starts to take a turn for the worse it is our human nature to look at all the ways we are hurt and how that hurt is the fault of someone else. Before you go down that never ending road of pain, take some time to determine what is truly causing your hurt feelings.
Every time you point your finger at someone else, you make a fist. It’s easy to see the pointer finger sticking out and pointing at someone else. What you don’t see is that there are three more fingers hidden in your fist that are pointing right back at you. What is your part in the disagreement? Are you so determined to be the one who is right that you are not seeing your spouse’s point of view? Are you getting upset because you don’t feel heard or understood, while all along you are refusing hear your spouse?
Take a moment to check yourself and take responsibility for your part. Ask yourself if you are being empathetic to your spouse rather than being to self-focused and perhaps a wee bit too sensitive.
Step 3: Get Right with Your Spouse
Jesus says that loving your neighbor as you love yourself is the second most important thing in the world; it’s the second greatest commandment right after loving Him ( Matthew 22:39). This means that your spouse’s feelings should be above your own. If you love yourself enough to desire that you are right, then you should also desire your spouse to be right as well.
You can quickly make things right with your spouse by being the first to seek forgiveness for your part. This can be as simple as saying. “Let’s take a break here. I feel like I’m pushing my point so far that I may not be considering your feelings and truly understanding you.”
As soon as your spouse wakes up from their dead faint, you can begin listen to each other in more respectful and meaningful ways. Ask for forgiveness for not being in alignment with God’s word (Philippians 2:3, 1 Peter 4:10, or Matthew 22:39), and then put your spouse first by listening without giving your opinion, without trying to solve the problem, and without correcting your spouse. When you’ve heard everything, just hold hands and pray together. Ask God to help you understand your spouse better, and to continue to make you “one flesh”. What an incredible way to serve your spouse!
Bonus Step: Damage Control
If you’ve already had the huge blow up that ended in both people being upset, you’ll probably need to do some damage control. Take a few moments to pray either alone or together. I usually start my prayers by whining and complaining about my spouse and how I feel. God will eventually reveal to me all the ways I was insensitive and hurt my husband. Once my heart is softened, I can start the process of “Getting Right” rather than continuing to demand that I am right.
Being right with God, yourself, and your spouse is the key to truly finding happiness in the day to day life with your spouse.