7 Ways to Seek Peace First in Your Marriage

“If it is possible, as far as it depends on you, live at peace with everyone.” – Romans 12:18 (NIV)

Being a peacemaker isn’t easy. It’s not the passive existence of “keeping the peace,” or keeping your mouth shut to avoid confrontation. Instead, it’s an intentional, active state of existence that requires you to make careful–and sometimes difficult–decisions regarding the state of your relationship. Seeking and creating peace requires courage and fortitude.

Resolving conflict is marriage is difficult; because it can be so tricky to navigate, many couples find that unresolved issues and hurts begin to accumulate over time. In many cases, this leads to resentment and more frequent conflict. One way to combat this issue is to intentionally work to create peace in your marriage by uncovering and facing your issues head-on.

Today, we’re sharing 7 things you and your spouse can to do “seek peace and pursue it” in your marriage.

1. Be the first to apologize.

Whether or not your spouse is in the wrong alongside you doesn’t matter–what matters is whether you’re willing to step up and say you’re sorry first. Don’t wait around for your spouse to come to you; if you have something you need to apologize for, go ahead and do it. This will open the door for your spouse to respond in kind if he or she has been holding out. (Just be sure to only apologize if you actually have something to apologize for!)

2. Own your mistakes.

Avoiding responsibility for bad decisions you make or hurtful things you say to your spouse will only make wounds fester and grow worse over time. Even though you might not want to admit to any wrongdoing, it’s best to bite the bullet and admit you made a mistake. Your spouse will be more likely to extend forgiveness sooner if you’re willing to own your part when you apologize.

3. Don’t sweep things under the rug.

If you’ve got unresolved conflict under the surface of your marriage, sooner or later, it’s going to get bigger and bigger until you can’t handle it anymore. Don’t sweep issues under the rug, hide from them, or send them down the road; face them head-on, and acknowledge their presence so they’ll be less likely to keep growing.

4. Encourage your spouse to face issues together.

You and your spouse can create peace together by facing down your conflicts, challenges, and issues as a team. The two of you are stronger together than you are apart, and if only one of you is fighting your battles, that could lead to resentment and conflict between the two of you. Put your heads together to create solutions and ideas that will lead you away from strife and toward a happy, peaceful existence together.

5. Speak the truth in love.

Sometimes, you have to say things your spouse doesn’t want to hear. And you know it’s going to hurt you, too, when your spouse responds in pain or anger. Approach him or her in a loving way and lay all your cards on the table; if he or she has an issue that is hurting your marriage or family–or is even just harmful to them in some way–you have to put it out there. It could be addiction, hurtful behavior, or any number of things. Your spouse’s well being may depend on you speaking up. And if he or she goes down a destructive path, your marriage goes down, too.

6. Bite your tongue.

On the flipside, sometimes you have to check yourself to keep the peace. Do you tend to speak before you think, saying hurtful things in the process? Is it sometimes hard to rein in your temper when the going gets rough? If you want to seek peace first, it will pay dividends to learn when to hold your tongue and think about what you’re about to say before it comes out of your mouth.

7. Ask for help.

If your marriage is in trouble and you can’t seem to achieve peace on your own, it’s healthy and wise to ask for help. A trusted friend, pastor, mentor, or counselor can help you determine your next steps toward establishing peace in your marriage. Do your best to get your spouse on board, and work together with that trusted person in order to get on solid ground.

How do you and your spouse “seek peace and pursue it”? Share your strategies in the comments!

2 Comments

  • John Dennstaedt says:

    We have found several things that have helped us. Well more than several.
    1. Never go to bed angry. Put kids to bed then talk. We may loose some sleep but in the long haul will have more quality sleep.
    2. To attend yearly some sort of marriage seminar (Christian) that we have to go away to & away from all the daily activities that pull us apart.
    3. Take 20 minutes in the A.M. or P.M. to pray together, read a scripture verse, and discuss the days events.
    4. Teach or aide in a class at our church on marriage.
    5. Go away every 3 to 4 months for a get-a-away weekend.
    This may seem like a lot especially when there is work, other family and an overbooked schedule. We just had to learn to say “NO” to many things and say yes to each other. The greatest benefit is both family and honoring Christ in our relationship.

    • Sylvia says:

      My husband and I are marriage counselors in our local church and we advise couples to do exactly what you are advising in your blog. The ones who adhere benefit greatly and their marriages survive the turbulence they once had to deal with. On the other hand, the one who don’t adhere continue to operate under undue stress never fully realizing the power of love both from God and from each other. We are, however, committed to continue to pray for them and their family as we are commissioned by God, our good, good Father to do this minstry. Thanks for all you do for the advancement of God’says Kingdom.

Leave a Reply