Many Christian couples are highly uncomfortable with the idea of disagreeing with one another, much less fighting outright. For many people in the church, the idea of conflict in their marriages is crippling. A common question we’ve been asked is, is fighting allowed in a Christian marriage?
The truth is, getting into disagreements and arguments is a common challenge every couple faces. While it’s not inherently wrong to fight, it’s how you fight that dictates whether you’ll be able to solve the problem at hand. So fighting, in and of itself, isn’t necessarily wrong in a Christian marriage; it’s whether you can fight well.
Disagree, But Do No Harm
You can disagree without being harmful to one another. Getting into a heated discussion doesn’t mean that you’re doing damage. But being hurtful, manipulative, and cruel will deeply wound your spouse, so it’s important to avoid such behaviors.
In and of itself, a fight in any marriage (Christian or otherwise) isn’t the problem. The problem is whether mistreatment is happening. If you respect one another, show love and kindness, and set boundaries around how you’re going to handle disagreements, it will be much easier to keep these difficult conversations civil and loving.
A Fight Can Shed Light
As unpleasant as fighting is, it can sometimes shed light on aspects of your marriage (or yourself) that you need to work on. You might discover an issue you’ve both been avoiding that needs to be addressed. On the other hand, openly disagreeing might help you to solve a problem that has come up over and over. This clarity can lead you to a healthier relationship, which is a tremendous plus.
Additionally, a “good” fight in a marriage can help spouses take a closer look at themselves to see where they may be able to improve their communication skills. Healthy spouses shed light on one another’s weak areas, one way or another, forcing each other to take a long look in the mirror and improve on issues that may be leading to disagreements.
Overcoming Conflict Strengthens Marriages
As Christians, we dream of having strong marriages that honor God and one another. Although we hope to avoid conflict as much as possible, there will be times when we argue or fight. We should always do our best to avoid escalating disagreements as much as possible, so here are some tips for navigating a fight in a healthy way:
- Show self control, even in the face of anger
- Before you speak, consider how your words might do harm
- Don’t attempt to be hurtful to one another
- Remember that you aren’t enemies; you’re on the same team
- Go in with a game plan for how you want to handle the situation
If you need help learning how to fight well, then we suggest checking out our book, The Good Fight. It’s a great tool for married couples who want some helpful strategy for overcoming conflict together, and growing closer in the process. Get your copy here.
As a married Christian, is it difficult for you to face conflict in your marriage? Why or why not? Leave us a comment and let us know.