3. Keep short accounts.
Be angry and do not sin; do not let the sun go down on your anger, and give no opportunity to the devil. Eph. 5:26-27
When you have a conflict, or an offense with your spouse, try to work it out the same day. Don’t let the sun go down on your anger. Keep short accounts. Take care of it that day.
Because when we let conflicts go unresolved, it gives opportunity to the devil to tempt us to further anger, unforgiveness and other sins. It’s tempting to want to hold on to anger, to “punish” your spouse by holding on to our anger or giving him or her the cold shoulder. But we don’t have that luxury.
In Matthew 5:23-24, Jesus said, “So if you are offering your gift at the altar and there remember that your brother has something against you, leave your gift there before the altar and go. First be reconciled to your brother, and then come and offer your gift.”
Obviously there are some sins that may require ongoing counseling or dialogue, and healing and trust can take time. But the idea is to deal with offenses as quickly as you can.
Kristi and I vowed on our wedding day that by God’s grace we would not let the sun go down on our anger, and in our first couple of years we had plenty of times we stayed up really late trying to work through things together. I can remember one night I said, “Kristi it’s one o’clock and I have to work tomorrow, but I’m committed to you and I might be wrong here, so I want you to know I love you and we’ll work on this more tomorrow.” And by God’s grace, we did.
4. Above all, seek the glory of God.
So, whether you eat or drink, or whatever you do, do all to the glory of God. 1 Cor. 10:31
Your marriage is not primarily for yourself but for the glory of God. Marriage is to display the oneness and love of Christ and his church for each other. Our marriages are to be “snapshots” of how Jesus loves his bride and how the church loves Jesus.
And as Jesus did all for his Father’s glory, so we should seek to glorify God through our marriages. So if you have a conflict, don’t make your goal to win the argument, but ask yourself what will bring God the most glory. Will it glorify God most for me to be angry at my spouse or to seek to work through our conflict, ask forgiveness and forgive? Will it most glorify God for me to seek to fulfill my own desires or if I lay down my life to serve my spouse?
There you have it:
1) Try to be the biggest servant in the house.
2) Make God your source of satisfaction, not your spouse.
3) Keep short accounts.
4) Above all, seek the glory of God.
Of course, God’s word has tons more great advice for marriage, but if you do these things, they’ll go a long way to help you glorify God together.