Today's Bible Reading:

You Can't Build a Marriage on Eggshells

Some convicting questions for husbands and wives from Justin Davis:

I met with a couple the other day that had lost almost all hope for their marriage. They love each other. They just don’t like each other. They don’t like being around one another. Why? Because all they do is fight.

Been.

There.

There isn’t a more miserable way to live than on eggshells, constantly trying to avoid an argument. Trisha and I still have arguments. We still have conflict. One of the things we’ve learned to do is leverage conflict to draw us closer to one another rather than allowing conflict to put distance between us. Here are 4 questions I ask myself when we are in a pretty big argument:

1. Do I want intimacy or do I want to be right?
Motives are everything. Have you ever been in an argument where you know you’re wrong, but you’ve already argued your point so much that there’s no going back? Pride is the biggest obstacle to intimacy in our marriage. We need to ask this question honestly when we engage in conflict: Am I trying to grow closer to my spouse or am I trying to prove how right I am? That question will bring your motives to light.

2. Am I withholding truth about anything?
Have your feelings been hurt and you haven’t said anything? Did you have expectations that you never communicated, so they went unmet? Do you have a sin or a mistake that you’re hiding behind a defensive attitude? You will never fully resolve conflict if there is withheld truth in your marriage.

3. Does my spouse just need some space?
Trisha and I react in opposite ways when we fight. I like to be all cuddly and affectionate and love it out. She doesn’t want to be hugged, touched or breathed on. If we try to make our spouses react or respond to conflict like we do, we will constantly be frustrated and create more conflict. Sometimes some space in conflict helps everyone see things more clearly.

4. Have I prayed about this?
This question should be the first question I ask, but honestly, sometimes it doesn’t even make it on the list. I can’t imagine how many fights and arguments and harsh words I could have saved if I would have just prayed about what I was upset about or what we were not on the same page about. God’s desire for our marriage is oneness. When we seek him, he has a way of restoring that oneness, even through conflict. Are you willing to pray about what you are so upset about? God has the power to change your spouse. You don’t.

About Jason Hardin

Jason lives in southern Indiana with his wife Shelly and their three daughters. He works with the Charlestown Road church of Christ. Jason has written three books and a variety of workbooks. He's a fan of photography, baseball, mountains, wildlife, BBQ, banana pudding, and coffee. You can contact him here or connect with him on Facebook, Twitter, or Instagram.

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The Great Commandments Apply at Home

"Which commandment is the most important of all?" Jesus answered, "The most important is, 'Hear, O Israel: The Lord our God, the Lord is one. And you shall love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind and with all your strength.' The second is this: 'You shall love your neighbor as yourself.' There is no commandment greater than these." (Mark 12:28-31)

If no commandment is greater than these, no environment needs them more than our homes. When God first commanded the children of Israel to love him with all their heart, soul, and might, he directly attached his expectations to everyday life at home.

"These words that I command you today shall be on your heart. You shall teach them diligently to your children, and shall talk of them when you sit in your house, and when you walk by the way, and when you lie down, and when you rise. You shall bind them as a sign on your hand, and they shall be as frontlets between your eyes. You shall write them on the doorposts of your house and on your gates." (Deut 6:6-9)

By God's design, home is "where the children are led to know Christ in his beauty who loves them so." Home, as God envisioned, is "where the altar fires burn and glow" (B. B. McKinney). Home may be "where the heart is," but nothing matters more in Christian homes than the heart of God.