Posted by: Derek Guyer | August 6, 2008

Talk With Your Spouse Tip #10

When your spouse has hurt you, verbally, emotionally, or physically, it’s natural to become defensive. Pain isn’t fun. Our desire to not feel it puts us in an awkward position and can do more damage than even our spouse may have done to us in the first place. We say and do unnecessary things to cope with the pain. As a result, the impact is immeasurable. 

When we’re defensive, we naturally act and think selfish. We’re upset about how we’ve been talked to or treated. We usually naturally want some kind of vengeance or compensation for our hurt. 

The real hard part about Godly living is that it’s selfless. It’s almost the exact opposite of defensive responses. Think about it:

“Your attitude should be the same as that of Christ Jesus: 

Who, being in very nature God, did not consider equality with God something to be grasped, but made himself nothing, taking the very nature of a servant, being made in human likeness. And being found in appearance as a man, he humbled himself and became obedient to death- even death on a cross! Therefore God exalted him to the highest place and gave him the name that is above every name, that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, in heaven and on earth and under the earth, and every tongue confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.”

Philippians 2:5-11 NIV

And then…

“Let us fix our eyes on Jesus, the author and perfecter of our faith, who for the joy set before him endured the cross, scorning its shame, and sat down at the right hand of the throne of God. Consider him who endured such opposition from sinful men, so that you will not grow weary and lose heart.”

Hebrews 12:2-3 NIV

As well…

“It is no longer I who live, but Christ who lives in me”

Philippians 1:21 NIV

A Godly life is one where we, as His people, have let go of ourselves and begun to let Christ live through us. As Paul suggested in Philippians, Christ has set the example by allowing others to insult, persecute, and finally kill him, without much to say in response.

When faced with hostility, hurtful comments, and abuse, hurling insults back will never change the heart of your spouse. Being a follower of Christ, we’ve agreed to deny ourselves as we take up our crosses and follow him. We’ve agreed to give up our desires completely. But, in a moment of defense, we’ve stopped doing any of that and begun denying the very thing we agreed to in the first place. 

So, instead of responding defensively in a heated moment with your spouse, think about ways you could love them, as Christ loved you.

“Live in harmony with one another; be sympathetic, love as brothers, be compassionate and humble. Do not repay evil with evil or insult with insult, but with blessing, because to this you were called so that you may inherit a blessing. For, 

“Whoever would love life and see good days must keep his tongue from evil and his lips from deceitful speech. He must turn from evil and do good; he must seek peace and pursue it. For the eyes of the Lord are on the righteous and his ears are attentive to their prayer, but the face of the Lord is against those who do evil.”

“Who is going to harm you if you are eager to do good? But even if you should suffer for what is right, you are blessed. Do not fear what they fear; do not be frightened. But in your hearts set apart Christ as Lord. Always be prepared to give an answer to everyone who asks you to give the reason for the hope that you have. But do this with gentleness and respect, keeping a clear conscience, so that those who speak maliciously against your good behavior in Christ may be ashamed of their slander. It is better, if it is God’s will, to suffer for doing good than for doing evil. For Christ died for sins once for all, the righteous for the unrighteous, to bring you to God.”

I Peter 3:8-18 NIV


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