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How to Choose Your Battles Wisely in Marriage

April 25, 2022

By Dawn R. Ward

Do you ever find yourself in the middle of a tug of war with your husband over something trivial? If so, you may need some help knowing how to choose your battles wisely in marriage.

How to Choose Your Battles Wisely in Marriage

Choose Your Battles Wisely

“Why can’t you put away the vacuum when you’re done using it?” The words sting my tongue as they leave my mouth too late for me to catch them. The damage is done. Why must I nag him about these little things? Especially when he spent the afternoon vacuuming our carpets. How hard would it have been for me to just thank him and put it away myself? I think.

Growing up, I remember running home from school to my mom to tattletale about something some bully had said or done, which seared my soul and wounded my heart. I would relive every painful detail, vowing to seek revenge the following day. But Mom would wisely remind me to think before I retaliated. “You don’t know what kind of day she had, Dawn. Go to school tomorrow. Be nice and see what happens. Choose your battles wisely.”

Thankfully, my husband is a very patient man by nature. However, he can only take so much when I start harping on petty things like the vacuum. Sometimes he says, “Do you hear how you’re talking to me?” Ouch! As a result, I have learned to let go of nit picking and choose my battles wisely.

Choose the Words You Speak

The Bible teaches us to be slow to speak (James 1:19). Because our words carry with them the power of life and death (Prov. 18:21), we need to be careful to consider the impact our words will make once spoken. 

Words thoughtlessly blurted from our mouths in the heat of the moment cannot be taken back. While there will be times we need to confront our husbands, speaking to them in anger practically guarantees the conversation will not go well. 

5 Ways to Choose Battles Wisely in Your Marriage

Here are five ways to help you choose your battles wisely and help keep your marital battles to a minimum. 

  1. Take a pause.

Before you jump in with both guns blazing, take a moment to pause. Inhale a few deep breaths and calm yourself down. It’s as simple as counting to ten. Those few moments can make the difference between a peaceful habitation and an all-out war zone.

  1. Think before you speak.

This can be hard for most of us. I tend to blurt out my opinion first, before any rational thoughts enter my mind. Gratefully, I am learning to put a reign on my tongue, which isn’t easy to do. James 3:5-6 ESV refers to the tongue as “a fire, a world of unrighteousness.” No wonder we need to learn to keep a tight rein on our tongues.

  1. Pray to get God’s perspective.

Now that you’ve calmed down, taken a pause, and waited to speak, it’s time to look at your circumstances through the Lord’s eyes. Ask him to put a guard over your lips (Ps. 141:3) and to grant you wisdom and discernment to better understand your husband.  

  1. Consider the impact of your words.

If the words you’re about to speak to your husband were directed to you, how would they impact you? Would they bless you or curse you? James 3:9 ESV says that with our tongue we “bless our Lord and Father, and with it we curse people who are made in the likeness of God.” Before we speak, let’s always seek to bless by speaking the truth in love.

  1. Remember love never fails.

When in doubt, leave it out. Love should always be the rudder by which we steer the ship. The book of First Corinthians reminds us that love is patient and kind, not envious or boastful, not arrogant or rude. It does not insist on getting its own way, nor is irritable or resentful. It goes on to say, “it does not rejoice in wrongdoing, but rejoices with the truth. Love bears all things, hopes all things, and endures all things” (See 1 Corinthians 13:4-7 ESV).

Let’s face it. Most of the time, it’s much easier to let the words fly like water splashed on hot oil. Sadly, all that’s going to result in is a nasty burn. 

Watching our words carefully, being slow to react, and loving our husbands unconditionally will help avoid wounded hearts and keep both partners from suffering the pain of permanent scars. 

Jesus offers a better way of communicating with our husbands. We begin by choosing our battles wisely. 

Wife Step: Consider the five things to do instead of fighting with your husband. Put each into practice in your daily conversations to keep from being caught off guard when tensions arise.   

Looking for community to grow your faith and your marriage? Join The A Wife Like Me Collective for FREE for 7 days, here!

Dawn Ward is a speaker, writer and blogger. She is the founder of  The Faith to Flourish, a ministry that equips women who desire to grow in their faith, cultivate healthy relationships and thrive in all seasons of life. She also ministers to women with loved ones struggling with addiction, mental health issues and life-destructive behaviors. Dawn is the co-author of the book “Still Standing After All the Tears Workbook: Faith in the Battle Edition. She has been married to her husband, Steve, for over forty years and is mom to three adult children. It is her passion to help all women grow in their faith as they learn to better understand the Bible and how to apply it to their lives.

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