Do you ever get two minutes or so into an argument and you feel the whole thing going downhill?
You know you’re about to say something you probably shouldn’t say. Then maybe you want to do the right thing, but it feels easier to argue your point.
Joe and I have had those conversations that go south quickly. We both weren’t able to communicate what we were feeling and grew frustrated with each other.
We stooped to pointing fingers: “Well, if you would” and “Why don’t you just”….have you ever been there? One misunderstanding caused another one, words are said too hastily, and the focus became how soon one of us can “win”.
But the Lord is merciful and we both realized that those kind of words weren’t going to get us anywhere. They weren’t going to bring us to oneness. And in our situation, it all started with some silly mis-communication. Which is all that is neceessary for pride to sneak in and take center stage.
When we find ourselves there, we use one of our favorite tools in our marriage tool box: the Reset Button.
It’s like our emergency grace hotline, for when we’re saying things we don’t mean, and the whole conversation needs a fresh start. A reset. One of us will ask, “I handled that completely wrong. I shouldn’t have said that. Can we press the reset button and try this conversation again and I will respond better.” The Reset Button works best when it’s mutual. It’s being willing to be the first to say that you were wrong. That’s where the power of the reset is.
We’re always amazed how mutually letting go of the spirit of offense allows true humility to grow in both of us.
We can’t live in a grace-filled marriage when we enter conversations with a spirit of offense. When my husband says one thing and I jump to the worst interpretation of what he must mean. When my first response is how offended I am by that comment. When I refuse to give him even the smallest benefit of the doubt. It becomes about me rather than trying to extend grace to him.
Lay down your pride and press the reset button.
When we see ourselves heading down that negative spiral, we need our Reset button. The Reset Button is not about avoiding responsibility for the the ways you have hurt your spouse. It’s about owning up to your own poor reactions and choosing to go the right way. Like when you make a wrong turn and your GPS says, “Turn around! You’re going the wrong way!” That feature is only helpful if you actually heed the warning and turn around!
Are you needing a Reset?
If you are struggling in your marriage, we believe true forgiveness is the first step to restoring your relationship. Whether it’s forgiveness of the big hurts or the every day hurts. Our God in his infinite mercy extends that forgiveness and second chance to every day. I love that his mercies are new every morning! As we live in that forgiveness that the Lord has extended to us, hitting the reset button with my spouse becomes easier.
The steadfast love of the Lord never ceases;
his mercies never come to an end;
23 they are new every morning;
great is your faithfulness. Lamentations 3:22-23