We have a history of fighting unfair. Our story is littered with hushed arguments and slighted tones, cold shoulders and growing bitterness. You won’t hear slammed doors or raised voices in our house. Nope. We’ve inherited the habit of beating a dead horse and shutting down.
I’m an unfair fighter by nature. I’m a classic word wizard, thrashing my words about to secure sound footing in order to win. Some call it argumentative, I call it being a jerk. In the moment I don’t care nor see how it hurts. All I’m concerned about is winning the fight and I use my words to do so, outsmarting the other person, bringing up a list of disqualifying traits or behaviors. In a courtroom I’d make a fine lawyer. In our house I make a dirty fighter.
B is the opposite. He approaches arguments very differently. He quietly meditates, mulling things over while simultaneously emotionally distancing himself. He chooses to take the blows and then allow the craters to create more space between us. Welcoming the space between us.
At the end of it all, I feel unloved and B feels disrespected. Then life continues and sooner or later we find ourselves back at this familiar spot exhausted from wielding our weapons.
Years, we spent years in this cycle with limited awareness of our cyclical pattern unable to exit. We allowed arguments to pile on top of us, in between us, carving deep wounds into our soul. Wounds we still feel today and I’m afraid may feel for many years to come. Our actions have consequences; sin has consequences.
It all stems back to the garden. We are direct descendants of the authors of sin. Like father and son, mother and daughter we’ve inherited their sinful patterns. Our story is very much their story.
Eve believed Satan over God and in trying to gain control for herself took and ate of the fruit. Adam allowing his wife to sin, stood idly by and said nothing. In retrospect Adam blamed God for giving him Eve who gave him the fruit and Eve blamed Satan saying she had been deceived.
Our original mother and father fought the same fight B and I fight today. We have similar bents. I like Eve struggle and seek control. B like Adam stands passive instead of present. Instead of walking together as we were designed to, we struggle against the other each tempted by our own desires; mine for control, B’s for apathy.
Just as God confronted Adam and Eve’s sin, He has confront us with ours. He enlightened us to our sinful patterns, not allowing us to hide in shame and now we are walking the long road of redemption.
Just as God made the sacrifice and clothed Adam and Eve taking away their shame, He has sacrificed Himself on the cross putting to death our sin and clothing us in His righteousness. Allowing us to change our story, to walk in redemption, to put to death our sin and strive to live in His grace.
We are striving towards fighting fair, fighting together, fighting FOR our marriage. It is a step by step, day by day, slowly moving forward kind of journey. It isn’t perfect. Just this week we reverted back to our old ways and we continue to do so from time to time. We still end up in that familiar place, but less often and when we do, He gently reminds us of who we really are in Him.
“Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation. The old has passed away; behold, the new has come.” 2 Corinthians 5:17
With God and grace we pray our story may be altered as our hearts are changed allowing us to fight more fair, to love in the midst of struggle, especially when it’s hard.