deployment devotional, military devotional, military couples devotional, military couples

A devotional to help military families stay connected during deployments

Day 13: During Deployment “Love Fights Fair”

If a house is divided against itself, that house cannot stand. — Mark 3:25

Conflict? In a marriage? Yes, it’s inevitable (and normal). After all, we’re dealing with two different personalities from two different backgrounds—and potentially two different viewpoints. So what do you do? As this chapter instructs, you “fight fair.” And in the military the importance of this chapter cannot be overstated. During war time especially, conflict between a husband and wife—when not handled properly—can create job distractions and perhaps guilt. So let’s take the time to get smart on this crucial issue.

The authors, Stephen and Alex Kendrick, address conflict today from a “nuts and bolts” stand-point. In other word, here’s how you do it—here’s how you get through conflict with dignity. It’s impressive, and worth passing along in summary. As The Love Dare says, “Married couples who learn to work through conflict tend to be closer, more trusting, more intimate, and enjoy a much deeper connection afterwards.” (p. 62) In other words, getting through an argument may have lasting benefits beyond just the immediate. It’ll be worth it if you study this and take the dare.

Basically the Kendricks point you to two approaches to conflict by defining boundaries as “we” boundaries and “me” boundaries. By “we” boundaries, they mean these “we don’t” rules: don’t ever mention divorce; don’t bring up the past that is unrelated; don’t fight in public or in front of the children; don’t let conflict escalate to a “damaging level,” don’t physically hurt each other; don’t go to bed angry; don’t give up at resolving the issue.

The “me” boundaries that they write about are those things that “you do”: do listen before speaking; do examine your own issues; do speak gently. We all know that we cannot change others—only ourselves.  So these three “dos” are so important.  Listen carefully, realize that the problem might be you, and speak quietly.

These are great “rules of engagement.” And if followed, there is every possibility that love will win. And it will be worth it. “Remember, love is not a fight, but it is always worth fighting for.” (p. 63)

Here is today’s dare during deployment: You can determine which on the “don’t” list and on the “do” list apply while you are geographically separated by deployment. Please spend some time “talking” with your spouse (with whatever method of communication you use) about these boundaries and establish healthy rules for conflict. If it is not possible to discuss these together, make an individual list by which you will abide in the future when conflict arises.

Here are Scriptures to encourage you in truth:

Everyone should be quick to listen, slow to speak and slow to become angry, for man’s anger does not bring about the righteous life that God desires. — James 1:19,20

Why do you look at the speck of sawdust in your brother’s eye and pay no attention to the plank in your own eye? — Matthew 7:3

A gentle answer turns away wrath, but a harsh word stirs up anger. — Proverbs 15:1

Work cited:

Kendrick, Stephen and Alex, The Love Dare (Nashville: B & H Publishing Group, 2008)

If a house is divided against itself, that house cannot stand. — Mark 3:25

Conflict? In a marriage? Yes, it’s inevitable (and normal). After all, we’re dealing with two different personalities from two different backgrounds—and potentially two different viewpoints. So what do you do? As this chapter instructs, you “fight fair.” And in the military the importance of this chapter cannot be overstated. During war time especially, conflict between a husband and wife—when not handled properly—can create job distractions and perhaps guilt. So let’s take the time to get smart on this crucial issue.

The authors, Stephen and Alex Kendrick, address conflict today from a “nuts and bolts” stand-point. In other word, here’s how you do it—here’s how you get through conflict with dignity. It’s impressive, and worth passing along in summary. As The Love Dare says, “Married couples who learn to work through conflict tend to be closer, more trusting, more intimate, and enjoy a much deeper connection afterwards.” (p. 62) In other words, getting through an argument may have lasting benefits beyond just the immediate. It’ll be worth it if you study this and take the dare.

Basically the Kendricks point you to two approaches to conflict by defining boundaries as “we” boundaries and “me” boundaries. By “we” boundaries, they mean these “we don’t” rules: don’t ever mention divorce; don’t bring up the past that is unrelated; don’t fight in public or in front of the children; don’t let conflict escalate to a “damaging level,” don’t physically hurt each other; don’t go to bed angry; don’t give up at resolving the issue.

The “me” boundaries that they write about are those things that “you do”: do listen before speaking; do examine your own issues; do speak gently. We all know that we cannot change others—only ourselves. So these three “dos” are so important. Listen carefully, realize that the problem might be you, and speak quietly.

These are great “rules of engagement.” And if followed, there is every possibility that love will win. And it will be worth it. “Remember, love is not a fight, but it is always worth fighting for.” (p. 63)

Here is today’s dare during deployment: You can determine which on the “don’t” list and on the “do” list apply while you are geographically separated by deployment. Please spend some time “talking” with your spouse (with whatever method of communication you use) about these boundaries and establish healthy rules for conflict. If it is not possible to discuss these together, make an individual list by which you will abide in the future when conflict arises.

Here are Scriptures to encourage you in truth:

Everyone should be quick to listen, slow to speak and slow to become angry, for man’s anger does not bring about the righteous life that God desires. — James 1:19,20

Why do you look at the speck of sawdust in your brother’s eye and pay no attention to the plank in your own eye? — Matthew 7:3

A gentle answer turns away wrath, but a harsh word stirs up anger. — Proverbs 15:1

Work cited:

Kendrick, Stephen and Alex, The Love Dare (Nashville: B & H Publishing Group, 2008)