Monday, July 16, 2012

MMS: Fight, but Fight Fair

The end is near! I’ll be wrapping up my marriage series this week (I know…finally).  Hopefully I haven’t bored you too much or sounded like I know what I’m doing.  My goal for this has not been to seem like marriage in the Boehm home has been mastered, but instead to hopefully share what we have learned – some the hard way and some the easy way – in hopes that you can relate or at least learn the things we wish we had known.
John Steinbeck said, “If you find yourself in a fair fight, your tactics suck.”
He is not, of course, referring to fighting in marriage.
Or maybe he is, in which case, he probably wasn’t very successful at it (note to myself to Wikipedia him).
I always remember hearing the words “fight fair” and they never made sense to me.  I just repeated them because they sounded good.  But fighting fair is an art to master and one I have not yet conquered.  I try…but it’s hard.  It’s painfully difficult to avoid using absolute words, rolling my eyes, or deciding (when I realize I’m losing) that I will just walk away and refuse to listen anymore.  It’s hard not to bring up something from the past that somehow seems relevant to the current disagreement.  Or to keep myself from going to a dark place where my primary strategy transforms into “win at any cost.”
To me fighting fair means you don’t hit below the belt.  You do your best to avoid saying “you always this, or you never that.”  You take the time to truly listen to what your spouse/family/friend is actually saying and not just thinking about the next great response you will deliver. 
You aren’t fighting to win, you are fighting for the relationship.

Love one another with brotherly affection. Outdo one another in showing honor.
Romans 12:10

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