How I Stopped Arguing With My Husband

Jana Carlson

Jana Carlson

Marriage can be messy. Arguing can become a habit. Beth Steffaniak shares how God's Word taught her how to stop arguing with her husband.

Ever catch an ugly argument erupting between spouses? Unfortunately, my kids and sometimes even my friends were privy to ugly moments like these back in the early days of my marriage. 

Thankfully, after one of these despicable debates with my husband, the Lord opened my eyes with an important passage that still echoes in my heart and mind today. It truly transformed me and my marriage from that point onward. 

The Fight

This ugly fight probably all started with one of us slinging an angry accusation at the other, while the other fired back a bitter rebuttal. Naturally, this left me with what I thought was my only other alternative—ratcheting up the volume! 

What other way could I capture (more like enslave) my spouse into seeing my superior point of view? 

The Withdrawal

After these kinds of debates, I almost always withdrew to a private spot to lift up my tear-soaked prayers to God. This might seem well and good on the surface, but my prayers typically consisted of a long list of complaints about my husband’s attitude, asking God to change him instead of me! 

The Approach

However, on this one rare occasion, I felt God leading me to turn to my Bible. Ironically, I had been studying Isaiah in my quiet times each day; so that’s where I headed, with Isaiah 54:5-7 catching my attention. 

For your Maker is your husband—the Lord Almighty is his name—the Holy One of Israel is your Redeemer; he is called the God of all the earth. The Lord will call you back as if you were a wife deserted and distressed in spirit—a wife who married young, only to be rejected,” says your God. “For a brief moment I abandoned you, but with deep compassion I will bring you back.

The Embrace

At first, it felt like God was using this truth to blanket my heart with His comfort and peace. After all, I could really relate to this young wife who had been rejected and abandoned. That’s how it always felt for me post-argument. It was so reassuring to know God, my spiritual Husband, was bringing me back to His side with great compassion. 

The Surgery

But then the Lord opened my eyes to a convicting and deeper truth about this passage. My argument and attempts to angrily force my husband to agree with my logic were steeped in idolatry. Essentially, I had made myself the idol, when I demanded that my husband do something my way, even if he didn’t agree. Then I made him the idol, when I looked to him as the primary source for my sense of approval and acceptance. 

Allow me to clarify a bit here. My desire might have started out here as healthy and right. But it was as if I was trying to walk on a “broken leg,”  when I allowed my desire to warp into a demand. Then I added insult to injury, when I made myself and my husband the priority over God. I desperately needed to follow the Great Physician’s orders and embrace Him as the authority and priority in my life. 

The Transformation

What I had been missing in those many moments of conflict long ago was the right perspective. Still more profoundly, I was missing who Christ is and should be in my life. I had received Christ as my Savior, but failed to worship and prioritize Him as not only my Bridegroom but also as my Husband. 

Once I realized this, I was able to shift the burden off of my earthly husband’s much-too-weak-shoulders and place it where it belongs—on the Lord’s strong shoulders. 

And would you believe it? This also began to prevent the kinds of arguments that we fell victim to so often in the past. 

Now, I’m not saying that we don’t ever argue anymore. But those moments happen less and less often. That’s because the Lord replaced my insecurities with a steadfast security in Christ as my Husband. Finally, as if that weren’t enough, my Husband and Maker sweetened my relationship with my earthly husband—all because I now look to Him first as my one true Love. 

Meet Beth

Beth Steffaniak

Beth is grateful to be a living, breathing example of how God redeems and refines “the messes and mess-makers” in this life. She now turns her messes into messages of hope and healing at her blog, Beth and her pastor husband, Gary, are finding their empty-nest to three young adult sons and one daughter-in-law to be fuller than ever before. That’s because their adorable grandson, who arrived last October, is filling their arms and hearts to the full!

Connect with Beth here: PinterestFacebookInstagram and Twitter

11 Responses

  1. I know this is an area that I need to keep watch over in my marriage. I get in those times when I want my way, I want my husband to understand my perspective and it’s hard when he doesn’t. Thank you Beth, for reminding me where to always direct my focus, on the Lord!

    1. Yes, it seems like when we have an idea firmly in our minds, it’s hard to see our way around to the side our spouse is seeing, April! Lol! Funny how that works! Thanks for coming by and encouraging me and Jana!

  2. This was incredibly powerful to me! What a difference it makes in our lives and our marriages when we know who Christ is AND should be – just as you expressed it. I’m printing this and sharing. Beth, thank you for these powerful truths! I pray so many marriages are impacted through this and understanding God’s word and heart for us. May they find rest in Christ alone each day!!

    1. I’m so glad to hear it, Erin! God’s word truly does cut through our pretenses and blind spots to reveal the truth of every matter! I’m so grateful for all that God has done through His word to correct my faulty and foolish focus on arguing. Thanks for being so enthusiastic, my friend! Your encouragement means a lot!

  3. There was so much to fight about,
    my greed and foolish pride!
    And in every angry shout
    the devil took my side.
    He said that I should hold the line,
    and not yield, if I’m a man
    for if I give in this time,
    she’ll next time think she can
    just walk over what I want,
    making of my soul a mess,
    and church-social teas I’ll haunt
    in a metaphorical dress.
    I nearly set my love afire
    before closing ears against the liar.

    1. So glad you did close your ears to that liar, Andrew! But I love how you’ve unpacked in poetic form the lies we all tend to believe when we give into this temptation in our marriages. We think we are cleaning up the mess our spouse has made in their thinking, when we are the ones making the biggest mess of all with our angry and self-righteous arguing. Thanks so much for coming by and encouraging me!

    1. I’m glad you feel the same way I do, Carol! What wonderful Husband we have in the Lord! And, after all is said and done, my earthly husband is a great guy too! I’m glad I finally have been able to put down my weapons to discover both of those truths! Thanks for coming by and joining the discussion!

    1. You are so right, Theresa! Here’s to being quick to listen and slow to speak! James had it right long ago and somehow we overlook his wise advice. Thanks for stopping by and joining the conversation!

  4. Yes yes yes Beth. I’m a husband but as my focus turns to my beloved Christ as my first love my demand in my wife to be perfect becomes much less.
    That’s the theory anyway. Great to hear you’ve made it work. Now it’s my turn to do the same. I can’t wait!

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