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No More Games

My Friend Debbie      Are you and your husband stuck playing games during disagreements? Would you like to actually communicate on a deeper level and finish an argument, resolving the issue rather than returning to the same argument over and over again? Well then, let me tell you how my husband, Mike, and I have worked on our communication during conflict.

     Throughout our two years of dating and then continuing on through our early years of marriage, things sort of went like this. Mike would inevitably irritate me about something, I would give him "the cold shoulder," and then, when he would ask me, "What's wrong?" which is what the cold shoulder was supposed to accomplish, I would come back with, "Nothing!" and then continue on with my pout until I was ready to let whatever I was mad about go. Does this scenario sound familiar to any of you?

     If your situations have gone just the way I've described, then you know that this sort of behavior never accomplishes anything. In fact, we wasted a lot of precious time together playing these stupid and immature games. The Lord spoke to my heart one day during one of these regular emotional tug of wars, and said, "What are you doing Christina? You give Mike the silent treatment and the sour face until he does exactly what you want him to do and then when he does, you shut him out. Then later, when you're still mad and he's moved on, you get even angrier because he didn't try hard enough to find out what was wrong with you. And then, the enemy starts to speak lies into your ears, and you believe them, about how much he must not care about you and your marriage and your feelings." The Lord began to show me that I would make a big deal out of our little issues, which wasn't necessary. "Stop playing games and grow up!" is the resounding message the Lord spoke to my heart during one of these occasions. And you know what, He was right! I did need to grow up and start communicating like an adult. I was tired of wasting time and playing emotional games that went nowhere.

     That very evening, Mike and I sat down together and I told him of the divine epiphany inspired by the Holy Spirit. He was on board and we began to make a plan for how we would handle our next issue that would arise. From that point on, I made a vow that whenever he asked me what was wrong, I was going to just say what it was, so we could discuss it and get it over with. He agreed. However, I also told him that sometimes I might need a little time to cool off before we had our discussion but would acknowledge that something was bothering me and that when I was ready, I would come to him to hash it out. That's all it took. A word from the Lord and a little obedience made a world of difference in our marriage.

     Mike and I no longer waste time playing senseless games with one another. We say what's on our minds, listen to each other's issues, and come up with solutions right away. Yes, I still get annoyed with my beloved every now and then and he with me, but now we have a plan and our marriage has only been increasingly filled with love and encouragement for one another.

     Remember that Satan has come, "to steal, kill, and destroy." He will take our marriages if we let him. Stop playing games! The Word says that allowing anger to control you is a sin; so don't give in. Ephesians 4:26-27 states, "And don't sin by letting anger control you. Don't let the sun go down while you are still angry, for anger gives a foothold to the devil." (NLT)

Copyright © 2008-2015 Christina Messer

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