Have you ever heard someone say, “Well I guess we just have to agree to disagree”? It happens in arguments or any discussion on any topic from large to small. It happens all the time. I have seen it applied in all areas of life, including marriage. How to handle disagreements? Romans has some wisdom for us.
“If possible, so far as it depends on you, live peaceably with all.” (Romans 12:18)
Marriage is Natural | How to Handle Disagreements
My wife and I have been married for 30 years, and the best compliment I think I have ever received is when someone told us we make marriage look easy. I have heard many speakers and many friends say to me that marriage is a lot of hard work. It’s a lot of sacrifices. I know I may not be normal, but I can honestly say that it has not been my experience.
Being married to her is the most natural thing in my life. We have had our struggles. We have struggled financially. We have a son who is autistic, and he didn’t sleep much – like never more than two hours at a time – for around seven years. During this time, we got very little sleep. Exhaustion is a real thing. He fortunately now sleeps but presents both challenge and indescribable blessing every day. The divorce rate of parents with a special needs child is very high.
We also lost our oldest daughter ten years ago in a car accident when she was just 16 years old. That alone was enough of a test to last the rest of our lives. But we face the weight of that every day.
Unity is Earned | How to Handle Disagreements
The one consistent thing throughout all of this is Mary and I have unity. We do not ever agree to disagree. We agree to agree. There is no fight lingering under the surface. There are no topics that do not allow us to find common ground at some level.
To accomplish this, someone must move from whatever spot they have taken and move toward the other. At its best, we both move toward each other. If we do not agree on a topic, we decide what the plan is and do it. We do a pretty good job at just allowing our minds to change to find a spot that fits the marriage best.
I am not trying to say we are perfect. We are not. I am not trying to tell you that it is always a noticeable shift. Sometimes it takes a little time. There are moments when my wife looks at me like I have lost my mind, and she may be accurate. However, she can change my perspective faster than anyone. I have to hear her.