Dr. Randy Carlson
Being opinionated is often a code word for “I’m right and you’re wrong!” We all have opinions and having an opinion is okay. You should be able to share your opinion.
The problem with being opinionated is that you sometimes put a stake in the ground and conclude that the other party—in this case your spouse—is wrong! Once you take a position, you immediately have a need to defend it. Position is more of a military term. You have a point of position you need to defend from your position. It puts you at odds and can quickly make your spouse your opponent.
- Marriage should not be a win/lose.
It’s not about me being right and you being wrong. It’s not about you being a doormat and I’m the one that is always in the lead. Marriage should be win/win. We win together. Frankly sometimes we lose together. Let’s make it a win/win setting where we as a team honor one another. Even the Bible says in Ephesians 5:21 we are to be mutually submissive, one to another. It’s not about me being better than Donna, because I’m the husband…I’m the man…I’m the leader. God’s put me in charge. I mean, any leader whose worth his or her salt knows that leadership is all about servant hood and submission and making sure we are heading in the right direction; not about control.
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- Ask questions as opposed to stating your opinion.
If you have questions about your spouse’s opinion, ask questions that clarify. Questions like: Why do you believe that? Where did that come from? What would happen if we took that to its logical conclusion? Seek to understand—not to be argumentative, but to help clarify. Good questions serve a real purpose, and can provide insight as well as allow others to think and come to their own conclusions.
- In marriage, there are times when a man or woman needs to hold their ground.
There are things that are non-negotiable. If you find your spouse is leading you or your marriage beyond what the bounds of what the Bible teaches and what you committed to, it’s okay to say, “No, I’m not going to do that.” We don’t do that to be argumentative, defensive or hostile. But sometimes there are boundaries that need to be set.
Without shared goals marriage becomes a competitive sport between spouses – with no winners. So in our marriages, let’s be very careful not to take positions but work together to win!
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Suggested Intentional Living Broadcast
How have you and your spouse worked as a team to have a win/win marriage? Post comments below.