Well, one day, I decided to pick it up and start reading. It was good from the start. Why was it good? Because it is biblical. I have read so many books about all kinds of topics that try to integrate psychology and Scripture, but psychology usually takes precedence. This book is biblical. It doesn't allow people to make excuses.
I'm not finished the book yet, but I just read a chapter about examining yourself in a conflict.
1. In humility, suspect yourself first.
2. In integrity, inspect yourself.
3. Admit that circumstances only reveal existing sin.
4. Focus on undeserved grace, not unmet needs.
We must always humbly and honestly suspect that our sin is present, and it is playing a role in the conflict. We are so quick to recognize our spouse's sin, but it takes a lot of humility and honesty to admit that we aren't being patient or we aren't being loving or we are being selfish, etc. Our sin (being impatient, unloving, and selfish) is already present; the heat of the conflict magnifies them.
These four points are all so important, and ignored in our society. Miles & I work hard at the first three. It was the last point that was most got my attention. I see it so much. Psychology encourages us to express our needs and be honest with people. The biggest problem with this, is that we don't know the difference between our needs and our desires. There is nothing wrong with wanting an affectionate touch from your spouse, and a godly spouse will try to do this. However, it is a desire, not a need. There is nothing wrong with wanting a kind word of encouragement, and a godly spouse will try to do this. Again, it is a desire, not a need. Instead of worrying about your "needs" that aren't being met, focus on giving grace . . . which by definition is undeserved and has been offered to you interminably.
Have you read James?
1 What causes fights and quarrels among you? Don’t they come from your desires that battle within you? 2 You desire but do not have, so you kill. You covet but you cannot get what you want, so you quarrel and fight. You do not have because you do not ask God.(James 4:1-2)
It is our desires that cause quarrels among us, not our needs.
Have you read what Jesus teaches?
27 “But to you who are listening I say: Love your enemies, do good to those who hate you, 28 bless those who curse you, pray for those who mistreat you. 29 If someone slaps you on one cheek, turn to them the other also. If someone takes your coat, do not withhold your shirt from them. 30 Give to everyone who asks you, and if anyone takes what belongs to you, do not demand it back. 31 Do to others as you would have them do to you.
Divorce is often based on "irreconcilable differences", but if you read this passage . . . you are going to have a difficult time convincing God of that. He commands turning the other cheek if someone slaps you. He commands giving to people who take from you. He commands that you give to everyone who asks (even if you are constantly giving and not getting anything in return). This is a difficult passage, but it would save a lot of marriages.
So just some food for thought . . . are you inspecting yourself humbly and honestly? Are you aware of your sin? Are you extending grace to your spouse?