agape, competition, conflict resolution, forgiveness, honor, kindness, love, Marriage, mercy, relationships, win-win
Are you a competitive person? Do you like to compete with your spouse? Here are some signs of competition in your marriage:
- You will do whatever it takes to win an argument.
- You always have to be right.
- You take winning a little too seriously, even in fun activities like board games.
- Everything becomes a contest.
- You gloat when you win.
- You are a sore loser.
Competition in marriage is deadly. In our coaching ministry, we encourage couples with weak conflict resolution skills to work together to brainstorm win-win solutions to their disagreements. When both spouses in a marriage feel that their needs and desires are being met, they work together to identify and implement a solution.
If you are competitive in your marriage, be like Christ who handed Himself over for our salvation (see Eph 5:25). Outdo each other in showing affection. Outdo each other in showing love. Outdo each other in showing kindness, mercy and forgiveness. Turn your competitive nature into good and you will reap great rewards in your marriage!
St. Paul in his letters emphasizes how we are to treat each other…
Outdo one another in showing honor. Romans 12:10
Put on then, as God’s chosen ones, holy and beloved, compassion, kindness, lowliness, meekness, and patience, forbearing one another and, if one has a complaint against another, forgiving each other; as the Lord has forgiven you, so you also must forgive. And above all these put on love, which binds everything together in perfect harmony. Colossians 3:12-14 (emphasis added)
In the English language, we have one word for love. We use the same word to describe how we feel about pizza, soccer, and our pets. But in Greek, the language in which Scripture was written, there are four types of love:
- Storge (affection)
- Philia (friendship)
- Eros (romantic)
- Agape (charity)
The type of love that St. Paul is referring to is agape; a total, selfless love like Christ handing Himself over for the salvation of sinners. This is how we are to love in our marriages and families. When we love like Christ, putting others ahead of ourselves, our competitive natures can be put to good.