Conventional wisdom tells us that the mature approach to conflict within marriage is to reach a compromise. You give a little and take a little. What this means is that the goal is to find a solution with which both parties are equally unhappy. That is called compromise and is held up as the highest goal.
But there is no room for compromise in a Christian marriage. You must both strive to do what is right.
Don’t resolve an issue with either partner unhappy about it. You must both care enough about your love to look for the truth; to find the right, the righteous answer. Not the right answer for me, or even the right answer for him and not me. But you must work through the issue until you find the resolution that is right and true before the Lord. It’s right because it’s right.
The second step, of course, is for both of you to choose to be happy that the righteous solution has been achieved.
It’s so common for the man to give in to his wife in order to avoid conflict. It is natural for any person to be reluctant to lead; he needs encouragement. If the man goes along with his wife it shows cowardliness and a lack of care about the relationship. And his wife will not be encouraged to respect him, no matter that she gets what she wants. In addition, you may end up with the wrong answer to the problem.
What the world’s wisdom really recommends is a power struggle: a constant striving in which the two parties are constantly shifting, pushing and pulling for supremacy. “50-50 marriage” is constantly tallying up the score to make sure I don’t give more than I get.
And when I am negotiating for that compromise, bartering my wants against your wants, am I not in the position of protecting MY desires…as opposed to yours? “Okay, I’ll let you have some of what you want, but I’m really in this to protect my turf.” It doesn’t exactly sound like something Jesus said.
I’m so glad to have a spouse who is happy to give me more grace than I deserve! In healthy Christian marriages, there is no power struggle going on. It’s not even an issue.