I was talking to a beautiful young woman the other day, and it was interesting the insight she had about herself. She said, "I have a strong personality, and I always want to win. There's something wonderful about being right all the time. Both give me such a great feeling." Then she paused, "But I'm realizing that those traits are beginning to slowly ruin my marriage. They're changing the atmosphere in our home and beginning to negatively affect my husband and children." She was fortunate to realize this when she did. If you have to win every argument, you'll devastate your spouse. If you have to be right all the time, you're making others, including your children, feel wrong. It's too costly. It isn't worth the price of your marriage, your family, your children or your job.
It's interesting in our relationships as husbands and wives, with our families, coworkers and business partners, that we start out with the same goals in mind. We want to be successful, to love each other, to raise thriving kids, and to have financial security. But somewhere along the way, we get in conflict because we differ in our personalities, our perspectives, and the way we like to do things. We have to have our way and win. We have to be the right one. But that puts us in conflict and gets us off course, taking us away from the desired outcome.
The apostle Paul has a word for all of us: "Make every effort to keep the unity of the Spirit through the bond of peace" (Ephesians 4:3). If we're going to achieve unity, we have to take the initiative to do what it takes to make the peace. We have to learn how to reconcile our differences and honor God. It's about unity, and the only way we're going to find unity is through the bonds of peace. Unity doesn't mean we're all going to agree on everything. We have different opinions and different ways of doing things. So we have to learn the way of peace that's going to bind us together.
When you know that you're about to have a difficult conversation, you need to say, "God, it doesn't have to go my way, and I can let them be right. There are more ways than just my way." Sometimes during the conversation you have to say, "God, this isn't the way I would do it, but I'm going to zip it up because I'm going to keep the unity through the bond of peace. I'm not going to fight for my way. I leave this in Your hands." That peace will bind us together.