3 Tips From The Bible For Better Compromise In Marriage

Flexibility is at the core of Christianity. While there are some aspects of our collective faiths that must be rigidly adhered to — the Ten Commandments, for example — the overriding theme of our belief in God is to do His will to the best of our abilities.

The Spiritual Aspect of Compromise

Nowhere is compromise more essential than within the core family, and specifically between husband and wife. Regardless of which particular denomination you and your spouse belong to, the institution of marriage is a sacred, lifelong commitment that involves an oath before our Lord.

And while marriage should involve a joyous union, it is not without its challenges — particularly when raising children. Decisions like what to have for dinner, how to spend your weekend, where to go on vacation, which school to send your child to, and even which church to attend can become sources of friction in an otherwise harmonious marriage.

Christianity recognizes the importance of mutual respect in a marriage, and the subject of compromise in marriage in the Bible is a recurring theme. When I married my husband, I knew I’d experience compromise. I, of course, thought of simple things, like compromising TV channels, when to do laundry, how to manage our time and so on. But what about biblical compromise? What does that look like day to day in a marriage? As it turns out, the Bible is full of tips for making the most of compromise in marriage.

1. Clothe Yourself With Compassion

I have done a lot of heart-searching and found several hidden gems in God’s Word. God already tell us to clothe ourselves in attributes that have nothing to do with actual clothing. Isn’t that a beautiful thing?

“Therefore, as God’s chosen people, holy and dearly loved, clothe yourselves with compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness and patience.”  —Colossians 3:12

So, when it comes to our marriage, are we willingly going to daily clothe ourselves in these things in order to have a healthy, holy marriage? It’s hard to do, but it’s something our Heavenly Father commands we do.

2. Choose Holy Love

One day, after having my own little meltdown, my husband gently turned, looked at me and said, “We are called to be holy, my love.” He kept on telling me to have peace in my heart, to choose holiness and to always emit that kind of peace-filled holy love out in the world. I ended up having a realization.

Is this what compromise in marriage looks like? Or, more specifically, biblical compromise? When I’m not acting in a loving way in the moment, and my husband is telling me to show love, shouldn’t I tell him, “Well, I’m hurting and I’m emotional, I have every right to be this way”? No, dear friends. I feel like my eyes have been opened up, and God is gently whispering, “Meet your husband with love, and come to me with your pain.”

3. Bear With One Another In Love

I feel like I finally “got it.” Biblical compromise isn’t an “Okay, well I’ll do this if you do this.” In marriage, biblical compromise is self-sacrificing your own emotions and your own heat-of-the-moment feelings and meeting your spouse with love – period.

One of my husband’s nurses gifted us with a pillow for our wedding gift. On the pillow, the following verse was embroidered:

“Be completely humble and gentle, be patient, bearing with one another in love.”  —Ephesians 4:2

I don’t she knew this would be our marriage anthem, but we get it, and we daily strive to show this kind of love to one another.

How Prayer and Spiritual Refection Can Promote Mutual Understanding

While there are many Bible verses on compromise in marriage, many couples find it instructional to discuss the intention behind these inspirational quotes with one another, in a Christian marital group, or even with their minister. Here are some key takeaways from the biblical quotes in this article.

The reference to compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness, and patience in Colossians 3:12 may not specifically mention the marriage. Indeed, these are qualities that every Christian should follow, but where are these traits more important than when interacting with one’s spouse? Understanding these Christian values and applying them to your marriage can help you avoid arguments, protracted rifts, or that unpleasant tension that occurs when two spouses have opposing viewpoints on a topic.

Christians know what a powerful tool prayer can be in their personal lives. Whether praying for a solution or engendering a stronger connection with God, prayer and spiritual reflection can change your perspective. It can also provide a much-needed pause in an argument. Telling your spouse that you don’t agree with them but you would like to pray about the issue can change your perspective on the situation. During your quiet moments of prayer, reflection, and introspection, you may find the common ground that will allow you to resolve your differences.

Instead of trying to argue your point to a forced compromise or capitulating your valuable position, try something along these lines:

  • Take a pause to reflect on the issue. Ask your spouse to give you the space to gather your thoughts.
  • Spend some time when you’re not distracted to reflect upon the issue at hand. Consider your spouse’s points and their validity.
  • Consider the possibility that there may not be a compromise position. For instance, if you’re trying to decide where to send your child to school, you will ultimately have to select one.
  • Pray to God for a solution.

Even if you didn’t come up with a viable option, you can re-enter the discussion with renewed clarity.

The Role of Faith in Strengthening the Bond of Compromise

Humility is one of the tenets of Christianity. Romans 11:18 says, Do not be arrogant toward the branches. If you are, remember it is not you who supports the root, but the root that supports you.” Marriage is not an individual effort. You are inextricably connected to your spouse.

Christianity promotes the idea that you are to be humble in your existence while also defending your values. That doesn’t always mean indulging the wishes of your spouse, which is not compromise. Nor does it mean proudly adhering to your position in the face of opposition, which is also counter to the spirit of compromise. If you find yourself waffling between standing your ground and capitulation, it might be a good time to ask the question, “How would God want me to handle this?”

Always strive and desire to meet your spouse with love, forgiveness, and kindness, and know that God promises a beauty in our marriages that simply can’t be taken away. Sometimes compromise in marriage means you need to sacrifice your own fleshly emotions to meet your spouse with grace and patience. The reason it’s hard is because it’s something God calls us to do, and the enemy loves to entangle us in our own emotions. Don’t let it happen; trust God, be holy and meet your spouse with love.

You may also be interested in 5 Ways To Continue Growing Spiritually After You Get Married