Happy Friday, everyone! We’re back with Francis Chan, who joins us from San Francisco. Francis and his wife Lisa are the authors of a new book, You and Me Forever: Marriage in Light of Eternity. Francis, how do you and Lisa argue like Christians? Some readers of the book will be surprised that you and Lisa have conflict — but of course, married couples won’t be too surprised; we all do at some point. So when it comes to verbal conflicts and disagreements, what is a core lesson you have learned about how to argue with your spouse in a way that honors Christ?
Yes, Lisa and I argue. Honestly, we don’t argue that much, because we realize we don’t have time for this. We are on a mission. There is a TV show called The Amazing Race, where couples are racing to get to this finish line, and they are competing with other couples. But you see certain ones fight, and they start losing ground, and they argue with each other and lose the race.
And we look at our lives very much like that, like there are things for us to do and we are here to seek his kingdom. We are here to make disciples. And if we spend our time just fighting with each other, it’s going to keep us from his mission. And so one of the ways we fight is always realizing: “OK, divorce isn’t an option, and also we don’t have a lot of time to argue about petty things, because we are dealing with eternal things.” And so we keep that in our minds.
First Peter 3:7 comes to mind where it tells us: “Husbands, live with your wives in an understanding way, showing honor to the woman as the weaker vessel, since they are heirs with you of the grace of life, so that your prayers may not be hindered.” If I don’t do this right, God is not going to listen to my prayers. And I have got to have him hear my prayers. That is the most important thing in my life. And so, I need to treat her as a daughter of God. I need to honor her as we speak.
God Opposes the Proud
And the biggest word I could say is humility. I mean, that is what causes all of this, right? A lack of humility.
The goal is becoming like Jesus. And the goal is not winning an argument; it is pleasing Christ, becoming like Christ. And most of the time, the person who “wins the argument” is usually the one who acts least like Jesus. And so, we keep that in mind: that God opposes the proud. And so I could win this argument, in a sense. But if I do it in arrogance, now, suddenly, I have got God opposing me. So what did I win? I am a loser at that point, so it is like: OK, humble myself. Treat her like God’s daughter and remember that we have got things to do for the kingdom.
We cannot waste our time arguing about things that are not eternal. So, let me humble myself. If it is not a big deal, then just let it go. Let her have her way. There are more important things to focus on.