Is Strife Ever Good?

We have heard it said that a certain amount of strife and fighting is necessary and healthy for a marriage. It’s just like the devil to try to feed the world and the body of Christ a lie like this to get people right where he wants them, having an open door to bring destruction into their life and family. Good communication to help resolve disagreements is necessary and healthy for a marriage, but strife and fighting isn’t good, according to the Word. Let’s look at several references to remind us that strife and fighting are not from God. 
 
He who has knowledge spares his words, and a man of understanding is of a calm spirit (Proverbs 17:27). 
 
A fool takes no pleasure in understanding, but only in expressing his opinion (Proverbs 18:2, RSV). 
 
The discretion of a man makes him slow to anger, and his glory is to overlook a transgression (Proverbs 19:11). 
 
Be angry and do not sin, do not let the sun go down on your wrath, nor give place to the devil (Ephesians 4:26-27). 
 
To understand what strife does to a relationship, picture a horizontal pole with a bucket on each end. The weight of the first bucket represents God’s ability to help us in our marriage and family, while the weight of the second bucket represents Satan’s ability to harm us and bring destruction into our life and family. When we speak loving, respectful, complimentary words to our spouse and children, it fills up God’s bucket to work on our behalf. However, if we speak angry, rude, demanding, or harmful words to our spouse and family, it fills up Satan’s bucket to bring harm and destruction to us. 
 
This is how Satan works on a marriage or relationship. If we give him a place in our marriage or family through strife or unresolved anger, he then has access to steal, kill and destroy (see John 10:10). 
 
It is important to note there is another type of anger that the Bible refers to which is a righteous anger. Jesus became angry at sin, such as when He overturned the moneychangers’ tables in the temple (see Matthew 21:12). This was directed at sinful behavior because God is good and He hates sin. There are times in a believers life when it is right for us to have anger if it is a righteous anger. For example, a believer should get angry about the devil trying to bring destruction into their life. James 4:7 tells us “Submit to God. Resist the devil and he will flee from you.”
 
If a person doesn’t have a righteous anger about the works of darkness in their own life or the lives of others, they will probably not pray as fervently as they need to in order to change the situation. This type of anger typically is not directed at a person, but a situation. There were times when Jesus became righteously angry about something, and He occasionally verbalized this anger, particularly with those religious people who claimed to serve God but really didn’t with their hearts. However, most often we find his righteous anger causing Him to more fervently pursue destroying the works of darkness through ministering healing and miracles to those who were bound by Satan. 
 
So today, what are you doing in your relationships? If there were two buckets you could see connected to every person in your life, one to fill with words for God or one for the enemy of our souls, which bucket are you words (and actions) filling? We’d encourage you to ask the Lord today to really help you see how your words are shaping your world. 
 
Your relationships will never go higher than what comes out of your mouth. Starting today, pretend every person has a sign around their neck that says “Please encourage me.” Anyone God has entrusted into your life, He is entrusting you to speak life to!
 
 
In love, 
Pastors Shaun & Amy