Scripture Focus: But the wisdom from above is first pure, then peaceable, gentle, willing to yield, full of mercy and good fruits, without partiality and without hypocrisy. James 3:17
Among newly married couples, there is often a great fear of conflict. A young wife may think, “If we fight, that means we’re in trouble!” Or a young husband may hold back because he has always avoided conflict.
Yet the absence of conflict may not mean “peace” but merely “passivity.” This is how so many decades-old marriages have lapsed into stale, unfulfilling unions. The issues that arose during the early years were never dealt with. These days the partners conduct their warfare in passive/aggressive ways, never directly stating or admitting the truth.
When James tells us that wisdom from above (God) is peaceable, he does not mean that we should try to be as passive as possible in our marriages. Yes, there may be times when it is wise not to say something in the moment – so that in the midst of intense conflict, you don’t escalate the battle in harmful or unhelpful ways. Yet the solution is not to keep your thoughts and feelings bottled up inside you, but rather to learn when and how to have candid, direct discussions with each other.
Peaceable wisdom expresses its thoughts and feelings, but does so at the right times and in the right ways. Peaceable wisdom always shows respect for the other person, even when the disagreement is deep or serious. Wise partners realize that no one needs to be wrong or right in a given situation; instead both persons need to listen well.
There is a massive difference between avoiding the issues and learning to resolve them through honest, respectful discussion which leads forward to compromise. Growing up and becoming mature means that you don’t always have to be right --- but you do always need to be wise, thoughtful, caring and willing to adjust or change.
For your personal reflection: