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If you were asked to name three areas where you and your spouse disagree, you'd likely be able to do it without thinking very hard. Might even be able to produce a top 10 list if given a few more minutes. And sadly, unless someone at your house starts doing some giving in, the same issues are going to keep popping up between you and your mate.

Sadly, stubbornness comes as a standard feature on both husband-and-wife models. Defending your rights in opinions is a foundational part of your nature and makeup. It's detrimental, though, inside a marriage relationship, and it steals away time and productivity. It can also cause great frustration for both of you.

Being stubborn is not always bad. Some things are worth standing up for and protecting. Our priorities, morals, and obedience to God should be guarded with great effort. But too often we debate over little things, like the colour of wall paint or the choice of restaurants.

Other times, of course, the stakes are much higher. One of you would like more children; the other doesn't. One of you wants to vacation with your extended family; the other doesn't. One of you prefers homeschooling your kids; the other doesn't. One of you thinks it's time for marriage counselling or to get more involved in a church, while the other doesn't. If you're not careful these issues will continue to crop up in your relationship.

There is only one way to get beyond stalemates such as these, and that's by finding a word that's the opposite of "stubbornness". That word is "willing". It's an attitude and spirit of cooperation that should permeate our conversations. It's like a palm tree by the ocean that endures the greatest wins because it knows how to gracefully bend. And the one best example of it is Jesus Christ, as described in Philippians 2:5-11

From "The Love Dare" by Stephen and Alex Kendrick, 2013 B&H publishing group Nashville Tennessee. Page 56

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