It’s easy to find yourself in a fight with your spouse without knowing how to let it go. You know you don’t want to be fighting. But the thing you’re fighting over seems too important, so you believe you must stand your ground. When this happens you need to know there are times when you have to lose the battle to save what you love.
There is a story in the bible that I think sets a great example for couples to follow. It’s a story that demonstrates the wisdom of king Solomon and how he resolved the conflict of two women.
These two women each had babies around the same time. But when one of the babies died, the mother of the dead child came during the night and stole the other woman’s baby. When the real mother of the living child woke up and discovered what happened, she began to fight for her baby. Their argument continued. So they brought the dispute to King Solomon.
Solomon heard the testimonies from each woman. They both claimed the living child as their own and said the dead child belonged to the other woman. Solomon knew one of these women was lying and so he resorted to a drastic measure. He called for his sword and said he would cut the baby in half and give each woman an equal share.
Well, this sounded great to the woman who was in the wrong. She said that would be fine. Then they both would have a dead child. But then the real mother stepped up and she said no. She wanted the baby to live even if it meant the other woman got to keep the child. Which is what Solomon expected to happen and so he gave the child to the right mother.
She chose to lose the battle
The real mother of the child is the hero of this story. She was the one who had the right to fight for the child that belonged to her. She didn’t ask for the conflict. But her love for the child was greater than her right to be right. So she chose to lose the battle to save the child she loved.
This story in 1 Kings 3:16-28 shows that sometimes you have to lose the battle to win the war.
Does this mean you should always give up and refuse to fight for something that is important? No. There are times when standing your ground and refusing to give up is the right choice. But for this article, I want to stick with when you should choose to lose.
So when should you choose to lose the battle?
This is not complicated if you can step back and take a look at the situation you’re in. You should be able to see what you’re actually fighting over. I once heard every battle is a battle over territory. And so that idea seems to help me examine what I’m fighting for and is it worth fighting for.
In the story, I just talked about the right to the baby was the territory these two women were fighting for. And yes that right was something that was worth fighting for, especially for the real mother. But when the fight for her right meant there would be death to what mattered most, she knew she had to give up the fight.
Suppose your marriage is like the baby in this story. You have the right to fight for what belongs to you. There are things you should be getting in your marriage like love, affection, respect, honor, voicing your thoughts, and opinions, your choices, your own boundaries. But your fight for those things should never escalate to the point it threatens death to the marriage.
There are times you have to realize you have your whole lives to work out your differences with each other. You have to know how to not sweat the small stuff and how life is full of small stuff every day. There will always be times when you need to fight for what you love. And there are times when you have to lose the battle to save what you love.