One selfish act typically leads to others. In family relationships this can be devastating. If a husband is having selfish thoughts or doing selfish things, this will frequently result in a wife feeling like she needs to be selfish. Before long, they are arguing about neglected needs and unrealistic expectations.
Too many too often covet another’s family. “If only my wife would act that way.” “If only my children were that well behaved.” “If only my husband was as attentive as her husband.” “If only my parents were that cool.”
Well-developed listening skills are key in any relationship, but absolutely critical in families! Nothing damages relationships more over time, or strengthens them more, than being a good listener. Family should be a safe place to vocalize and work through challenges, wrestle with ideas, verbalize dreams, ask for help, and sound out thoughts - even wacky ones.
It is not a question of "if" family members will disagree, but "when." Families will fight, but "how" they fight matters most. When we disagree, it is critical that the fruit of the Spirit prevail (love, joy, peace, longsuffering, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control - Gal. 5:22-23).
“He started it.” “You started it.” How many family fusses are genuinely resolved by those words? While such may reveal a catalyst, what about the involvement of those who fanned and fueled the flames? Instead of putting the fire out, we tend to point fingers, assign and shift blame, refusing to own our own culpability in whatever crisis has arisen.
Christian wives, if the command to "be submissive to your own husbands" (1 Pet. 3:1) is an incredible struggle and seems deplorable to you, perhaps your focus is not high enough.
Christian husbands, if you believe yourself to be the head of your house, your home needs better leadership!