There were three main sessions at the conference, one of which was called The Fight. This session was all about how to handle a fight with your partner. Obviously no one wants to fight but it's something that is just inevitable at some point or another in your relationship. Even the strongest relationships will have disagreements at times. It is how you handle those disagreements that really matters.
In marriage sin is like trash, you have to take it out everyday. You have to know how to deal with your sin or it will kill your marriage. Sin can turn your marriage into several different things. The first being contempt, or disgust for your spouse. For example they could leave something on the counter and you just blow up over it even though it really isn't a big deal--the point is you don't like ANYTHING that your spouse does. The second is defensive, this is when you start defending your sin and you are defending it with more sin ("I wouldn't have cheated on you if you would have lost more weight", etc.) The third is stonewall, this is when one person leaves (drives away, leaves the room, tunes out/ignores).
If you don't know what to do with the trash you will just create more trash. So what do you do with sin?? If you are the one who sinned you need to first repent (Romans 12). You need to walk in humility by the grace of God. Next you need to confess...talk about it, "I agree with God, I am wrong." When you confess you need to show contrition which is basically emotional brokenness from the heart. (confession without contrition is not true confession). And lastly, you need to change. If you keep sinning in the same way you are not repenting. You have to learn to want to be more like Jesus and less like yourself.
And this is where I want you to really focus today, on the forgiveness aspect of fights. I think this is often times neglected because we are mad that someone has done something wrong to us, but forgiveness is such a key aspect to moving past the fight.
If you are the victim of sin you have to forgive. Marriage either gets better or it gets bitter, and a lot of that has to do with forgiveness. Refusing to forgive someone only makes you bitter and allows them to have an emotional control over your life. We must forgive because CHRIST FORGAVE US. God didn't get bitter with us, he forgave our sins so we should do the same for those who sin against us. You can't receive forgiveness from God if you can't forgive others. It's really important to remember nothing and no one is beyond the grace of God (this is the difference in Christian and non-Christian marriages). Now all of this to say that it is obviously not easy to just forgive someone when they have hurt you badly, but it is important to remember that forgiveness is not approving, denying, or diminishing that sin happened. Forgiveness is not enabling sin to happen again (even if they never apologize to you you should still forgive. They will have to answer to God for not apologizing and repenting.) Forgiveness is not reconciliation. Forgiveness is not neglecting justice, you can forgive someone and still call the cops on them, take them to court, etc. if they are putting you or your children's lives in danger.
Another aspect to the fight session was the idea that you should set ground rules for how you will handle things if (when) a fight should arise. These rules can include things such as no parents, no people around, not in front of the kids, not in public, etc. Sin is going to happen. Fights are going to happen. But if you build your marriage biblically and on a friendship and equip yourselves with the knowledge of how to handle such situations you will be able to make it through anything!
I just want to offer some encouragement to anyone who feels like they are having a hard time with forgiveness. Forgiveness is a choice. We may not be able to choose to wipe away the hurt that someone has caused, but we can choose to cast off the bitterness, anger, and feelings of the need for revenge and justice. How? Trust in God, believe His word, cling to the cross, and turn judgement over to Him. Once we let God take over, we can start to let negative feelings go.