I once wrote a (3 part) article about how to fight with your boyfriend, and I shared what I learned about fighting properly with someone you love:

“To fight properly simply means to fight in a way that brings you closer to what’s most important instead of further away because of pride and hurt. To win after all means to end up with something better. Are we really better off if we end up proving our side but losing each other?”

I remembered this as I was reading the very argumentative comments that people of different faiths were posting on an article written by a pastor. Muslims, Catholics, Christian, all fighting for their same ‘loving’ God. Initially, I was bothered by the attacks on Christians, but what bothered me more was how the people who called themselves Christians were responding in the same offensive, divisive, and unloving manner as the non-Christians, when the whole idea of being “Christian” is to be like Christ, who exemplified love, particularly, the uniquely-Christian practice of loving others “while they were yet sinners”. Just like I learned that David and I need to “fight for each other more than we fight against each other”, I’ve also realized that I need to put aside my pride and fear when someone who has a different faith attacks mine.  People don’t learn when they are threatened. They don’t become more open to new ideas. They actually raise their walls and become defensive. So if the goal is really to show them God’s love, then fighting fire with fire isn’t the wise response.

Overwhelm Them
David is a very competitive debater. The problem is, so am I. While I’m nowhere near as intense as he is, I also have a difficult time being humble when I feel threatened. Many of our fights have gone on for hours and even days arguing the same points over and over, no one wanting to apologize, no one wanting to forgive, drifting, no rowing, further and further apart. But I’ve learned a secret, a simple, powerful, and effective way to overwhelm all of David’s arguments: I stop arguing and I embrace him. This does a few things without words: it pauses the attacks, it overrides our defenses, and it brings us close, which is the real win anyway. So before we argue, before we debate, before we go an offensive, let’s remind ourselves that more important than proving the superiority of our principles, is living out the most important Christian principle: love. Maybe if we overwhelmed those who attack us with love, we would actually win them for Christ, instead of losing them to our pride and insecurity.

Romans 12:9
Love must be sincere. Hate what is evil; cling to what is good.