No one plans to have conflict and many times it just happens and usually over something that has been brewing over a period of time or over something so little it is not worth fighting about. What do you do when conflict arises? Everyone must establish personal boundaries for times of conflict. We must determine ahead of time things we won’t say and ways we won’t respond. Once this personal code has been established, we can allow these guidelines, rather than our emotions to determine our behavior. When couples come in for pre-marital counseling one of the first things I discuss with them is how they will respond upon the first argument after married. None of us plan on getting into conflict, however if you plan and set your personal boundaries beforehand it will be a prettier picture and a happier ending.
What happens whether in married life or personal life if we don’t rely on the Word of God we will let our emotions rule our thinking instead of acting like a Christian we act out of selfish human carnal behavior. Reading over a recent blog it states that self-centeredness leads to nothing good. This type of behavior is bringing up the past or finding fault in the other person. People like to rationalize or justify things because they may feel inferior to the ones that they are judging. This type of behavior brings isolation because of the criticism fault-finding or nagging regardless of the intentions the result will be wedges in relationships. After a while these types of relationships will result in being avoided because the same problem continues to cycle, along with attitude and emotional behavior. There is no Godly change, no spiritual fruit and the conflict remains thus the relationship ends. One of the top goals in forming or maintaining a relationship is to never bring up the past after the conflict has been resolved.
The first question to ask before engaging in conflict is, “What goals do I have for this confrontation?” If we simply want to point out faults or lash out emotionally, then we don’t have a healthy motive for the confrontation. However if the motive is healing, restoration or resolution of an issue, then the conflict could help make the relationship better. I have learned to let little offences go because they are not worth holding on to which try to create strongholds in your mind. My husband often states, “Let it go”. It is advice worth repeating. Once you let strongholds consume you, that is all you think about, bringing with it resentment, bitterness, and unforgiveness. The goal in this type of conflict is to take vengeance out on the person who brought you pain or hurt. I often heard my father-in-law say, is it worth fighting for being right or having peace. We get to determine the action and deal with the consequences of the result it brings.
In our secrets class we are learning to continue to go deeper with our walk with God and get closer to our husband. This takes self-evaluation including self-centered attitude. We have only had three classes and several ladies have left in tears. The next time you see yourself in conflict, ask God to show you any disrespectful attitudes, behaviors or words. Repent and ask Him to help you grow more respectful toward others. Here is a list of Biblical ways to help respond to conflict with your husband or with other relationships. New Living Translation (©2007) Proverbs:
10:12 Hatred stirs up quarrels, but love makes up for all offenses.
10:19 Too much talk leads to sin. Be sensible and keep your mouth shut.
10:21 The words of the godly encourage many, but fools are destroyed by their lack of common sense.
11:2 Pride leads to disgrace, but with humility comes wisdom.
11:16 A gracious woman gains respect
12:16 A fool is quick-tempered, but a wise person stays calm when insulted.
12:18 Some people make cutting remarks, but the words of the wise bring healing.
13:3 Those who control their tongue will have a long life; opening your mouth can ruin everything.
15:1 A gentle answer deflects anger, but harsh words make tempers flare.
18:13 Spouting off before listening to the facts is both shameful and foolish.
20:22 Do not say, “I’ll pay you back for this wrong!” Wait for the LORD, and he will deliver you.