160 - Resolving Conflict
|Written by Patrick Morley & David Delk|
|Wednesday, December 10 2008 13:01|
Excerpted and adapted from The Marriage Prayer (Moody Press, Fall 2008)
If you’re married, you have conflict. It’s inevitable when you bind two sinful
Why Conflict in Marriage Hurts So Much
Since we truly have become one flesh, there is a vulnerability in marriage
One essential thing we’ve found from experience: if you want to have great
Don’t get us wrong. We should be sensitive and thoughtful in the way we speak to our spouses. But many of us cross a line where we are not expressing the whole truth because we are afraid of how our spouse will react. When this becomes a habit you have no real way of dealing with conflict.
Learn to speak the truth in love and let God determine the results. Speak with gentleness, humility, and a genuine desire for the other person’s best interest. One practical way to foster honest communication—don’t focus on your spouse’s behavior, instead express how you are impacted as a result of their behavior.
You also foster honest communication when you think ahead and don’t have to reinvent how to handle conflict every time it occurs. Make an actual plan for how you will bring up and handle conflicts. Here are a few suggestions (mark beside each if you want to actually try to implement it):
The secret of functional families is honest, open communication especially when it comes to conflict resolution. Remember, nobody can make you unhappy unless you give them permission. Having honest communication is one way of denying permission to someone else to make you unhappy.
Here’s a phrase from the Marriage Prayer that summarizes this teaching—“Lord, help me love You more than her, and her more than anyone or anything else.” When we love God and our spouse more than ourselves, we see conflict as a chance to reflect and repent. Handled biblically, conflict can become an opportunity to make your marriage better than it has ever been before.