Where do you think all these appalling wars and quarrels come from? Do you think they just happen? Think again. They come about because you want your own way, and fight for it deep inside yourselves. …
You wouldn’t think of just asking God for it, would you? And why not? Because you know you’d be asking for what you have no right to. You’re spoiled children, each wanting your own way…
So let God work his will in you. Yell a loud no to the Devil and watch him scamper. Say a quiet yes to God and he’ll be there in no time. James 4:1-7 (MSG)
Despite lockdown and it being a week since 5 November, as I write there are loud fireworks banging all around our house. The noise is unpredictable and makes us jump. In the same way conflict can be unpredictable and most of us would rather it went away. But conflict is inevitable. Some of the reasons are circumstances, but others are that we’re different and also as the verse above says, we can be selfish.
When handling fireworks, there are all sorts of safety rules that we need to bear in mind to prevent accidents and maybe it’s good to create some ‘safety rules’ of our own for when we have conflict. A couple of good ones are to avoid certain phrases (you always say that/you never do that) and to agree not to have difficult discussions after a certain time at night.
Ultimately conflict isn’t all bad, through learning how to resolve it well together we can become closer and our relationship can become deeper.
How about agreeing some ‘safety’ rules now for when you next have a disagreement?
Prayer (as a couple)
Father God, help us to really get into each other’s shoes when we have disagreements so that we can work to resolve conflict your way rather than ours. Amen
Prayer (for others)
Lord Jesus, we pray for _____ and _____ who seem to argue A LOT. Please show them your love and the way you forgave others. Help them to be kinder to each other. Amen
As iron sharpens iron, so one person sharpens another. Proverbs 27:17
Watch Andy & Fiona Banes from Time for Marriage discussing how to resolve conflict here.