October 30, 2016
How to Family: Conflict
The relationships we have with our family members are the most important, and most impactful, relationships in our lives. God designed the family to be a life-giving environment where everyone can thrive and flourish. But what happens when we experience conflict in these relationships? Specifically, how do we deal with it in our marriages? Does it always have to be a destructive force? How can God redeem these difficult experiences?
God loves to redeem trials and suffering, and ongoing marital strife certainly qualifies as that! With God’s Spirit and wisdom, conflict can actually be a long-term benefit to your marriage in two ways. First, by bringing us face-to-face with the reality of our depravity, conflict can help make us more like Jesus. It is an opportunity for growth. Second, resolving conflict through forgiveness and reconciliation leads to greater emotional and spiritual intimacy.
Getting to the point where we can resolve our issues in a constructive way is crucial. Pastor Andy shared six pieces of wisdom that he has received over the years that can lead to a more intimate marriage, as well as a more Christlike character. They are:
- Never say never. Always avoid always.
- Learn your love languages.
- Be quick to forgive.
- Empathy defuses a heated argument.
- There is no shame in needing marriage counseling.
- Change comes through the Holy Spirit.
These six truths (and the three others that will be posted later this week) can help you take advantage of the conflict you experience in your marriage, while also reducing any unnecessary quarraleing and arguing.