Because we are unique individuals we will have different viewpoints and disagreements will occur in all our relationships, even marriage. When conflict arises we can either handle it negatively or positively. Under pressure we will discover each other’s faults and weaknesses, such as tendencies to depression, irresponsibility, oversensitivity or perfectionism. What causes quarrels and spoils unity? Is it little things or big things? It's most likely to be the small things that accumulate:
I was watching a good programme on TV and he came and switched it over without asking me.
She’s never ready for church and we are always late.
He forgot to buy me a birthday card.
She didn’t take the rubbish out.
Behind these trivial things are the issue of my feelings. Do I feel loved - or do I feel neglected? So what can you do when you find you’re in a disagreement? What does the Bible say about dealing with conflict in a positive way?
In marriage you should resolve a quarrel before bed time. Don’t let the sun go down on your anger. You could decide to be the first one to say sorry and take action to restore the relationship. You may feel angry and believe what your partner did was wrong, but your own reactions may have wounded the love between the two of you. Venting verbally or physically on to your spouse, walking out in the middle of a row, or withdrawing into silence are destructive patterns of behaviour in a relationship.
The Bible says in your anger do not sin. You have to undo those childhood patterns of behaviour. Failure to do this will mean the devil can get a foothold in any relationship. If you both share your feelings with love and honesty, you can work together towards resolution of the conflict and rebuilding the relationship. .
Prayer: Help me Lord to recognise the times when I cause problems for those I am in relationship with, so that I can deal with my own heart attitude and not hurt others. In Jesus' name, Amen
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