I’m going to throw out a word, and I want you to stop and think of what your first reaction is…
I don’t know about you, but when I hear the word, conflict, I get a sinking feeling in my stomach and my heart starts pounding. But it’s usually unavoidable that we will be in conflict with others, even our brothers & sisters in Christ—just ask Euodia and Syntyche, whose feud was so destructive that the Apostle Paul had to entreat them in Philippians 4 to “agree in the Lord” for the sake of the Body. But that is nothing compared to the damage that can be done in a marriage when the husband and wife are in conflict. We finish our series by looking at “24 Guidelines for Resolving Conflicts in Marriage”, excerpted from “7 Secrets of a Happy Family” by Dr Paul Meier and Richard Meier.
How do you react to Conflict?
- Give in and give up immediately (yes dear—milquetoast? Fear?)
- Flee hoping avoidance takes care of the problem or it disappears (silent knight)
- Assert authority, gain control, get my way (bully)
- Manipulate & hide facts to get upper hand (deceit & “witchcraft”)
- Challenge husband—because I know better (pride?)
- Do as he says to avoid riling husband (fear? Of what—safety or people-pleaser?)
Check out “Wild at Heart” by John Eldredge
Wives, submit to your own husbands, as to the Lord. For the husband is the head of the wife even as Christ is the head of the church, his body, and is himself its Savior. Now as the church submits to Christ, so also wives should submit in everything to their husbands. Husbands, love your wives, as Christ loved the church and gave himself up for her, that he might sanctify her, having cleansed her by the washing of water with the word, so that he might present the church to himself in splendor, without spot or wrinkle or any such thing, that she might be holy and without blemish. In the same way husbands should love their wives as their own bodies. He who loves his wife loves himself. For no one ever hated his own flesh, but nourishes and cherishes it, just as Christ does the church, because we are members of his body. “Therefore a man shall leave his father and mother and hold fast to his wife, and the two shall become one flesh.” This mystery is profound, and I am saying that it refers to Christ and the church. However, let each one of you love his wife as himself, and let the wife see that she respects her husband.
We’re committed to selflessly love cherish & honor (respect) our spouses. Sometimes, that requires yielding ourselves & our rights to God first, then spouse.
Repay no one evil for evil, but give thought to do what is honorable in the sight of all. If possible, so far as it depends on you, live peaceably with all. Beloved, never avenge yourselves, but leave it to the wrath of God, for it is written, “Vengeance is mine, I will repay, says the Lord.”
Also discussed in this series:
Excerpts from “7 Secrets of a Happy Family” by Dr. Paul Meier and Richard Meier