Solving conflict

Solving conflict

There are few things worse than getting into a fight with a loved one, especially your spouse. Check out these tips to smooth things.

There’s a reason why so many of us would rather have a hole filled with Kenny G playing in the background than have the same… dumb… fight. 

Conflict with your spouse is unavoidable in all marriages. (Whoever came up with the notion that “marriage should be easy” definitely wasn’t married.) How will you cope with it? 

The following ideas from Peacemaker Ministries may help to make love a bit less of a battleground. 

Why are we fighting? 

When your ideals clash with those of your partner, a fight ensues. He hopes she’d park straight; she wishes he’d use the same reasoning to bring his socks 17 inches closer to the hamper. 

According to James 4:1, “What causes quarrels and conflicts among you?” Isn’t it true that your passions are at odds within you?” Our objectives have been foiled. 

Unspoken or overt conflict with your spouse might be tangible or intangible, subtle or rather loud. They can entail confrontations inside ourselves, with others, with the larger universe, and even with God Himself. 

Conflicts can be difficult to resolve since our approach is primarily affected by the culture of our family of origin. Whether it’s glossing over, gossiping, lashing out, storming away, or holding a family meeting, our personal experience has dictated “appropriate” fight reactions. 

Isn’t it true that we all fall somewhere on a spectrum? 

  • Escaping: There are the traditional “stuffers” who want a phony peace. They are avoiding confrontation by open denial, internalizing conflict reactions, and perhaps denying a fight is happening. 
  • Attacking: On the opposite end of the scale, there are “whistleblowers” who aim for a skewed justice. They may use words, physical force, or the removal of privileges such as money or sex to attack. Of course, anyone can say no to sex for any reason.
  • Peacemaking: The absolute peace and authentic justice of godly answers are found in the center of these extremes: We’re talking about it. Identifying a mediator. Ignoring a crime. When we establish peace, Jesus calls us “blessed.” Not pretenders to the peace. Not violators of the peace with a fight. 

The replay

We don’t behave as “peacemakers” just because it’s the right thing to do. Because when we are in a fight, we have the chance to glorify God by replaying His acts when He was in dispute with us. 

(Wait. Is it possible that how I handle my spouse’s workaholism is an opportunity to represent the gospel? Please elaborate.) 

When sin shattered our connection with God, He went to great lengths to mend it and make peace with us. God proved the depth and quantity of His love by creating a way for peace when we were His adversaries. And it is a task that God has entrusted to us when we fight. 

The way we demonstrate forgiveness, peace, and justice in our relationships demonstrates what God has done for us through Jesus. 

So, how do you respond to your mother-in-sniping, the law’s your husband’s passivity or your wife’s nagging? 

Those are chances to glorify God and become more like Him. (Will I obey God and put my confidence in Him? Will I choose His will over my wishes, objectives, “rights,” and schedule? What is His intention?). 

Conflict also helps us to assist others and grow by providing us with fresh perspectives on life. 

Does this indicate that arguing with your spouse may help the relationship? 

That is precisely what I mean.