#747 – Conflict Resolution

Good morning people committed to working it out

(By Margaret McCracken)

All couples disagree at times. It can be anything from a minor difference of opinion, a constant irritation and arguments to an all out shouting match and sometimes violence.

God’s desire is that we live in peace and harmony.

In our early marriage we did not do well due to the fact that we were both stubborn and had a lot of pride; the result was too many arguments. We finally got the revelation that it was more important “to reconcile” than “to be right”. Our marriage was more important to us than our pride, so we began to strategise as to how we could eliminate conflict and restore our relationship. This, of course, was an ongoing process.

Here’s the key verse we discovered.

Ephesians 4:26 In your anger do not sin: Do not let the sun go down while you are still angry.

Right from the beginning of our marriage we honoured this verse and never went to sleep angry with each other. That meant we talked things through (sometimes into early morning) and came to a point of restoring our relationship even though we agreed to differ at times. Our relationship is more important to us than being right!

What we have always tried to do is to keep short accounts. That is, deal with issues as they arise and definitely within a 24 hour period. We don’t let things fester over days or weeks; this only leads to resentment and a breakdown of the relationship.

Just as it is important to say “I love you” often, it is equally important to say, “I was wrong, will you please forgive me?” We need to give and receive forgiveness freely.

Another helpful thing we did was to “draw up rules for war”. The reason we did this was so that in the heat of the moment we were accountable for our behaviour.

Here are some of our rules: No shouting, no bad language, no bringing up past events, no abusing the other person in word or behaviour and no silent treatment or walking out.

God is totally committed to your marriage and with His help and by His grace you can have a loving relationship that will empower you both for the future you have together. I encourage you to unconditionally release each other from yesterday’s regrets and embrace a new beginning.

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