I’ve never really liked conflict. But I’ve also embraced certain lies about conflict in my past that have colored the way I feel about conflict. Now that God has revealed the truth to me about these lies, I have a better understanding about conflict. Allow me to share 5 Lies about Conflict …
1. Conflict should be avoided.
This was my mantra early on in my marriage. If it felt tense between my husband and me, I ducked and ran for cover. However, God has shown me that conflict can prove to be a good thing in a marriage when handled in a right way with a right and humble spirit.
2. Conflict leads to arguing.
In the past, I often felt like arguing was my only option in a conflict. But it really wasn’t and isn’t. I always have a choice to refrain, not with a defiant refusal, but with a respectful and gracious attitude toward my spouse.
If I ask for God’s calming peace to rule in my heart, even before but especially during a conflict, I am able to refrain from arguing. And since arguing often leads to “misunderstanding” and a tug-of-war between my will and my spouse’s will, it’s not the way God wants me to handle conflict. Sadly, though, conflict has become synonymous with arguing in a lot of households, but it doesn’t have to be!*
3. Conflict leads to misunderstanding.
As I mentioned above, arguing, not conflict is what often leads to misunderstanding. But that’s not always the case. Sometimes we shut down when a conflict arises and misunderstanding prevails. But neither of those extremes has to be the way we deal with conflict. Conflict, when handled in a right spirit, can pave the way to greater understanding! It can open up areas that have long gone hidden or ignored in a marriage.
4. Conflict is evidence that something’s wrong with your marriage and/or your spouse.
This is one that really pulled me down into the “pit.” Satan wanted me to believe that something was wrong with my marriage or even worse, with my spouse, because we had conflict. Don’t take Satan’s bait on this one! Conflict is a natural and inescapable result of living with another flawed and sinful human being. We will inevitably rub each other wrong from time to time. If we aren’t, then one of us is lying to him/her self.
5. Conflict is not a godly response or healthy function in marriage.
I really swallowed this lie big time. I thought I wasn’t being a godly wife if a conflict arose. I felt that if my husband was doing something hurtful, I should tolerate him and his action. But all I was doing was suppressing my emotions and not facing the truth with him as my partner. Learning to work through our conflicts in a healthy way has become an extremely important part of our bonding as a couple.
What about you? Which of these lies have you fallen prey to?
What have you learned about your mate or marriage that you wouldn’t have without the clarity conflict can bring?
“If you have been trapped by what you said, ensnared by the words of your mouth, then do this, my son, to free yourself, since you have fallen into your neighbor’s hands: Go and humble yourself; press your plea with your neighbor! Allow no sleep to your eyes, not slumber to your eyelids. Free yourself, like a gazelle from the hand of the hunter …” –Prov. 6:2-5a
“In your anger do not sin”: Do not let the sun go down while you are still angry, and do not give the devil a foothold.” –Ephesians 4:26-27
*If you are unable to face conflict without it degenerating into an argument, then you probably need to seek the help of a good Christian counselor or life-coach. Click here to read more about my Communication Skills coaching program.
Photo by fdecomite
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