As you can imagine, two imperfect people will definitely generate disagreement, frustration and, yes, conflict in a relationship. When you marry, you bring your flaws, a little of the past, and a moderate amount of baggage. In that baggage is the hurt others have caused, your unwillingness to forgive, and the triggers that remind you of just how hard-nosed you have to be.
The natural instinct of most individuals is to defend. People generally come out swinging whenever we feel our character, motives, or actions are being attacked. Conflict comes in various forms and can arise quickly or build up over time. Your insecurities flare up from time to time when situations don’t go your way and instinct causes you to react. That reaction is usually the beginning of conflict.
If you feel like your relationship is beyond the point of help, and conflict has just demolished the communication, the trust, and every other part of your relationship, you must pray. Prayer should never be the last resort; it should actually be ongoing in every situation. However, when you feel you’ve given your relationship everything you have, you’ve been committed, you’ve communicated, shared, been vulnerable, and have been a great listener, it might be time to sit still.
In that stillness, ask God to move in you and to reveal to you what your next action step needs to be. Pray for your relationship and, specifically, how to properly handle marital discord. You weren’t drawn to each other only for your marriage to suffer. You deserve happiness and peace in your marriage. You also have to be willing to work for it. It will require love, commitment, and self- sacrifice. You have to be willing to do what is necessary to experience a marriage filled with the same peace for which you prayed.
When I take an honest assessment of my motives and actions towards my husband, I sometimes have to check myself. If they don’t align with the peace we both want, I have to rethink my words and approach the situation from a different angle. One of my favorite scriptures, and the one that immediately takes me back to remembering my original goal, is the following: “Let us therefore make every effort to do what leads to peace and to mutual edification.” Romans 14:19
Find a scripture that speaks to your specific marriage, one that brings about a healing just upon hearing it. Please remember to also take your spouse by the hands and pray together. There is no greater bond than a couple who can pray together, even in the midst of trial.
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Remember conflicts arise when two individuals are unable to see eye-to-eye on a certain situation. They aren’t the end of the world, and are actually quite normal. You will experience them in your marriage; you’re human. The one takeaway is to allow the love you and your spouse share to trump the anger and the egos, which have no place in your relationship.
In everything you do and say, love should always be present. It should be obvious in your tone of speech, the words you say, and your ability to forgive when you feel you’ve been wronged. Your marriage, just like any other, is worthy of all the peace and joy it can hold. Be blessed!
BMWK, Are you ready to deal with conflict once and for all?