“God wants us to approach negotiation with love and wisdom. With love for your spouse, you gather relevant information about the dispute and explore creative options, seeking wisdom to find a solution that honors God and benefits both you and your spouse. Such resolution comes through cooperation, not competition.”
“It might seem that life will be easier if we take the timid path of avoiding certain uncomfortable truths or winking at selected sins, but we always reap what we sow (Galatians 6:7-9). If we sow loving honesty and courageous care, we will reap growth in godliness. If we avoid confrontation, we will just get confrontation anyway, because sin unaddressed is sin unconfined.”
“Peacemaking is a key ingredient in a fulfilling marriage and a happy family (and a guard against divorce.) Marriages bring two sinners into close proximity where their selfish desires rub against each other day after day. Friction increases when God adds ‘little sinners’ to the mix! There is only one way to deal with this volatile mixture: with humble confession, loving confrontation, and genuine forgiveness—the three basic tools of the biblical peacemaker.”
“How did Christ forgive us? By laying down His life. He didn’t wait until we apologized first. He took the initiative to forgive. I should do the same, even when it feels that my husband is clearly in the wrong. Sometimes it’s much easier for me to see only what he did wrong than it is for me to admit my part in the conflict.”
"Mercy sweetens marriage. Where it is absent, two people flog one another over everything from failure to fix the faucet to phone bills. But where it is present, marriage grows sweeter and more delightful, even in the face of challenges, setbacks, and the persistent effects of our remaining sin."
“Once I know that I am indeed the worst of sinners, then my spouse is no longer my biggest problem—I am. And when I find myself walking in the shoes of the worst of sinners, I will make every effort to grant my spouse the same lavish grace that God has granted me.”
"Our real opponent is not on the opposite side of the bed, but within our hearts. Our enemy is the desires of our flesh that oppose the desire of the Spirit. This is the fiercest and only true enemy of our marriage."
“Many marital conflicts are about nothing more than who will get the last word or who will get his way. But in marital conflicts, victory is the prize that no one can afford to win … Marriage is the only institution in the world where you can win every battle but lose the war.”
“Sometimes—especially when spouses are angry—they clam up and give each other the silent treatment, thinking that the silence will communicate their perspective. Don’t mistake silence for communication. In fact, silence is often only manipulative.”
“It is inevitable that conflict will arise between the two of you in the future, regardless of what happens to the marriage. The less able the two of you are to resolve your own differences, the more fractured your children will be. Unresolved parental conflict causes children to take sides, a destructive pattern.”
"Today, I know a lot of young couples who are frustrated with each other and their marriage because neither partner knows how to correctly relate to the opposite sex. Nobody has ever told them. They are trying to build an intimate relationship, one that’s supposed to last a lifetime, from scratch or, at best, guesswork … These young people don’t realize that behind much of their quarrels and dysfunction and anger is what they don’t know, not who they’re married to."
"No other human relationship can approach the potential for intimacy and oneness than can be found within the context of the marriage commitment. And yet no other relationship can bring with it as many adjustments, difficulties, and even hurts."
You are to be commended for seeking wisdom in the area of conflict resolution.
Read any of the online articles listed in this guide. Read the articles first for yourself and choose one or two that seem to apply to your situation. Then let's discuss this material together.
Read any of the scriptures of help and hope in this guide and let's discuss.
Please know that you are not alone, communication problems are the number one cause of marital frustration for many couples.
Remember that the goal in marriage is not to be conflict-free but to handle conflict correctly when it occurs
Be assured that conflict resolution is a skill that can be learned
Please know that even the efforts of only one partner can greatly reduce the conflict in a marriage
Ask for forgiveness for anything you've done to offend. Be the first to extend the olive branch.
Remember that you cannot control your spouse, only God can do that.
Remember that your spouse is not the enemy.
Remember that always avoiding conflict does not make lasting peace and could even prolong the problem.
Discover how your spouse responds to conflict differently than you do and adapt to them out of love.
Remember that cold indifference is often as destructive as hot anger… and neither really resolves conflict.
Reflect on what cravings or desires in your own heart may underlie this conflict (i.e. peace and quiet, obedient children, respectful co-workers, financial security, a good reputation, etc.)
Determine what is more important to you in this case, resolution of the issue or reconciliation of the relationship. What do you think is more important to God?
Think of one thing you can do today to honor God in this situation.
Consider your contribution to the conflict and how that has affected the current state of affairs. How could you have responded differently?
Even if you were only 2% responsible for the conflict, are you taking 100% of the responsibility for your 2%? What does that look like?
In light of Proverbs 19:11, prayerfully determine if this is an offense that is really worth fighting over or one that could be overlooked.
Reflect on where this conflict is leading you if it continues in the direction it is heading right now.
Name one thing that you most enjoyed about your relationship today and one thing you were dissatisfied with in your relationship today. Discuss these with
your spouse and determine if either of these represents patterns you see