On yesterday’s edition of Dating the Kingdom Way: The Marriage Series Russell and I discussed “Couples and Conflict.” Nobody likes conflict (well most people don’t), but it’s an inevitable part of any relationship, romantic or otherwise. So we shared what we believe to be the best top six cures for conquering conflict in a marriage. Everybody has or will deal with conflict at some point in your relationship, so this post is for you. Enjoy!
1. Keep God and prayer before you and in the midst of you. It’s so important to have a couples/family devotion time and an individual devotion time with the Lord. Those times together remind you that God is at the helm of y
our home and the center of your relationship. He is the glue that holds you two together and the healing balm that heals every dis-ease, so you have to make sure that the glue and balm are properly applied at all times and especially in moments of conflict. (Mark 1:34)
2. Know Who Your Enemy Is. Your spouse is not your enemy, Satan is and He is after the good thing that you have in your marriage, which was ordained by God. Remember that the enemy comes to steal, to kill, and to destroy, and your marriage is not exempt from his plan. He will do all he can to disrupt the pe
ace you have by exploiting the conflict you are having. Knowing at whom to aim your daggers (spiritual weapons) will make your fighting together more effective. (John 10:10, Ephesians
4. Have Reasonable Expectations. Sometimes conflict comes from unreasonable expectations. Don’t get me wrong. We should have expectations for our spouses based on what the Bible instructs us to do as husband and wife, but not expectations based on what somebody else’s spouse does. When we start comparing our spouses to other people’s spouses it causes us to be frustrated and bitter about those unmet expectations and can cause our spouses to be resentful because they are not being appreciated for who they are–the person you married. Also, don’t forget to have expectations for yourself based on the Word. Focus on doing your part in the marriage and less on what your spouse isn’t doing. (Ephesians 5:22-31)
3. Surrender Your Right to Be Right. You both can’t always be right, no matter how hard you try, so make keeping the peace in your home the goal and not trying to be right. Sometimes even if you are right, you should submit to each other in order to keep the peace. That requires a denial of self, but since the two are one anyway it’s really about what’s best for family unit as a whole, not the individual parts who make up the family. (Ephesians 5:21)
5. Learn Your Spouse. Take the time to learn what your spouse likes and dislikes, so you can better please them. Continuing to do what you want to do despite what your spouse wants is definitely a seed bed for conflict. As a married couple we are expected to please each other. You’ve got to know what they like in order to please them. The time you spend now will save you some turmoil in the future. (1 Peter 3:7)
6. Tame Your Tongue. For goodness sake, keep angry words from coming out of your mouth. That may mean saying nothing at all until you’ve calmed down. It’s okay to be angry. It’s a normal, God-given, emotion, but it’s not okay to sin because you are angry. Cursing your spouse out may feel good, but it only adds fuel to the fire. Instead choose words that make for peace or like I said before choose a moment of silence for the time being. (Ephesians 4:26-27)
Conflict is inevitable, but combat is optional. We choose how we are going to handle the tough situations that arise in our marriages. Putting God first and realizing who is behind the conflict that you are experiencing will help you take the proper course of action so that you can withstand the tests. You have got to fight for your marriage, not against it with hurtful words and actions. If you do happen to be influenced to do those things, be quick to repent and cultivate the peace again. See your marriage for what it is, a blessing and treat it as such with care and respect. When both people are on the same page working together with that same mindset, God will be in the midst doing something amazing in your union.