When conflicts do come we should not run to a friend or even our parents. Often times, it is easier to tell someone who can sympathize with and reassure us we are in the right, but if we have a real relationship with Christ, we need to go to Him first. He helps us to see where WE have wronged our spouses by our actions or reactions. He also gives us the wisdom we need to fix the problem.
“For, brethren, ye have been called unto liberty; only use not liberty for an occasion to the flesh, but by love serve one another. For all the law is fulfilled in one word, even in this; Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself. But if ye bite and devour one another, take heed that ye be not consumed one of another. This I say then, Walk in the Spirit, and ye shall not fulfil the lust of the flesh. For the flesh lusteth against the Spirit, and the Spirit against the flesh: and these are contrary the one to the other: so that ye cannot do the things that ye would.”Galatians 5:13-17
Sometimes conflicts can be dealt with right away by choosing the right response at the point of impact. If we are walking in the Spirit, it is easy to overlook any problems, realize our spouses do love us and cover their “sin” against us with love.
Other times, there are bigger conflicts or wrong responses when we have not “walked in the Spirit” and need to take a break from the situation so that we can respond in a biblical way. During these times, using a journal has been helpful for me. Try this the next time you are dealing with conflict in your marriage.
Journaling Through Conflicts:
*Using a journal, I will usually tell God all about the problem. Tell him what happened, how I feel, why I feel wronged. Writing this down helps me to see what I’m feeling and to be objective about it. Writing to the Lord also helps me to keep my spirit in check.
2. Next, you must listen and write down what He tells you to do.
*I often know what I need to do because I know God’s character. I know He loves me, forgives me, and overlooks my many sins, but this time with Him is about turning this conflict over to Him.
3. Then, you must pray for His help and strength as you go to your spouse.
*It is a battle to humble myself, to admit my wrong actions or reactions. I need to be prepared to hear something I may not want to hear, but need to hear. I need help to overlook the flaws of my spouse and to respond how God wants me to and not to react.
4. Next, read over everything you have written so far and journal exactly what you will say to your spouse.
*Doing this helps me to look over the conflict objectively. I make sure I avoid words like “You always… “ or “You never…” I also check that my words are not showing any disrespect.
5. Then, go humbly to your spouse, praying as you go, remembering Christ is right by your side.
*I admit wrongdoing and ask for forgiveness.
*I then listen, really listen, working through the conflict together, discussing the solution..
NOTE: If there is conflict that becomes physical or verbally abusive, or if you feel out of control or overwhelmed, please talk to your pastor, his wife, or another Godly woman, who can further help you. God has given us these individuals to encourage you and support you and it is not wrong to seek counsel.
Suzanne has been married to Dean, her high school sweetheart, for 24 years. She is a former Elementary Teacher and homeschooling mom with two now adult children. Jeremiah is 22 and Ruth is 19. Suzanne was saved in 1998 and has been a faithful member of Lehigh Valley Baptist Church since that time. She enjoys reading, snuggling with her new puppies, encouraging others and using her “Happy Planner.” Suzanne is a first-generation Christian and knows all about the struggles of striving to be a Godly wife, mother and servant of Christ. She hopes to encourage you with the wisdom that she has learned through the years and is still learning.