All Writings

On Resolving Conflict

But let everyone be quick to hear, slow to speak and slow to anger.
~James 1:19

Dear Molly,

I realized very early in my marriage (around the second day) that Mac and I were two entirely different human beings with two entirely different thinking patterns! In my naivety, I thought because we were now “one” there would never be any conflict of interests or ideas. (I am laughing right now – I know you know how different Mac and I are!) What I have learned over these years, however, is to both marvel and respect the way God has uniquely designed my husband; and believe me, he is quite unique (even though he is an identical twin)! I encourage you to also appreciate the way God has created Ryan’s heart and mind. Realize conflicts will come, because you are different. Two ways I have learned not to handle these situations are:

Don’t be a pouter. This is the approach my personality is most likely to take. I don’t have to say anything; my lower lip says it all! Sometimes Mac has no idea I am even “punishing” him with this cold silent treatment, which of course makes me even angrier. Trust me, pouting does not resolve anything. Your husband cannot read your mind, so speak it with gentleness and respect.

Don’t be a shouter. Instead of the cold shoulder route, the “red-hot” approach can spew damaging and unnecessary fire into a relationship. Know that harsh words cannot be retrieved from the recipient’s heart. Believe “a gentle answer turns away wrath.” Proverbs 15:1

So we can’t pout and we can’t shout; what then is a woman to do?! My (still being learned) advice is threefold:

1. Pray. Before you speak to Ryan, speak to the Lord. Tell Him everything you feel about the particular situation between you and your husband. Pour out your heart before the Lord. He is full of understanding and mercy.

2. Gain perspective. Through prayer, God will help you to see the conflict through His eyes. Be willing to hear what He has to say through His word and His Spirit. Give the Living Water the opportunity to quench your fire. And then, be willing to …

3. Seek peace. Always know the Lord Jesus will call you to put aside malice and put on love. He is the author of peace, so through Him, you can resolve any conflict. Trust Him to help you keep peace in your marriage relationship.

Remember, Molly, Ryan is on your side. You are one, created for the purpose of walking together through life peacefully. Do not let the Enemy break your strides. Because marriage is God’s design, the Deceiver’s task is to destroy it. I encourage you to fight the Enemy, not your husband.

Love, Chris

Seek peace, and pursue it.
~Psalm 34:14