Friday, April 15, 2011

No Sucker Punches Allowed!


Good morning sisters. Today I want to continue our study on marriage.

We all have experienced conflicts in our lives. If anyone ever tells you that they have been married for ____amount of years and never fought are either lying through their teeth or don't have much of a marriage.

We all have conflicts in our marriage. How we deal with those conflicts will say a lot about the health of our marriage. As a couple we will not agree on everything. In fact, if we do agree on every subject then one of us is unnecessary! When we do disagree with our spouses we have several options.

1. We can come out with guns blazing and tear our spouses to shreds

2. We can demand that it be "our way or the highway"

3. We can find a compromise that both can live with

4. We can "give in" to do it the way our spouse wants to

How we fight tends to come from our family of origin. If your parents fought using "guerrilla war tactics" then that is typically how you will deal with conflict in your own family. If we witnessed plates flying, words screamed in anger etc. that is the model we tend to use. If we had parents that work out their differences calmly without drama then that is usually how we will deal with conflict.

Conflict will either tear our marriages apart or they can bring us closer together. A couple that learns how to "fight fair" will have a closer relationship that invites more intimacy, more trusting and the icing on the cake is having a deeper connection after the conflict. On the flip side, if you don't fight fair then you are tearing the marriage apart, Listen to Mark 3:25, "If a house is divided against itself, that house will not be able to stand."

Remember the story of how my DH and I met? There was no time for practicing conflict resolution since our "dating" was limited to roughly three weeks.

I was scared to death of conflict. I had come from a very violent childhood. I never wanted to experience that kind of conflict again so I did just the opposite, I retreated from all conflict. That was not healthy and really got us nowhere. I had to learn how to "fight fair". Conflict resolution was probably one of the toughest areas I had to work on personally.

We did come up with some "rules of engagement" to help us manage conflict.

1. Divorce was to never be brought up in the heat of the moment.

2. Never ever bring up "old garbage"

3. We won't fight in front of our children

4. We will never fight or put down our spouses in public

5. We won't go to bed angry

6. Failure is not an option

Some of these were tougher than others. Unresolved conflict will suck the very air out of any marriage. When we learn to respect and honor each other we will work towards a peaceful solution. I don't always have to win and neither does my DH. Our marriage is more important than any one topic of conflict.

Do we want to grow a solid marriage? If so then conflict is pretty near the top of the list of things to work on. How are you at conflict? Do you avoid it like the swine flu? Do you spew hateful words that can never be taken back? DO you always have to "win" the argument? Are you willing to try and learn a new way to manage conflicts? Is so then I applaud you. It is hard work to settle differences. Something to think about.

Have a wonderful weekend.

In Christ Alone,

Jill

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