Conflict Resolution In Marriage

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Placing a priority on marital harmony makes conflict resolution in marriage relatively easy. While some couples seem to thrive on chaos and confusion, wise partners know the best way to stay married is to foster an environment of peace and unity. When the objective is to keep the peace, husbands and wives can work out differences amicably. The key to conflict resolution in marriage is to know when to submit to one another for the benefit of the relationship. It takes wisdom, love, and understanding not to win the argument, but to give the other person the benefit of the doubt. "I therefore, the prisoner of the Lord, beseech you that ye walk worthy of the vocation wherewith ye are called, With all lowliness and meekness, with longsuffering, forbearing one another in love; Endeavouring to keep the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace" (Ephesians 1:1-3).

Effectively using conflict resolution in marriage requires spouses to refuse to give into the anger that can accompany frustration. Being angry is a natural human emotion, but the Bible admonishes us to "Be ye angry, and sin not: let not the sun go down upon your wrath: Neither give place to the devil" (Ephesians 4:26-27). Notice, when couples are angry, they give place or space for the devil to exacerbate the situation. Tempers flare, hurtful words are spoken, and a happy home is broken. But, wise husbands and wives don't have to let the enemy control the household. Count to ten, count to twenty, yell and scream in the bathroom, but come out prepared to deal fairly with the situation. Counting to ten helps diffuse anger before a spouse can respond in the flesh. Walking away from an argument, being quiet, singing a song, or meditating on the Word are all methods of diffusing anger. In a moment of time, the blood pressure is lowered, the heart stops beating so sporadically, the pulse becomes normal, and a spouse is able to respond wisely without arguing and without accusations.

No one really wins an argument, but everyone wins when two people can either agree, or agree to disagree without bitterness or strife. If a husband and wife differ in opinions, there should be enough mutual respect to allow room for individual thought without ridicule. But because they are married, there must also be a common ground, a common thread of thought upon which two can agree. The wise man or woman seeks commonality, especially in a marriage relationship; preferring rather to focus on similar likes rather than dislikes. Conflict resolution in marriage, then, depends on whether husbands and wives can come into agreement. "Can two walk together, except they be agreed?" (Amos 3:3).

Conflict resolution in marriage also requires learning how to pick the battles. Not every issue is worth arguing about, and some are not even worth discussing. What does it matter if the husband likes mustard on French fries; but the wife prefers catsup? Starting an argument over little things is a waste of time and energy. But having a healthy discussion over opposing views on whether to buy or rent a house is something worth hashing out. Marriage partners should learn how to share differing opinions without erupting into an argument. Each spouse should calmly state their case and politely discuss opposing views until a common perspective emerges. Following that thread of commonality will eventually lead to a conclusion both parties can readily adopt.

Fights are bound to happen in marriage, but couples should learn how to fight fair. A successful attempt at conflict resolution in marriage leaves room for couples to vent frustrations and even have heated debates without bashing or belittling one another. By refraining from attacking a mate's character, bringing up past failures, finding fault or making accusations, partners can have healthy discussions that don't hurt, wound or make their mate feel ashamed. The best rule of thumb when constructively settling arguments is for spouses to treat one another as they would want to be treated. In a conflict, voice opinions without raising one's voice. If one partner begins to talk loudly or shout, a gentle reminder to quiet their tone will keep the conversation on an amicable level.

Another tip for successful conflict resolution in marriage is for spouses to remember to express feelings rather than accuse a partner for some misgiving. For instance, John failed to inform his wife, Kelly, the boss was coming for dinner until 30 minutes before they were to arrive. Imagine the sheer frustration over having to clean the house, prepare a meal and look presentable for a first-time visit by an employer! How should Kelly respond? Throwing a tantrum won't help; nor will accusingly exclaiming, "You always wait until the last minute to tell me these things!" John may be guilty, but that won't change the fact that dinner should be ready in half an hour. But Kelly is entitled to self expression. A good response would be, "John, you know I am going to be under a lot of pressure to pull this dinner off. How can you help me? Do you have time to pick up something from the deli?"

Soliciting her husband's help in a time of great need not only puts John in the position of being somewhat of a hero, but it also stresses the fact that Kelly needs John's help to get out of a situation he caused. Most men love to become that knight in shining armor, rescuing their damsel in distress. In this case, a wise use of tactics to aid conflict resolution in marriage diffuses a potentially volatile situation. Because John and Kelly both want to keep the peace, dinner with the boss goes off without a hitch. By striving to maintain a peaceful coexistence, working to have the keep the same perspective, and avoiding making accusations, couples can have a harmonious marriage without serious conflicts.

Marriage Help For Christians

Words of wisdom on marriage help for Christians can be found in the Holy Bible from Genesis to Revelation. God's Word offers practical tips for husbands and wives in crisis or those seeking to make their marriage better. Old Testament Books of the Bible with passages addressed to spouses include Genesis, Malachi, and Song of Solomon. In the New Testament, couples can find pearls of wisdom in Ephesians, I Corinthians, and I Peter. The reason why the Book of books can offer marriage help for Christians is that God is the consummate Author of marriage! The Book of Genesis not only records the beginning of Creation, but also the beginning of marital relations between the first man, Adam, and the first woman, Eve. The Book of beginnings also reveals God's original intent and purpose for marriage: to bring forth a godly generation as Adam and Eve obeyed the commandment to "be fruitful and multiply, and replenish the earth." "So God created man in his own image, in the image of God created he him; male and female created he them. And God blessed them, and God said unto them, Be fruitful, and multiply, and replenish the earth, and subdue it: and have dominion over the fish of the sea, and over the fowl of the air, and over every living thing that moveth upon the earth" (Genesis 1:27-28).

Couples seeking marriage help for Christians can get an idea about the wife's role in marriage by studying God's creation of the first woman made from Adam's rib. They will discover that woman was created to be a help "meet" or suitable to walk alongside the husband in a supportive role, just as a rib supports a man's torso and helps keep him upright. Thus, a wife's role is to lend support while walking in tandem with and submission to the husband who takes the leadership role in the home, the church and the marketplace. "And the LORD God caused a deep sleep to fall upon Adam, and he slept: and he took one of his ribs, and closed up the flesh instead thereof; And the rib, which the LORD God had taken from man, made he a woman, and brought her unto the man. And Adam said, This is now bone of my bones, and flesh of my flesh: she shall be called Woman, because she was taken out of Man" (Genesis1:22-23).

Marriage help for Christians pertaining to child rearing can be found in the Book of Malachi. "And did not he make one? Yet had he the residue of the spirit. And wherefore one? That he might seek a godly seed. Therefore take heed to your spirit, and let none deal treacherously against the wife of his youth" (Malachi 2:15). Couples will glean another purpose for the creation of mankind: to provide a godly seed that might glorify the Lord in the earth. The procreation of a holy nation wholly submitted to the will of God was designated to bring the Lord's dominion in the earth as it is in Heaven. Christian couples should view childrearing as an opportunity to fulfill the Lord's original commandment to Adam to be fruitful and multiply, replenishing the earth with children who are reared in the nurture and admonishment of the Lord. Understanding His plan for mankind helps couples struggling with a decision to have children or dealing with the heartache of infertility. The Holy Scriptures reveal God's sovereignty and sufficiency with fertile and infertile Christian couples.

Perhaps the greatest love story in the history of mankind is recorded in the Song of Solomon, a Book written by King Solomon describing his courtship with a Shulamite maiden. At times racy and at other times dramatic, the Song of Solomon offers marriage help for Christians who desire to put a little sizzle into the relationship. While the verses are allegorical and spiritual in nature, they also offer explicit accounts of passion and desire in a marital relationship. Couples can take turns reading the verses aloud, designated for the male and female, and bask in that special love solely reserved to the confines of the marriage chamber. Christians need not look to worldly devices, pornography or sex therapists to find fulfillment. The Holy Word of God offers marriage help for Christians seeking intimacy that can last for a lifetime.

The 5th chapter of Ephesians offers advice for husbands and wives based on the revelation that Christ is the Head or Husband of the Church universal, or Bride. The role of the husband is clearly illustrated by Christ's overwhelming love for the Church. Husbands who ponder how wives should be entreated can take a lesson from the Lord Jesus Christ; and wives seeking to please God and their husbands will find that submission is not a difficult task, but an integral part of the marriage relationship.

Couples in crisis can find solutions and marriage help for Christians in I Corinthians, Chapter 7. Passages address marital intimacy, submission, infidelity, and options for saved husbands and wives married to unsaved spouses. I Peter, chapter 3 offers an abundance of advice for couples seeking to improve marital relations. The Book of Revelation also portrays the Bride of Christ, the Church in all its glory, coming down from Heaven to meet the Groom. It is an inspiration for all women aspiring to one day meet the man they will marry. Today's couples need look no further than the Holy Bible for marriage help for Christians. The Author of marriage has all the answers to finding lifelong happiness with husbands and wives divinely chosen to be suitable mates. Whether partners need advice on intimate marital relations, divorce and remarriage, childrearing, or romance, it can be found throughout the Word of God, the greatest marriage manual in the history of mankind.

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