During the first year of my marriage, adjustment and compromise were essential to navigating the coming together of two very different personalities. Lots of laughter and frustrations but overall, a closeness that only marriage can nurture and provide. Thus, when the first potential conflict arose, the conversation gingerly began, treading on eggshells.
“Honey, I really appreciate you doing the laundry but could I ask a favor? Could you not run the my clothes so long in the dryer? I think the heat is shrinking them.”
My new bride turned to me, smiled, then replied, “Of course, honey! I will make sure I don’t run the dryer too long.”
It was not until many months later when I realized that my clothes were not shrinking, but my waistline was expanding! My lovely bride knew better!
Many conflicts are the result of mis- or lack of communication. Whether we think we are in the right or not, if the other party is also convinced of their stand, conflict is inevitable. I am thankful the Bible does not pull any punches in recording instances of conflicts even amongst the great heroes of the Bible. Paul and Barnabas had such a heated argument about whether John Mark should accompany them on their second missionary journey, that they agreed to part ways, with Paul taking Silas and Barnabas taking John Mark. But the conflict did not end the relationship between these two mighty servants of God. Years later, in one of his last letters, Paul writes...Get Mark and bring him with you, for he is useful to me for ministry. (2 Timothy 4:11).
God is able to bring healing and reconciliation to any relationship that has been marred or seemingly irreparably damaged by conflict. If we were to simply rely upon our own efforts, it would indeed be futile. But thanks be to God that He desires all men to be in fellowship with Him through His Son, Jesus Christ.
If it is possible, as much as depends on you, live peaceably with all men.
Mis- or lack of communication is never an issue when we allow God to speak to us through His Holy Spirit. Allow God to work in your heart and address the conflicts that hinder you from being at peace with others. Never doubt the healing power of an all-loving God!
Love and respect the Lord; keep our family strong.