Orignally posted July 8, 2008.
If you are married, surely you face conflict on a regular basis. Daily we are given opportunity for arguments and strife. I put together a list of things to consider before your conflict grows to the point of no return.
1. Avoid the words “you” and use “I” instead. When we point the finger at someone it immediately makes them feel accused and they will automatically respond defensively.
2. Don’t use the words “always” and “never” while having a heated discussion with your spouse. Chances are, it won’t be a truthful statement, and it will bring a sense of hopelessness to the situation.
3. Think before you speak! Sounds simple, but it is so easy to blurt out a statement without thinking through the possible reprocussions of it. Boy do I know this one! 4. Apply this verse during a disagreement: Prov 15:1 A gentle answer turns away wrath,but a harsh word stirs up anger. NIV
It is amazing how just softening your tone can change the atmosphere in a room. Think about it like a fire…you can either pour gasoline on it or water. A gentle answer is like pouring water on a fire. A harsh response is like gasoline.
5. One of my favorite sayings, look in the mirror first. What do I need to change? How have I escalated this situation? What can I do differently?
6. Deal with bitterness and unforgiveness. Many times the argument at hand is just a symptom of a deeper issue that is unresolved. Sometimes we hold on to things for years and never deal with the hurt and anger than lie beneath. Get alone and pray about it. Ask the Lord to heal your broken heart. Forgiveness with most likely be involved in this process.
Here is an article I wrote about my story of a broken heart: Bring God Your Broken Heart 7. Empathy. Put yourself in your spouses shoes and try to see things from their perspective- especially considering their personality type…etc.
8. If you can’t resolve things, please talk to someone who will give you Godly advice. This is a short list, so feel free to add more in the comments!
I am praying for our marriages, Sue