Friday, 11 June 2010

Conflict - Bring it On!

If running from conflict were an Olympic event I would have set some world records. There are some who think conflict avoidance or unresolved conflict is the number one cause of divorce. To balance the scales there are those who believe that conflict is the number one cause for divorce. You know the nagging, nit picking, critical, I’m right and you’re wrong, in your face, I told you so kind of conflict. It is the kind of conflict that conjures up references to ones IQ or lineage.

I think both positions are incorrect. I think the real cause of divorce is love of self – it is all about me. It is about my needs, my desires and my expectations. James, the brother of Jesus, would tell you that you are in a conflict because your desires have been thwarted (James 4:1-2.)

According to Ken Sande, in his book The Peacemaker, “The more we want something, the more we think we need and deserve it. And the more we think we are entitled to something, the more convinced we are that we cannot be happy and secure without it. When we see something as essential to our fulfillment and well-being, it moves from being a desire to a demand…Even if the initial desire was not inherently wrong it has grown so strong that it begins to control our thoughts and behavior. In biblical terms, it has become an idol.”

Wait a minute you don’t know my husband/wife, you don’t know how they have failed to love me, to show me respect, to fulfill me, etc., etc. None of the aforementioned desires would be “inherently wrong” but when they are elevated to being necessary you have crossed over into idol worship.

Only God can make you feel fulfilled and complete and God is more concerned about your holiness than your happiness. When you become dissatisfied with your horizontal relationship (the relationship with your husband/wife) you must look to your vertical relationship (your relationship with God) for the answer.

Let’s look at conflict from God’s perspective. Conflict always provides an opportunity to glorify God, i.e. to bring him praise and honor by showing who he is, what he is like and what He is doing. Conflict provides us with an opportunity to serve others (Luke 6:27-28). God can use every circumstance in which you find yourself to bring glory to him and enable you to draw closer to Him. In the midst of our conflict God may expose a sinful attitude or habit that we have been clinging to. He may stretch us and challenge us as he uses conflict as a means to help us change and become more like His Son.

What do you think?

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