Friday, 11 April 2014

Is Your Life Full of Potholes?

In the United States our road systems are reasonably good and fairly well maintained.  However this past winter in the Northeast has been brutal and it has taken its toll on our roadways.  I find myself weaving down the road trying to miss huge, cavernous openings in the road, big enough to swallow a Smart Car.

If my car were to drive over one of these potholes it can do much damage.  Certainly my car will most likely be out of alignment, but I’m liable to get a flat tire, bend a rim and/or lose a hubcap.  Potholes are to be avoided at all costs.

Then it dawned on me.  Some of us have marriages that resemble roads with potholes.  In this case the pothole is a subject or topic that we know we should steer clear of.  It could be finances, disciplining the children, in-laws, sex or any number of touchy areas that are sure to raise the ire of one or both partners.  Conflict is inevitable.

To avoid potholes in the road I will actually take a different route.  To avoid a difficult conversation I might withdraw, change the subject or go on the offensive.  Such a tactic on the road is prudent, such a tactic in marriage is fraught with problems.

Conflict is one of the things that many of us do not handle well.  Hopefully the potholes on the road will be addressed by the local municipalities and filled by early summer.  The potholes in the marriage can best be repaired by addressing them head on with humility, mercy and grace.

The conflict exists because you have opposing opinions or at the very least opposing purposes.  What if you had a common purpose which was to resolve the conflict in a way that would glorify God?    If your purpose is to glorify God you would seek a way of resolving your differences in a way that would treat your spouse with dignity.   You would be more inclined to seek a solution that incorporated both of your points of view.  Conflict presents an opportunity to learn from one another.  You each bring a different perspective comprised of gender and personality differences and life experiences.  Conflict provides you with an opportunity to value one another and most likely arrive at a solution that is preferable.

Dodging the potholes in a marriage will do far more damage in the long run than seeking God’s will and bringing honor to Him.

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