Ephesians 4:31-32 says, "Let all bitterness and wrath and anger and clamor and slander be put away from you, along with all malice. Be kind to one another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, as God in Christ forgave you." In a Christian marriage, husbands and wives should seek to biblically resolve conflict through compassion and communication while glorifying God in the process.
Kathy Miller writes in her article, "How to Resolve the Four Kinds of Marital Conflict," that couples should invite dialogue to resolve conflict instead of nagging about faults. When couples choose their words carefully, encouraging each other and calmly solving disputes, communication in marriage flows more easily. Ken Sande, in his book, "The Peacemaker," notes that controlling the tongue helps couples maintain a loving attitude. Christian couples benefit from remembering Proverbs 15:1: "A soft answer turns away wrath, but a harsh word stir up anger."
Get the Log Out of Your Own Eye
In Matthew 7:5, Jesus instructs Christians, "You hypocrite, first take the log out of your own eye, and then you will see clearly to take the speck out of your brother's eye." Sande explains that by overlooking minor offenses, checking your attitude and determining whether engaging in conflict is really worth the effort, couples can avoid meaningless arguments. Responding gently, replacing anxiety with prayer, searching for a clear understanding and putting godly principles into practice reflect godly communication in the face of conflict.
Be Filled with Compassion
According to Dictionary.com, compassion is defined as "a feeling of deep sympathy and sorrow for another who is stricken by misfortune, accompanied by a strong desire to alleviate the suffering." Miller reminds couples that each sin against each other and that God calls Christians to respond righteously toward each other, rather than self-righteously. Colossians 3:12 advises Christians to " ... put on ... compassionate hearts, kindness, humility, meekness, and patience, bearing with one another"
Glorifying God Through Reconciliation
In Colossians 3:13, God instructs Christians, " ... if one has a complaint against another, forgiving each other; as the Lord has forgiven you, so you also must forgive." Committing to a godly communication in a marriage means individually growing spiritually and maturing in Christ. Sande guides Christians to live peaceably by trusting, obeying, imitating and acknowledging Christ in the midst of struggles. Ultimately, couples must offer each other true forgiveness to reconcile after conflict.
- Peacemaking Women: Biblical Hope for Resolving Conflict; Tara Barthel and Judy Dabler
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