God is the creator of families. Family is such a powerful connection that we are all created to be a part of. With every connection and relationship, conflict can play a key part in causing rifts and fragmenting this connection. God is not only passionate about family, but He knows how to make it work!
Colossians 3:12-17 NIV Living the New Life
Therefore, as God's chosen people, holy and dearly beloved, clothe yourselves with compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness and patience. Bear with each other and forgive one another if any of you has a grievance against someone. Forgive as the Lord forgave you. And over all these virtues, put on love, which binds them all together in perfect unity.
Let the peace of Christ rule in your hearts, since as members of one body you were called to peace. And be thankful. Let the message of Christ dwell among you richly as you teach and admonish one another with all wisdom through psalms, hymns, and songs from the Spirit, singing to God with gratitude in your hearts. And whatever you do, whether in word or deed, do it all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through him.
6 KEYS TO RESOLVING CONFLICT
1. LEARN HOW TO COMMUNICATE
We must all learn the art of communication. Communication is an art form, and it can be learnt! It is easy to feel like we are not good at communicating, especially at home. However, families need good communication. When we communicate well - there tends to be far less conflict.
2. CHOOSE YOUR WORDS WELL
Proverbs 15:1 ESV says A soft answer turns away wrath, but a harsh word stirs up anger.
Some words cannot be taken back once they are out, and in a heated environment, controlling what we say can be difficult. In those moments of conflict, don’t give in to dirty fighting, and don’t have a loose tongue - for death and life are in the power of the tongue (Proverbs 18:21).
Someone in the situation has to be the peacemaker, who is willing to speak words of life.
3. DON’T AGREE WITH A NEGATIVE STATEMENT
Matthew 18:19 NIV says “Again, truly I tell you that if two of you on earth agree about anything they ask for, it will be done for them by my Father in heaven.”
Agreement is a powerful kingdom force. Never agree on the negative but agree about God’s favour upon your lives and about a positive outcome to any challenge.
4. DON’T GET OFFENDED
Offence is like melanoma of the soul - there’s little evidence on the surface but it eats away at you over time. The nature of offence is that it hurts you far more than the person who you’re offended with. To remain offended will kill your spirit and steal your faith and is not a place where we are called to remain but many Christians do.
In most cases, the person who caused offence generally doesn’t even know they offended you! We think they should, but we’ve never told them.
Telling them is halfway to dealing with the offence. Telling them is communicating!
5. FORGIVE EVERYONE
Bear with each other and forgive one another if any of you has a grievance against someone. Forgive as the Lord forgave you.
We serve the God who forgave us. Our way, is forgiveness. Unforgiveness will create more problems in your life than whatever that person did to you. Unfortiveness causes us to walk outside the forgiveness of God.
6. LEARN TO NEGOTIATE
When it comes to conflict, some people are naturally confronters and some are more avoiders. Confronters can tend to push the issue with an avoider generally resulting in tears - which doesn’t solve anything! Are you a confronter or an avoider?
We can try to ‘win’ an argument - if one person wins, it means the other person loses. If that person is your spouse, child or friend - over time, you all lose.
Instead, we need to find a win-win situation, by negotiating a positive outcome, meeting in the middle. Confronters may need to back off sometimes and let some things slide and the Avoiders need to be willing to discuss a tricky subject.