When conflict arises between you and your spouse, how do you know whether you need to just let it go, take it to God in prayer and let Him work in your spouse, or confront your spouse and discuss the issue?
I love this question that I received from a friend. It really has made me ponder and pray for a good response. It so beautifully lays out the pieces of conflict that I hoped to cover this month that I’ve decide to answer it over the next three weeks.
Us conflict avoiders would instinctively run to the first statement and just try to let it go. For a long time, I thought I was the “better” one in our relationship because I would let things go, but what I realized is that when I really got hurt, I actually buried it down inside. I was slowly slaying my soul and the soul of our marriage. When you start stockpiling things inside, you build walls to hold it all in. The more junk you pile up, the higher the walls go. Walls keep things in, but they also keep people out. “Stonewalling” your spouse out of the inner struggles of your heart is a major step in killing the intimacy in your marriage.
For some of you this isn’t the problem at all. In fact, the opposite it true and you need to learn to let more things “roll off your back”. Although we are told to “Go ahead and be angry” (Ephesians 4:26, The Message), we are also told…
“Let every man be quick to hear, slow to speak, slow to take offense and to get angry.” James 1:19 Amplified Bible
Consider it a blessing, my fellow conflict avoiders, that we are more naturally slow to anger, but remember that those feelings are not “wrong” and should be shared.
If you are a conflict avoider, do you feel yourself building “walls”? What do you begin to notice in your relationship?
Are you one who struggles not to take offense? What techniques have you used to be “slow to take offense and to get angry”?
Come back next week to discuss part 2 of this question – when should we take our issues to God in prayer and let Him work in our spouse?
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