How to Handle Conflicts by James 1:19

A husband said to his wife “How could God make you be so beautiful but yet so stupid?” His wife said “God made me beautiful so that you would be attracted to me and so stupid so that I would be attracted to you!” Husbands and wives will have conflicts. These are normally verbal rather than physical. How are these to be resolved? It was God who made the man and the woman and decreed marriage. It is in the Bible that we will find answers to marital conflicts. James 1:19-“So then, my beloved brethren, let every man be swift to hear, slow to speak, slow to wrath…” (NKJV)

1. We are to be swift to hear
We need to listen to what our partner says. We are afraid to listen or our ego is too big. Here are four ways to help your listening: Observation – Listen with your eyes as well as your ears. When you look away from someone you are saying to the other person that you are not interested. Concentration – You need to focus. We often only hear 20% of what is said. You may not remember or misunderstand what is said. Consideration – Think about what is being said. Listen to the words. Don’t try and catch them in error. Clarification – Think it through. After all is said can you restate what they said? Have each got their points across?

2. Be slow to speak
Tone down. You have two ears and one tongue. We are to watch our mouths. Our tongue can get us into a lot of trouble. Proverbs 10:19-“In the multitude of words sin is not lacking, But he who restrains his lips is wise.” Proverbs 17:27- “He who has knowledge spares his words, And a man of understanding is of a calm spirit.” Proverbs 21:23-“Whoever guards his mouth and tongue Keeps his soul from troubles.” -However, do not be the silent type. Watch your words! Giving your partner the cold shoulder is not going to help things at all. See 1 Corinthians 13:4 (“Love suffers long and is kind!” (NKJV).

-Most play one or more of the “Love Games” during an argument: The judge - Sometimes one of the partners wants to be the judge. It is “You always”, “You never”, “I told you so”, “It’s your fault”, “All you ever do is complain”, “Why don’t you ever listen to me”, etc. The professor – “You can’t understand”, “Men”, “Women”, etc The physiologist – “Let me tell you why you think like that”, etc. The historian – You have a record of everything your partner has said and did wrong. This is a way of avoiding the conflict. The dictator – This person is a bully. They bully their way in the home. “Don’t you ever do this again”, etc. Jesus is the head of the church and does not dictate himself upon you. He uses love. The dictator sees himself as more important than you. The critic – This person will compare their partner with someone else. “Why are you not like …”, “Can you not be like..” etc. The preacher – You become the preacher. You are self-righteous. You cannot beat your partner over the head with a Bible. -God’s love covers a multitude of sins. (1 Peter 4:8-“ Above all, love each other deeply, because love covers over a multitude of sins)” (NIV).

3. Be slow to wrath
Ephesians 4:26-“In your anger do not sin: Do not let the sun go down while you are still angry” (NIV). - There is good anger and wrong anger. You need to sort things out before the sun goes down. It is a sign of foolishness and a weak character to not deal with anger. Don’t be sleeping in separate beds. Get it sorted before the sun sets. Don’t run out – You may need some time out but don’t run out. Don’t give in – If your mate is doing wrong and you are always giving in then resentment will settle in. -Find the right time. Find the right tone. Find the right turf (place). Practice accommodation and adjustment. It may not get any easier but it gets sweeter every day.

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