Every day we are faced with conflict. We face conflict in both our professional and our personal lives; conflict at our jobs, and conflict in our home. We are inundated daily with different forms of stressors and problems in need of solutions. Marriage is no different.
When we give ourselves in marriage, we give ourselves wholeheartedly to the one we love. We promise before God to honor and love our spouse, forgive their wrongs and look beyond their imperfections. Marriage is meant to be a tangible representation of the unconditional love that God our Father has for us. We are loved despite our flaws, our sins and our imperfections. In marriage, we are called to love in that same way.
For many couples, the first few years of marriage pass easily and with little conflict. As time goes by, we are faced with different challenges and at times are confronted with conflict that if not addressed, can have devastating consequences. We all face conflict at some point in our lives. No person, marriage or relationship is perfect. Rather than avoiding these issues, we must call upon the Lord for guidance, patience and love in order to work through conflict and find our way back to the state of unconditional marital love we so joyously entered into.
Perhaps you are facing financial struggles, issues with infidelity or are just feeling burdened by the weight of the world and the many roles you are called to fill. There is no more powerful force in marriage than that of forgiveness. To forgive is not to forget that a wrong has occurred, but rather to choose to look beyond the transgressions of another human being. It is an act of love.
And be ye kind one to another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, even as God for Christ’s sake hath forgiven you. —Ephesians 4:32, KJV
We are blessed to have a kind and forgiving God who loves us. Let us find it in our hearts to extend this same love and forgiveness to our spouse during times of struggle.
When people we love do something to hurt us, it can be tempting to lash out and try to even the score by hurting them or punishing them in some way. You’ll often regret these harsh words later, but you can’t go wrong with kind words. When you find yourself in an argument, make a conscious effort not to speak words of hate or anger but rather to be like Christ Himself and seek peace.
Blessed are the peacemakers: for they shall be called the children of God. —Matthew 5:9, KJV
A soft answer turneth away wrath: but grievous words stir up anger. —Proverbs 15:1, KJV
Forgiving your spouse for their transgressions and finding a way to work through turmoil together is not always easy, but it is an absolute necessity for a marriage to survive and thrive. Fortunately we are not alone. God is never far away.
One way to work through conflict in marriage — or avoid it all together — is to make time to pray with your spouse. Prayer is a great way to connect with each other on a spiritual level and also helps to keep Christ at the center of your relationship. Prayer works in beautiful ways, it strengthens both our earthly relationships and our relationship with our Heavenly Father. We are at our strongest when we are on our knees in prayer. Our God is a loving God, He hears our prayers and He will answer them.
Confess your faults one to another, and pray one for another, that ye may be healed. The effectual fervent prayer of a righteous man availeth much. — James 5:16, KJV
Conflict is inevitable. We have a choice to make each and every day about whether or not we will let conflict come between us and those we love, or whether we will work through it together and come out of it stronger than we were before. When in doubt, look to Jesus for guidance. Rely on His love, His peace and His example.