I’m learning a lot being in a relationship with my better half. God knows I’m not eligible to write this out because of my horrible conflict resolution skills. It may not seem so but I have a problem with being cold and proud when someone does me wrong – no matter who it is. I’ve a lot to work with, and the reason I’m writing this is really for myself to remember how we should deal with conflicts.
It’s funny how I write this out and at the same time I need to learn it – really learn it – in my deepest being. Conflict should not be something that draws you away from your beloved. It should be the battleground for your differences. You are a warrior for victory not a herald of defeat. You and your partner are on the same team creating a strategy so as not to hurt each other in the battleground. You are not two opposing teams butting heads against each other.
God has been leading me to this verse because of the numerous conflicts I’ve been having in my life lately – with different people I love.
“If you fail under pressure, your strength is too small.” – Proverbs 24: 10
Humility under Pressure
I realize now that humility during offense is not easy. It’s one of the toughest things to gather when you’re hurt. And when harsh, venomous words try to invade your heart, what do you hold on to? Your pride? Or God?
“Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud.“ – 1 Corinthians 13:4
Once you let pride get in the way, you are no longer practicing love. Because Love is not proud.
Healing Under your Wounds
“Some people make cutting remarks, but the words of the wise bring healing.” – Proverbs 12:18 (NLT)
Or in another version it says “There is one whose rash words are like sword thrusts, but the tongue of the wise brings healing.” (EST)
These sword thrusts cut deep. In fact, too deep if the person knows you well – your strengths, your weaknesses, your cracks. Instead of cutting the other person back, you have to heal her. Be wise and heal her. Don’t wait for her to heal you. If she cannot heal you, what then?
Don’t let it come to a point that your words will make a bloody mess out of your hearts.
The Best way to a Healthy Life is Prevention
It’s also the best way to a healthy relationship. So set some boundaries. Tell your partner what’s below the belt for you.
“You know, I really don’t like it when you accuse me of some things…”
“I really get ticked off when you just leave me like that…”
Setting what’s below the belt and what’s not is a good way of understanding your partner – but the best part is, it prevents you from making the conflict worse. It prevents you from making the conflict personal, offensive, and outright unnecessary.
And once you tell each other what’s below the belt and what’s not then always remember this:
NEVER hit below the belt.
It takes a huge amount of emotional discipline, understanding of the other party and wisdom with your way of words. Sometimes it takes time too. Humbly ask your partner for some time to be quiet for you to gather your thoughts and delay unhelpful feelings.
“A man’s wisdom gives him patience; it is to his glory to overlook an offense” – Proverbs 19:11
I’ve taken this verse for granted so many times. And you know what? Every single time, I regret it. Offenses can be overlooked but words that are better left unsaid are never yours to take back.
Agree to Disagree
And when the battle is over and you have healed, learn from the aftermath. How can you prevent the conflict from happening again? Compromise. It’s how people learn to live together. Give way to your partner. Understand why she does things that tick you off and look for a middle ground where you can both meet.
“Husbands, love your wives, just as Christ loved the church and gave himself up for her” – Ephesians 5:25
Looking at husbands who are cold and unloving, I usually wonder “Why?” This verse is so simple. How come men can take bullets for people they love but they leave their wives out in the cold? What happened? I thought we were supposed to give our lives for our wives?
I realize now that this verse is extremely difficult. In fact, it’s impossible without the help and example of our Lord. Who died for us even if we have offended Him and cut Him deep. He healed us – and even died an excruciating death on the cross for us.
“But God demonstrates his own love for us in this: While we were still sinners, Christ died for us.” – Romans 5:8
In conflict, always remember that we are called to love. Love until we bleed. Do not let the offense get the best of your heart. Be filled with love. Because hey, you guys are teammates – that’s why you’re together in the first place. Learn to compromise so that the conflict will grow smaller and smaller the next time it happens.
I used to write when I’m hurt. When I’ve learned something and when I’m in the process of learning something. I think this entry is about the latter.
To my beloved: I’m not really a man of many spoken words. All the more that I know that when I speak, my words can hurt and cut deep. So please take this as my sincerest apology. I will be better. Humbler in offense. Overlooking through wisdom and patience. Disciplined in my emotions. It will take a huge amount of prayer from all of you and from myself. But I know in the end, this is the right way to resolve and deal with conflicts.
“He who guards his lips guards his life, but he who speaks rashly will come to ruin.” – Proverbs 13:3
I will guard my life and yours. We will not end up in ruins.
To all who are reading this, I hope and pray that you will take up the challenge of resolving conflicts. Be humbler in offense. Overlooking through wisdom and patience. Disciplined in your emotions.
I promise you, you will not regret it.