“Conflict can be the reason for greater intimacy.”
Thoughts from daily Bible reading for today – September 20, 2022
Blessed are the peacemakers, for they shall be called sons of God. Matthew 5:9
While growing up, I never saw my parents argue; it was done behind closed doors. As a sensitive child, I was never comfortable with anger, so whenever my father openly expressed it, I was devastated. I’m not sure when it happened, but somewhere along the road, I made the assessment that anger was wrong and that nothing good ever came from it. I didn’t realize how detrimental this attitude was until I hit my 20s and moved out of the house. Not only did I have problems in relationships with college friends, but also in romantic relationships because every relationship experiences conflict.
Granted, to have a normal relationship doesn’t mean a couple will argue all the time, or disagree constantly, but some conflict is a normal part of developing authentic intimacy with another person. If it wasn’t, God wouldn’t give us instructions in His Word on how to handle disagreements and conflict.
In his book, The Marriage Turnaround, Mitch Temple says that conflict is not what kills marriages. Rather, it’s “conflict gone wild that kills marriages.”
The same is true for all relationships, not just the romantic kind. Conflict doesn’t always mean you are dating or married to the wrong person—or even that it will ruin your relationship. In fact, it can be a reason that you develop greater emotional intimacy—if you are both willing to work through your problems and seek to understand one another.
I’m grateful that I have learned this powerful truth. It has been liberating. Gone are the days when I would obsess and worry about making the special person in my life angry. And, I see conflict as an opportunity.
I once had a conflict with a good friend. We had to find a solution, so I asked her if she would be interested in praying independently about what was going on between us. She agreed. We went our separate ways then came back together for a discussion. I was amazed at how bringing God into our conflict deflated our egos and softened our hearts. As a result, we were able to talk about what made both of us upset. The result? You got it. Greater intimacy. I know my friend now better than I did before.
This is the redemptive power of conflict that can also apply to dating relationships and marriage. When handled appropriately, conflict can be the reason for greater intimacy. To achieve this, go to the Lord and ask Him for guidance in solving the problem His way. Then, do as God instructs and handle your conflicts with tenderness. Don’t blame, yell, scream, insult or give the other person the silent treatment. Instead, seek to understand and to be understood. Remember that this doesn’t always mean you have to agree.
“Above all, love each other deeply, because love covers over a multitude of sins” (1 Peter 4:8).
Lord, help me to remember that conflict is an opportunity for greater intimacy. And, it’s an opportunity to practice humility, patience, kindness and genuine love. Amen.
Do you need to change how you see conflict? Rather than viewing it as something negative, do you need to view it as an opportunity for intimacy?
Chris Tomlin: The Answer
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