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Over Coming Conflicts

Because we are human beings we are often possessed with selfish traits of our own ideas, opinions, prejudices, preferences, values, needs, and interests, but resolving conflicts is fundamental to success in your marriage. As you deal with the issues that inevitably come before you day by day, is it any wonder you have disagreements? Conflicts can be approached positively. These are opportunities for growth and self-sacrifice for the benefit of your loved one. When you yield a point, or give up a "right" out of sheer love for your spouse, you open the door to a responding gift of love and acceptance. On the other hand, when you are obstinate, you create an atmosphere of ill will that calls for retaliation from your spouse. You have no guarantee that your gift of self-sacrifice will be accepted; you can only hope your generosity will result in a positive response from them. Conflicts within marriage should not be regarded as power struggles or contests between who is right and who is wrong. Often it is a case of differences of opinion about what we want, how we should do something, or what is more convenient for one or the other of us. When conflicts arise, it is helpful to talk about feelings rather than rights, (but be careful here, because too often you will feel you are right and you want your mate to comply to your wishes). If you can get to the discussion point, discuss the feelings that underlie why you have difficulty giving in on a particular point. If important values are at stake, concession is out of the question. Compromise may be necessary if you are at an impasse. This is a time to consider a range of compromises in hope that you can find one that gives each other at least something of what you both value as what is essential. Communication is important. You must give first priority to your love for one another and your commitment to the marriage. Unfortunately, there will be marriages that have become battlegrounds, with conflicting egos where the slightest of differences will be blown into full-scale warfare. Conflict management doesn't have to be that way. When you give the gift of yourselves to one another, both of you will win. Look for the common ground rather than accentuating your differences. In doing this you will create a spirit of good-will rather than opposition. When conflict is handled in a way that respects each spouse's needs, it brings you closer together rather than driving you further apart (My thoughts with This Love We Share, September 9 and 10). What causes wars, and what causes fighting among you? James 4:1. Not by might, nor by power, but by My Spirit, saith the Lord. Zechariah 4:6. Sherry

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