Where do you go when you and your best friend get into an argument, not just a disagreement of opinions, but a complete clash of personalities? What about you and your spouse? Do you go to another friend with it? Vent your feelings and frustrations out to them to make you feel better? I did that for years…but it will start to make you think the grass is greener on the other side if you’re not careful.
No one enjoys conflict, but it is inevitable. We will face conflict everywhere – in the workplace, school, church, marriage, friendship, etc. Conflict is anywhere two or more people are in contact. However, we have not been taught how to resolve conflict, therefore witness an unprecedented number of relationships being broken in our generation. My sister/best friend and I have had to face numerous conflicts and through each one have learned so much about each other and ourselves. We pray that as we share what we have learned, it will help others as well.
What is the cause of most conflict?
I believe the main reason is pride. “Pride leads to conflict….” Proverbs 13:10. The middle letter in pride is “I” and that’s what pride is – it’s all about me, myself and I. Pride is our ways, our views, our opinions etc. Pride is dangerous and lead to the fall of Satan. Pride manifests in many ways. One can be haughty and arrogant or insecure and shy. So, if pride leads to conflict, what will sway us from conflict? The answer is humility. Humility is the opposite of pride. Instead of saying “I” first, it’s you first. Your ways, your views, your opinions and feelings, etc. Pride divides while humility heals. Humility is simply putting the other person first and therefore creating peace, harmony and unity.
The bible tells us “Blessed are the peacemakers, for they will be called the children of God,” Matthew 5:9. I, for one thought of myself as a peacemaker, but soon learned that what I was actually doing was peace at any cost. I would avoid conflict, sweep things under the rug, or appease everyone around me. The way I grew up handling conflict was not beneficial and created disharmony with others and within myself. Conversely, my sister’s ways are different. She is very forward with her feelings and facing conflict, however she tends to be way more emotional and rash when confronting conflict. Can you see our problem here? We had to learn what peacemaking looked like on our own THROUGH our conflicts. Peacemaking is being willing to confront an issue and caring enough about the other person to both recognize and resolve it. We must be willing to admit faults no matter how embarrassing or ashamed we may feel. We must also be willing to understand instead of being understood!
Putting two VERY different people together will most certainly welcome conflict. However, through each storm, we have learned so much on how to resolve conflict. We learned a lot about ourselves and changes we had to make within. We’ve talked about iron sharpening iron in a past blog. Most times, we see that in the midst of these trials, the other is sharpening us. My sister will often tell me things that I hate hearing! It rubs me the wrong way and doesn’t feel good to hear. But if I stop and realize how much I trust her and how much she loves me, I realize that she’s showing me my errors and helping me overcome them. Relationships are work, but the reward is worth facing the conflict head on instead of avoiding it. I think that’s why so many marriages and friendships dissolve-the two people are too different, not “compatible,” don’t want to put in the work and just don’t feel it’s worth it. We don’t believe in the word incompatible. In that case, no one is compatible. Differences are how we grow! When we are at our wits end with each other, ready to throw in the towel, it’s then that we CHOOSE to push through despite our feelings! We lay ourselves down for the other, no matter how hard it is-and it is THEN when the miracles flow, when blessings reap and God’s hand rests on us and the reward when we walk through is greater than we could imagine! How many marriages and relationships could be salvaged when this is practiced!
My sister and I, no matter how different we are, we change and choose to adjust and accommodate the other’s needs first because our love is bigger than any problem we’ll ever face! This should stand true in our marriages and our relationships! The grass is greener where you water it! When we fall out, we don’t turn to other friends or anyone else. We pray and we work it out with each other, even if it takes a while! It’s worth it! One thing we can say FOR SURE is that after EVERY single conflict we rise out of, God blesses us more abundantly than we can imagine! As my sister and I always say, there is always a rainbow after the storm.