Managing Marital Conflict, the easier way

Conflict is inevitable and when we share our lives and living spaces with someone, we are bound to have differences resulting in conflicts. I’d like to give you something easy to remember when you’re having a conflict with your spouse again.

I want you to think of conflict like a fire. I remember a childhood song that says “it only takes a spark to get a fire going”, and though it was speaking of “God’s love”, it’s the same with conflict. No wonder James 3:6 describes the tongue as fire that can set our whole lives on fire! It only takes a spark to get it going and too often instead of putting out the flame we add fuel to it until is it a full blown fire and a state of emergency is declared. It doesn’t have to get that far. There is an easier way.

If you allow your fire to blaze unattended, it will spread so what do you do when you catch fire? We all learned this, “Stop Drop and Roll”. We’re also going to also add “Role” to the mix.

1.       STOP

In a conflict, it’s easy to just keep going around in circles and getting nowhere. The more we keep going in an unsteady emotional state is the more injury we create, hence the need to stop. Make it a rule not to deal with issues when you are heated. It’s alright to take a break and cool off and return with a level head.

And as a side note, I know the Bible says not to let the sun go down on your wrath and that is the ideal, however, if you’re still up at 3 am arguing with your spouse, stop and pray TOGETHER, ask the Lord to take your “wrath” away, and go to bed.  I promise you’ll deal with it better in the morning.

2.       DROP

Drop to your knees or just pause and talk to God. Drop your burdens at his feet and ask Him to give you a level head, reveal where you may be at fault and to give you a forgiving spirit if your spouse is at fault. It is very difficult to pray a prayer like this and then remain the same. It is also beneficial to drop to your knees together and pray before tackling the issue again. When you drop, you are assuming a position of humility and teachability.

3.       ROLE/ROLL

This indicates a change of mindset. Instead of just focusing on your partner, ask yourself, “What roles have I played in this conflict?” We often like to play the blame game and try to prove our innocence when in truth you do have a role to play.

By “roll” I mean, get ready to be close to the other person again. Get ready to roll on over to your spouse, resolve the conflict and “roll” the past away so you can move on to the more fun parts of marriage.

I hope this helps the next time you’re in a fiery conflict with your spouse; Get the fire extinguisher out, STOP, DROP & ROLE/ROLL!

What do you find helpful when you experience conflict in your marriage? Share in the comments below!

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