As a leader, you no doubt realize that one of the keys to having a fulfilling and enduring marriage is the ability to handle conflict resolution well. And, you know that in order to resolve conflict well you and the couples you lead need to have healthy communication in marriage.
Over the years of working with couples, I’ve seen lots of conflict in their marriages. So many couples have seen negative examples in families of how to handle arguments. Often, couples learn either from their upbringing or other experiences, to deal with conflict by arguing more or avoiding the issue.
Scripture says, “speak the truth in love,” and to “be angry, but in our anger sin not.” Jesus reminded us to “forgive seventy times seven.” You know as a leader, conflict happens in marriage. However, we are to handle disagreements in marriage differently compared to unbelievers.
Here are three skills to help couples resolve conflict in marriage:
#1 Be humble.
Humility is a hallmark of a believer and is vital in conflict resolution for couples. When we remember our own wrongdoing, we should be slow to think we are right. We should assume we have plenty to learn from our spouses.
#2 Be an excellent listener.
James 1:19-20 states, “Be quick to listen, slow to speak, and slow to become angry, because human anger does not produce the righteousness that God desires.” Anger often makes us quick to talk more and listen less. When we slow down and take a listener-learner approach to conflict, we know we are on the trail of self-control and wisdom.
#3 Be ready to forgive.
Lastly, we should give the same grace that the Lord has given to us. Forgiving gives us a gentleness that is required when arguments happen. Not only should we be willing to forgive, but we should be quick to ask for it when we need it.
There is no need for God’s children to live in continual arguing or avoidance. We are called to love. As you lead couples, be sure you’re modeling a picture of humility, listening, and forgiveness to your spouse first. Then, the couples you serve will see a picture of how they are supposed to handle conflict.