Conflict is not bad – Prov. 27:17 (Iron sharpens iron). It is meant to strengthen us and bring us into unity.
But conflict is inevitable because of our different backgrounds, habits, values, desires, needs a our self centered nature.

How to prepare for conflict before you get started.
1. Find a right time to engage. Not in public or in front of guests or in front of kids etc. If you argue in front of kids you should make sure you resolve the conflict in front of them as well. This teaches them both how to have healthy conflict and how to solve it.
2. Pray before or during conflict discussions to keep your perspective right and to open yourself to God’s power.
3. Take the right position. It’s you both against problem not against each other. It’s not about who wins or loses. It’s about keeping the relationship healthy.
(Eph 5:25-32) God’s design is for marriage to reflect Jesus’s relationship with the church (the people he has chosen to
follow him). His goal is to make them perfect, radiant and blameless.
Diagram – (1 vote, 2 vote, 3 vote system) (relationship gets the 3rd vote)
4. Know your different conflict styles (Rino o hedgehog) How does your partner handle conflict? Are they assertive, defensive, quiet, do they look straight at you during discussions, do they need space to process, are they prone to anger, do they tend to withdraw.
5. Release your expectations – Unmet or unrealistic expectations lead to conflict demands, demands lead to disappointments, disappointment leads to blame.

When you speak
1. To practice, use a speaking stick to guide who speaks and listens (no interrupting)
2. Avoid using strong phrases like “you never, or “you always”
3. Use “I feel” statements like, I felt offended by your tone“. or „I feel used when you …“ (NOT „I feel like…. you should be more
4. Avoid exaggerating the facts („I told you 1000 times“. or “I sat there for an hour” (when it was really only 10 minutes).
5. Avoid the unproductive counter attack (even if your partner is attacking).
Proverbs 15:1 – „A soft answer turns away wrath, But a harsh word stirs up anger.“
6. “When we focus on the person or their personality rather than their behavior and the issues, we are likely to provoke a
defensive reaction.”

As you listen
James 1:19 &20 – „My dear brothers and sisters, take note of this: Everyone should be quick to listen, slow to speak and slow
to become angry, Because human anger does not produce the righteousness that God desires.“
1. Use listening tools, such as restating (repeating back) what your partner says instead of preparing next answer or
2. As you listen, try to genuinely put yourself in the other person’s place and understand their perspective.
3. Avoid assuming you know what your partner is thinking as you listen or thinking the worst about your partner or why they
do what they do. It’s too close to judgment. (Example – „You were just being selfish“ or „You were just being manipulative“.
4. Refuse to walk out of the conflict or become silent before the issue is solved (This is subtle manipulation) .

Bringing Conflict to a conclusion
1. Have humility. Be willing to initiate the resolution conversation, instead of continuing to be angry, silent or manipulative.
2. Let go of the little things that irritate you. Don’t make a conflict our of every little thing. Like how the toothpaste is squeezed. Or if the toilet seat is up or down.
3. In the end , usually both partners should articulate “I’m sorry” and “I forgive you” after issue is resolved.
4. Sometimes find a compromise. Like taking turns having it your way. Try different solutions for a time period. Then try another.
5. Stay with the conflict conversation until it’s finished. Take breaks to cool down if necessary.
6. Be prepared to call a time out when things get out of control, to have time to cool down. Then return later to the conversation.
7. Don’t let conflict get drawn out for long periods of time. Don’t go to bed angry.
Eph 4:26-27 – “In your anger do not sin” Do not let the sun go down while you are still angry, and do not give the devil a
8. Get outside help if you can’t make progress.

CONCLUSION. – Conflict is driving us to be truly one with each other. Let’s be determined to let conflict do the work that God desires instead of driving us apart.

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