“Keep your tongue from evil and your lips from speaking lies. Turn from evil and do good; seek peace and pursue it” (Psalm 34:13, 14).
When conflict occurs in the family, we must manage it. We must not allow the conflict to manage us.
Your husband comes home and says, “We have to move.”
“What?” you reply.
“I can’t stand the traffic anymore. I was an hour late to work again.”
“But, Honey, we’re so close to the children’s school and my mother. We can’t leave.”
Is conflict in the family wrong? It’s almost always difficult, but it isn’t always wrong. Conflict becomes wrong if we behave badly.
Disagreements themselves are not sinful. Conflict can have a positive or a negative effect. The effect will definitely be negative if we ignore conflict and never really settle it. Talking about the issues of a conflict can bring about some healthy changes in our families.
In the New Testament, church leaders faced conflict by bringing disagreeing parties together, honoring the differences of the people involved, dealing with the issues openly and honestly and being self-controlled so their behavior didn’t result in sin.
In other words, New Testament Christians managed conflict. They did not allow it to manage them.
Remember, in unmanaged conflict, people confront each other. In well-managed conflict, people confront the problems.
All conflicts are managed better if valid information is shared with everyone involved. Involve all sides in the problem solving. Make sure people are committed to the agreements you reach. Conflict can be managed!
Kimberly Snider is a missionary to the Philippines.
From “Moments for Moms,” a free email subscription.
Copyright (c) 2005 Women’s Ministries of the Assemblies of God.