Conflict is inevitable in all relationships. Marriage is no different, in fact it can be one of the biggest sources of conflict in your life. However, learning to walk though conflict in a respectful way is something that can bring great strength to your marriage. As wives demonstrating respect for our husbands is one of the top priorities. Respect is the number one need of a man and it is also something the bible instructs us to do as wives.
However, each one of you also must love his wife as he loves himself, and the wife must respect her husband. Ephesians 5:33
However, for many women this task can become something that seems a little like climbing Mt. Everest. For years I was married poorly. If you have read any of my earlier posts, you no doubt noted that I had an aha moment when I realized I owned part of the failure of my first 20 year marriage. There were so many ways that disrespect rang out through the rooms in my home. Problem was I didn’t even know it. This incredible amount of disrespect was the source of many rounds of conflict, well let’s just call it like it is…..down and out fights. For the life of me I couldn’t figure out what the problem was. I really thought I was just being helpful when I pointed out shortcomings. After all if you knew what you were doing wrong then you could change it. The only reason he hadn’t changed was because he clearly didn’t know. I was just there to point out what he was clearly missing. Anyone see a problem with this line of thinking? Problem for me was I was missing the point and there was no one in my life to point out what now appears to be the glaringly obvious. Disrespect will cause more conflict than you can handle. Take it from a former expert in disrespectfulness. Some how saying things like “I didn’t marry you because I needed you to take care of me, I married you because I loved you” doesn’t really cause a guy to feel all warm and gushy. Does that really surprise anyone reading this post? Funny, I seriously had no idea there was anything wrong with that statement, well other than perhaps the way I said it and all the unhappy body language that came with it. I spent 20 years married and never really had anyone in my life teach me about being married. Little doubt I was unsuccessful.
Well enough transparency for one post and now back to the topic at hand. While conflict is inevitable, we can work though it in a respectful way. For the next few days I will be doing a series looking as some helpful ways to handle conflict from a respectful position. Here is a list of what I will be looking at. Selfishness, stillness, using acknowledgement, clarifying questions, and finally forgiveness.
I know that I have found that by using these techniques and always remaining respectful that the conflict in my marriage is not only significantly decreased but when we do have conflict it is resolved quickly and without injury to either of us.
I hope you will continue to join me as we take a real look at handling conflict respectfully.