We’ve all been there before. You know, the moment when you realize that relationships aren’t built to be peaches and cream all the time. Whether it’s a romantic relationship, or even just a friendship, all relationships face the challenge of handling conflict. What’s even more challenging is when that conflict festers, and before you know it, a small disagreement turns into strife.
I remember the first time I encountered this in my marriage. It was two weeks into our marriage, and I was upset to learn of a financial obligation my wife made for us without consulting me. It seemed like something small, but at the time, we really didn’t have much money, and every dollar counted. I felt like she intentionally hid it from me. First mistake, making assumptions. I was disappointed and I acted immaturely. I attempted to scold her instead of engaging in a conversation. We all know how that turned out. Let’s just say I learned that my approach needed to change.
That was not the end of our disagreements, and over time we have had many more, but I began to look at Jesus as the example of how I needed to handle my heart and actions in those moments. The first thing I learned was to forgive fast. Christ always looked for ways to forgive people rather than holding their wrong over their heads. In fact, He did the same for me, so why should I do anything differently? Second, I seek restoration quickly. We see Christ do this numerous times in the Word. One of my favorite examples was when He restored Peter after he had denounced Him. Finally, I have learned to walk in humility. This was the cornerstone of everything Jesus did. He didn’t care about proving He was right. He cared about being effective, and He always made others His focus. The more we learn to serve others in our relationships, the more we will be able to handle those tense moments where we want to react in anger. Love is always greater. ■