Family conflicts are prevalent in many Christian homes, yet concealed from the public.
When you are caught in between and have to side either with your family or your spouse, things can become tricky
One of the present components in conflicts is anger. There’s nothing wrong with it. Even God gets angry at us ocassionally. Jesus got angry and chastised the vendors inside the temple in Jerusalem.
So, how do we solve conflicts in relationships and among our family members?
Ephesians 4:26, 27 – Be angry (at sin—at immorality, at injustice, at ungodly behavior), yet do not sin; do not let your anger [cause you shame, nor allow it to] last until the sun goes down. And do not give the devil an opportunity (to lead you into sin by holding a grudge, or nurturing anger, or harboring resentment, or cultivating bitterness).
I. Disarm Anger First
Don’t deny anger. But don’t let it stay up.
What are you angry at? Is it the person or a certain violation by that person towards you? To control anger in conflicts, disarm it from directing it towards a person and instead let it be responsibly centered on the violation/act/behavior/words etc.
This way, your anger isn’t ignorant. The person you are angry at is a good one that you love, but you don’t sum them up as if they are wrong entirely. Narrow it to the specific area.
Secondly, understand the conflict. Is it a result of misunderstanding?
Don’t go ballistic on any conflict. Be truthful and ask for the same from the other person. To do this, emotions have to be set aside. Bringing out the real issue gives you a better understanding of what exactly is the root cause of the conflict.
“Do not sin” – Don’t reason with anger. If you try to justify anger, you are sinning. In fact, the cover-up will cause more hurt and mistrust in the long run.
III. Process that anger within the right timeline
When you let anger stay for a while, It brews. And the little anger ends up becoming a catastrophic conflict. Some lead to divorce and family feuds.
The bible advises us not to allow anger…last until the sun goes down. In other words, don’t go in bed while angry at each other.
Fights don’t ensue when your anger is “afresh”, but afterthoughts processing it and allowing the devil to interfere with the entire situation, the following day you despise that person you’ve been angry at.
Some Tips on Conflict Resolutions:
1. To resolve conflicts, don’t involve third parties immediately. The more people involved, the more opinions you have to sift through. Also, when you stretch the issue longer than it ought to take, it will become harder to resolute them.
It’s alright for you to take some time off; maybe minutes or a few hours – for cooling off that anger, then come back and in a loving way, initiate an honest conversation.
2. Be gentle. You may complain and share your feelings – but convey it in a gentle and humble manner. Don’t criticize and push it over to the other person.
Proverbs 15: 1 – A gentle answer turns away wrath, but a harsh word stirs up anger.
3. Listen to your spouse. Keep your opinions aside first, and prioritize the other person. In the event it’s a situation between your spouse and family member, for example, your mother, First things first – listen and get to see the entire issue from her perspective.
4. Forgive. It’s hard to forget but forgive first.
For families, you can let the man speak up on behalf of himself and his wife, and apologize for the misunderstanding, or articulate the issue from their perspective towards the others present in the conflict. He will apologize as well as offer forgiveness as one who owns the situation.
Any conflict that involves married spouses, ought to be worked in a way that doesn’t destroy their relationship. Your marriage is the priority; the rest of the family can take care of themselves.
But resolve it in the right way. Not just standing up for your partner, ignorantly.