Love, in this postmodern age, seems to be the willingness to accept anything and everything that anyone does. The trend seems to be to eliminate conflict by blurring distinctions between the sexes and between individuals. But this is a crime against the beauty of diversity that the infinitely creative God instituted. When differences are recognized and honored, there will be conflicts that must be resolved decently and orderly, but where distinctions are removed, conformity and the death of individuality are all that’s left. Remember, young couples, you are fearfully and wonderfully made as individuals; in marriage, God makes the two of you one.
Never forget, humility is the key for godly conflict resolution: “For those who exalt themselves will be humbled, and those who humble themselves will be exalted” (Luke 14:11). Let God be exalted in your home by extending to your mate the same grace that you have received. Even when you don’t see eye to eye, give it a shot; you just might learn something and grow as a person as well. I have experienced this in my own marriage, and I know it can happen for you, even after poor conflict resolution in the past.
When you face conflict in your marriage—and you will—remember the rules of combat. First, leave the past out of the present conflict. Deal only with the issue at hand and nothing more. Second, never, under any circumstances, wander into fighting over opinions; that’s a foolish endeavor. You do not have to like the same things as your spouse and think the same thoughts in order to get along. Your differences can expand your character and even add spice and interest to your marriage. Third, do not let the sun go down on your anger. The silent treatment never cures a problem; it only creates more. These are the rules of combat. These are the ways to deal with conflict and discord. These are the ways to ensure that you will live happily even after a dispute with the mate of your youth.
Excerpt from “Happily… Even After” now available on Amazon.