Wednesday, March 22, 2017

Marriage Uncut: Conflict


To this day John Franklin Sells is the only person on earth who knows how to make my blood boil. However the purpose of this blog is not to bash my husband, but to look at the root causes of conflict in marriage. Such as:

The example your parents did (or didn’t) set for you.
We follow in our parents’ footsteps more than we are willing to realize or admit. We grow up watching the way they interact and we model our reactions to our spouses after theirs. For example sometimes I act like my mother and I shut down. Sometimes I act like my father and I speak in spiteful and violent tones. My parents made the mistake of spending a lot of time fighting in front of us kids, so I got a front row seat to a lot of their issues and how they handled them. When I got married last year I began to notice that I followed their patterns.

The spirit of rebellion
This is where things get a little creepy. If you aren’t a Christian you might not get it. Basically when you become a Christian you get a target put on your back and this target gets bigger the closer you get to God and the more you serve him and love others. There are two realms that we operate in, the spiritual and the natural. The demonic forces that live in the spiritual realm will influence happenings in the natural realm and they will spend more time on Christians with bigger targets. They have a habit of actively trying to ruin i.e. end your life at any opportunity they can find. We are in a spiritual war and the spirit of rebellion will try to find its way into your marriage and set up camp. Why? Satan hates marriage, he goes out of his way to destroy it, and he uses the spirit of rebellion to do that. The way you can tell that it is a spirit is because it will leave a pattern. Spirits are creatures of habit. Once they find a way that works they will continue using that same problem push you deeper into the pit of contention.  Wives in particular get into trouble with this because the bible specifically tells us to submit to our husbands as unto the Lord (Ephesians 5:22-23). Because our husbands are human we have difficulty doing that and since we live in the 21st century our culture has programmed us to push against biblical submission.

This is a mindset that a lot of us independent women have. Yes, I said us because I do this too. We know how to handle everything and we don’t need help. The bible say pride comes before the fall (Proverbs 16:18). God knows how to humble people. I don’t know about you but I would rather humble myself than be humbled by God, because that is not a fun experience.
(Check out what happened to King Nebuchadnezzar in Daniel 4).

Lack of Self Control
This is probably the biggest root of conflict. We simply do not know how to control ourselves. When it comes to our finances, our appetites, our emotions etc. we have absolutely no idea how to tell ourselves no, especially in the midst of a fight. Our emotions cloud our judgment and we end up turning into this nasty, petty, sliver of a woman who puts her need to be right over peace and unity in her home.

Let love be your highest goal, even when it hurts.

At the end of the day it’s never about who left the bathroom a mess or who should wash the dishes.  The struggle is in how you handle these issues. If you are being controlled by the Holy Spirit you will find that even in the midst of disagreements you still have sound judgment and the other person’s needs are at the forefront of your mind. You will have disagreements, the goal isn’t to stop fighting, that is impossible. The goal is to fight the right way, with a clear mind and a gentle spirit.

So how do we cut off conflict at the root?

Well, we need to make sure we are spending time with the Lord DAILY. Praying for direction, for our husbands, for our attitudes, and putting on the full armor of God to prepare for battle. This one action when done consistently disables the roots of foolish and pointless conflicts between you and your spouse. The more time you spend with God the more you become like him. The more time you spend in his word the more your mind is renewed and when you operate under a renewed mind you will respond differently to the conflicts that come up in marriage.
Now sometimes you need to do a spiritual detox of sorts. Because let’s be honest we clutter our minds with trashy t.v., godless music, social media, and a whole host of other things that have nothing to do with the things of God. So if you are noticing that you just can’t seem to push past all the filth in your spirit, it’s probably time to do a fast or as some of my friends say “turn over the plate”. Traditional fasting allows you to remove your meals and replace them with bible study and prayer. But food isn’t the only area where you can abstain. Social media, television, and ungodly music can all be things that we fast from. Just like a physical detox of the body, fasting helps purge out the toxins in your spirit, by overloading your system with the word of God and his presence. As you grow closer to God you will notice those roots start to wither. That generational curse of having a bad attitude all the time, gets broken. Even though your mother had a bad attitude and always talked down about your dad, you respect your husband because you realize that when you tear him down not only are you being disrespectful, but you are hurting yourself because you two are one flesh. You spend so much time in prayer that any demons that dare come near you don’t stay long because they can’t stand  being in God’s presence. That’s why you have to push to dwell with him at all times. That’s why the bible says pray without ceasing (1Thessalonians 5:16-18). You begin to get an understanding of the sovereignty and majesty of God, so whatever pride you had is quickly extinguished. Lastly because God’s spirit lives in you begin to experience victory in the area of self-control.

This simple idea of spending time with God on a daily basis is not easy. But for the sake of having peace in your heart and in your home, I would suggest you give it a try. If you can’t do it in the morning find another time. Lunch breaks, after the kids finally go to sleep, or even on the way to work. We find time for what we deem important. How valuable is your peace?

Until next time,

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