19 Dec


NOTE:  This article was taken from Family Life and Marriage Bible by Dennis and Barbara Rainey

Barbara and I manage our conflicts with a tool we call “loving confrontation.”  When either of us gets upset with the other, we try not to hide or deny what is making us see red; we get the hurt in the open through direct, but loving confrontation.

If you want to practice loving confrontation, you can’t believe that your mate is out to get you, nor can you be out to get your mate.  Be willing to hear what God may be saying through your mate.  Many of Barbara’s best statements to me hurt a bit; but I need to hear them because they keep me on the right track.  I want to hear what she is trying to say, instead of plotting how I will reply and defend myself.

Consider a few tips that Barbara and I have found useful in keeping a judgmental spirit out of confrontation:

Check your motivation.  Will what you say help or hurt?  Will bringing this up cause healing, wholeness, and oneness, or further conflict?  Prayer is the best barometer of your motivation.  When you take your situation to God and He shines His light on you and the problem, you usually see your motivation for what it is.

Check your attitude.  A tender spirit expressed through loving confrontation says, “I care about you.  I respect you and I want you to respect me.  I want to know how you feel.”  Don’t hop on your bulldozer and run down your partner.  Do you have a spirit of humility or pride?

Check the circumstances.  The circumstances may include timing, location and setting.  Perhaps the most important is timing. Barbara should not confront me as I walk in the house after a hard day’s work.  I should not confront her as she’s helping a sick child.

Check to see what other pressures may be present.  Be sensitive to where your mate is coming from.  What’s the context of your mate’s life right now.

Check your readiness to take it as well as dish it out.  Sometimes a confrontation can boomerang.  Your mate may have some stuff saved on the other side of the fence that may come right back at you.

Check the emotional temperature.  Call a time-out if the conflict escalates.  Hot, emotionally charged words don’t bring peace.  Say to each other, “I’m not running away from our talk, I love you and want to work this out–but I need a little time to process before we continue our conversation.”

How you handle conflict in your marriage and family will determine what kind of relationships you experience.

NOTE:  Daily there is a new post to help your marriage be a success.

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