Well I have actually spent more time than you might believe in prayer about this topic, conflict. I have prayed about it, thought about it. I have gleaned through the pages of several books researching this subject to provide accurate and Godly information about how to deal with conflict.
I have been so unsettled about this topic that I spent more than an hour on the phone with Dineen talking about it a few days ago. In fact, I just now left my bedroom where I was spending some quiet time with the Lord, asking Him what to write. (It’s 2:52 on Saturday afternoon)
So after speaking with the Lord and with my writing buddy, Dineen, I am compelled to follow my heart. I am going to take an interesting direction as we proceed down this path. As we walk this path I need to set out some thoughts:
• I don’t have everything figured out.
• I am not a professional. However, when I think I might tread into an area where I lack experience or wisdom, I will seek out the professional Christian Counselors I work with.
• I am going to write about specific subjects that I encounter as I work with men and women in ministry. I will not use specific situations only the general scenarios. So please don’t worry I would ever share anything you ever told me in confidence. If you think you find your story in the posts to follow, it is only because I have encountered the conflict over and over in many marriages. You are likely not alone in your struggles.
• I am leaning heavily on the word of God, my prayer time and how much my heart has ached and has been broken over the years as I pray for men and women who are dealing with these specific conflicts in their lives.
• Finally, I invite you – no, need your input. I may have some solutions or options which may help when dealing with a conflict but I won’t have them all. If you have lived through some of the struggles we will discuss and you found a Godly way to become free, I implore you to share. Share anonymously if need be but share from your heart.
Whew! Glad to get that off my chest.
Before I dive into the biggest conflict on my heart, I have some thoughts about conflict and conflict resolution. Last week I asked the question, Is it Godly to draw the line in the sand?
Let’s be clear on the answer here. YES.
In fact, there are times as believers we MUST draw a boundary line. I want to share with you what one reader wrote. Rosheeda wrote in two paragraphs a brilliant answer.
It is sometimes Godly to draw lines in the sand. We are called to be peace MAKERS, not peace keepers. Peace keepers just go w/the flow to avoid the whole scene... But here's the thing about peace MAKING: you have to address that which is OUT of order, to bring about Godly order. And that isn't always easy. As Believers, we are called to a certain standard, and we are called to hold each other accountable - out of love - because that's how Christ loves us. As much as He loves us, He still rebukes us. Because without the address, there would never be change - because we would remain blind to our own flaws. Our relationships with each other should mirror our relationship with Him.
Boundaries in any relationship are important. Because boundaries in conduct require us to learn what genuine respect looks like. And respect is where love begins and ends. That doesn't mean we always agree. It simply means we learn to handle each other with care - which is what God calls us to anyway. Anytime we are not requiring that of each other, we are not being the peaceMAKERS we are called to be -because a lack of respect in relationships (especially marriage) breeds tension and animosity - and those things lead to sin... love you. ro
Rosheeda, the Lord dwells in your heart. Thank you.
We are called to have boundaries. I think we already knew this deep down. But, conflict is deeply intricate. The dynamics in each marriage are highly individual. In the grey areas, outside of specific scripture, a situation may be perfectly fine for my life and marriage but to another it is absolutely reprehensible and conflict is inevitable.
This is what Dineen and I discussed for almost two hours. How do we guide this conversation with this in mind? I arrived at the place where we can’t. So, I have decided, as I stated earlier, to address specific issues common to marriage.
The one issue pulling directly and passionately on my heart is this: Alcohol ~ I have much to say about how this little word affects many. And, you might be surprised how much I know about the subject. Also, I will tell you this, I live in wine country and enjoy a nice glass of red from time-to-time.
So, I am putting myself out there. Don’t get freaked out yet. I want to talk about how I see alcohol affect some families and specifically marriages. At what point is the boundary line broken? How and what should you do to set boundaries and mostly give you hope that if you are living in this particular situation, GOD CAN CHANGE IT! He may be calling you to action.
Now, this is just one of the touchy subjects I have wanted to write about for years, so hang on to your hats. Let’s let the Lord lead this series of post and bring healing.
Isaiah 61: 1-2 The Spirit of the Sovereign LORD is on me, because the LORD has anointed me to preach good news to the poor. He has sent me to bind up the brokenhearted, to proclaim freedom for the captives and release from darkness for the prisoners, to proclaim the year of the LORD's favor and the day of vengeance of our God, to comfort all who mourn
This scripture leaped into my mind as I typed. It is this scripture that compells me to write about such difficult subjects. May all that we say be sifted and may it bring healing and ultimate glory to the Lord Jesus Christ.
Be Blessed, Lynn