Monthly Archives: May 2012

Conflict Resolution Steps

Managing conflict in my marriage has been complicated by the fact that my husband and I approach the resolution from different angles.  He has wanted to have a rational debate and prove why his opinion is right.  I have wanted to have an intimate conversation about what I am feeling and what is motivating me on an emotional level.

Perhaps both approaches are each half of a whole in conflict resolution steps.   Forging a solution that is wise necessitates exploring facts and thinking clearly.   Forging a solution agreeable to both parties necessitates understanding the other’s feelings and emotional needs.   Do you think both approaches are steps needed to resolve a conflict successfully?

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The Reconnection

“Do not let the sun go down while you are still angry.”  Ephesians 4:26

Last week my husband said something that offended me.  I felt judged and unloved.  I was angry and hurt.   Although he apologized immediately, I chose to nurse my grudge.  Our relationship was broken, and I was unhappy for several days until I chose to let go of my anger and forgive.

Relationships are all about choices, the many small ones each day that add up, as the months and years go by.   Those choices can enrich and nurture or they can starve and suffocate the bonds that hold us to the ones we love.   A choice to forgive gave new life to my marriage, when it had died many years ago.  (See my story on the book page of this blog.)   A choice to forgive at bedtime makes the reconnection in my marriage possible each morning.

 

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Married Intimacy

Each year one of the joys of living in the woods is observing the parade of wildflowers.  Trillium, Wild Geranium, and Swamp Buttercup are currently blooming.  My friend Judy, a gifted wildlife and nature photographer (see woodlandwondersphotography.com) came to visit me last week and took this beautiful picture of a trillium.

When my husband and I were first getting acquainted, we discovered common interests.  We both connected with God through nature and loved spending time in the North Woods of the Midwest.   When we retired, we were unified in our decision to leave the metropolis and move to a little cottage surrounded by the forest, near a beautiful lake.  In the discussion questions at the end of my book, Beginning Again, I encourage couples to discuss the importance of finding and forging common interests to share with one another.   Are common interests a component of  married intimacy ?

 

 

 

 

 

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Small Church Spiritual Conflict

Many years ago my husband was a pastor.   He served two small churches.   Cultural issues spawned conflict.  In one church the people were suspicious of outsiders and afraid of change.  We were outsiders, and we advocated some changes.  They approached conflict in a confrontational way that was not compatible with my husband’s style of coping and resolution.  In the other church the people did not want to rock the boat and kept the peace at all costs.  Their expectations were not verbalized or communicated.  These cultural issues made it difficult for my husband to do the work of the ministry and made him vulnerable to failure.   Ultimately his expectations and mode of operation were in opposition to the leadership and collision bound.   In my story, Beginning Again, (see the book page of this blog) I share how the small church spiritual conflict impacted our marriage adversely.

 

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Christian Marriage

It is a curious location.  The woods are just a few feet behind our cottage.  Our feathered friend wove many woodland materials into the home she has built for her babies.  Some debris fell from her construction site and is lying on the ground beneath her nest.  I haven’t cleaned it up.  I don’t want to disturb her.

A Christian Marriage  is a kind of construction site.  Husband and wife each work to build a relationship that will protect and nurture their love and unity.  In the discussion questions for Chapter 6 of my book Beginning Again, I ask what weaknesses and strengths were brought to the construction site of my marriage. I ask how a marriage can be constructed to withstand the stresses that assault it.  I question how weaving Jesus into a marriage can make it strong.

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Spiritual Conflict

I was outside doing yard work on April 27th. As I walked among the wild flowers and dandelions, I was surrounded by butterflies, perhaps 20 or 30. The next day the migrating Red Admiral butterflies were gone. I was thankful that my Heavenly Father made sure I saw them as they passed through my community.

The caterpillar’s transformation into a butterfly reminds me of a favorite scripture. “Therefore,if anyone is in Christ,he is a new creation; the old has gone, the new has come!” (II Corinthians 5:17)

Christian couples are in the midst of spiritual conflict. The enemy of their souls plots to destroy their marriages. There is hope. The God of Reconciliation is powerful to save.

I became a new creation when God reconciled me to Himself through Christ. My marriage became a new creation when God reconciled me to my husband. The story of our reconciliation is on the book page of this blog.

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Spiritual Healing

I am recovering from a nasty upper respiratory infection given to me by my generous husband. My throat feels raw. This morning for breakfast I ate a mix of frozen blueberries, raspberries, and blackberries. The wonderful flavors exploded on my tongue, and the cold fruit made my throat feel better. The fruit’s Vitamin C with its antioxidant properties and support to my immune system made my breakfast choice a good one.

The scriptures tell us that if we abide in Jesus, we will produce much fruit. The fruit of God’s Spirit in our lives is: love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control. (See John 15:5 and Galatians 5:22)

These fruits will have spiritual healing and protective properties in any relationship. They will enrich any marriage.

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