Tuesday, February 14, 2012

"I still do" - conflict

We are in the second week of our marriage series at church called "I still do." This week Steve focused on commitment to working through conflict. Every couple has conflict, every couple fights. Here are my cliff notes :)

The root or causes of conflict
1. Unmet expectations - your spouse is not doing what you want or "expect"
2. Selfishness - "what about what I want?"
3. Pride - "I am always right and my spouse is always wrong" (He made the comment here that if you keep thinking, "I hope my spouse is listening to this sermon." You might have some pride, look within you for change first).

When 2 people are fully surrendered to God, there is no relationship too far gone to heal. We have heard so many stories of couples going through some terrible experiences, who have persevered, and have loving, committed relationships today.  It takes 2 though.

The commitment we made

I promise to act and not react, to focus on the good and not the bad, and to talk and not walk.

Act and not react
No matter what they have done against you in the past, you do not have the license to sin against them today
Focus on good and not bad
During dating opposites often ATTRACT, the problem when that relationship moves into marriage, opposites begin to ATTACK. Choose to focus on the good.

Talk and not Walk
To make it for the long haul, you need to make it through the wintery seasons. Every couple has them, and will have many, commit to working through them.

United vs Untied
The placement of the "I" makes all the difference. If the "I" is in the wrong place, the relationship becomes UNTIED, if the "I" is in the proper place, first fully surrendered to God, the relationship stays UNITED.

I am reading a book called I Lay My Isaac Down about Carol Kent, a Christian women whose only child, her son, known to be a wonderful Christian man and a Naval Academy graduate, lost his mind and killed the father of his stepdaughters, out of protection for them. He was 25 years old when he committed the crime and is serving life without parole. The book is her story, but an encouragement and challenge to everyone who has their "Isaac" moments.  The point of sharing this book is that there is a story of a Christian family who the father sexually abused the oldest daughter (somewhere in her preteen years). By God's grace and mercy this family, after years and years of work, were restored to each other. Individually they all received help, the couple worked for years on their marriage (the father wasn't even allowed to enter the home for over 4 years), then the younger daughter was reconciled, then eventually, with the help of a caring youth pastor who was also sexually abused as a child, the oldest daughter too forgave her father and the whole family was reunited. The "I" was in the right place with everyone in this family, fully surrendered to God. That story blows my mind, that does not make sense by the world's standards, that is allowing God to heal and move, committing to the long haul, working through the wintery season.

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