Managing marital conflicts in Christians Home by Pastor Mich Oladapo

TEXT: JAMES 4: 1-2

When people hear the word “conflict”, they often picture something very negative, such as fighting, arguing, bitterness, and anger. However, current research suggests that conflict by nature is not negative at all.  Conflict is not just a difference of opinion.  Rather it is a series of events that have been poorly handled as to deeply damage the marriage relationship. It is not how much you love each other that can best predict the future of your relationship, but how conflicts are handled.  That is why in this workshop we want to examine the mature ways of managing marital conflicts.  Let me hastily say that even though conflict is inevitable, it can be avoided.

I. Basic Facts about conflicts

1. Conflicts are inevitable but they can be avoided.

2. Conflicts always present an opportunity for couples to work through issues and come out stronger on the other side.

3. No home is immune against conflicts and challenges (I Cor. 10:13).

4. One of the keys to marital success is adopting the view that conflict is good.

5. One’s perspective of and attitude towards a crisis/challenge would go a long way to reveal a believer’s stand in God.

II. Causes of conflicts in the homes

_Conflicts in the home could be caused by all or any of the following:_

•The root of almost all serious marital discord is selfishness on the part of one or both parties (how?)

• Unrealistic, un-communicated or unmet expectations – Aaron Stern.

• Financial difficulties – ‘Spender’ versus ‘saver’.

• Marriage built on wrong foundation. (Mention some of the wrong reasons people get married).

• Individual differences – Differences in education, world perspective, temperament, upbringing, culture, etc, would definitely introduce some challenges in the home.

• Culture or tradition - Like in the case of Jacob and Rachel, leading to polygamy (Gen. 30: 1-24).

• Sexual difficulties – that is, sexual looseness or deprivation of a spouse.

• Eagerness to have a particular sex of children – This has affected so many Christian homes (how?)

• Too much interference from parents/in-laws

• Too much attachment or closeness to friends of opposite sex, even without ulterior motive

• Insubordination of a spouse.

• Issue of Unsettled Bride Price.

III. Stages in Marital Conflict

_Seven stages of marital conflicts have been identified as follows:_

i. Occasional Verbal Quarreling (OVQ)

ii. Frequent Verbal Quarreling (FVQ)

iii. Occasional Physical Quarreling (OPQ)

iv. Frequent Physical Quarreling (FPQ)

v. Psychological Separation

vi. Physical Separation

vii. Divorce

IV. Harmful Effects of Marital Conflicts

_Now let’s consider the Seven-fold Harmful Effects of marital conflicts:_

1. Conflict DESTROYS relationship, fellowship, blessings and joy that should have been enjoyed in the home

2. It DISTRACTS vision and focus

3. It DAMAGES one’s integrity and testimony if not quickly resolved

4. It DELAYS progress in the home

5. It DISORGANIZES. Well organized homes, lives, academics, ministry and business could be disorganized through conflicts



V. Some Wrong Ways of Handling Marital Conflicts

• Nagging
• Withdrawal / Avoidance attitude
• Retaliation approach
• Silence
• Open expression of rage and anger
• Verbal and/or physical quarrelling
• Reporting to friends/in-laws (third party approach).
• Sexual denial
• Bossy attitude on the part of either partner, taking advantage of the other partner’s condition.
• Rudeness and disobedience

VI. Stages of Conflict Management

_Basically there are THREE stages of conflict management in any institution, home inclusive:_

1. Desensitization – This involves allowing one’s partner to air his/her complaints. Desensitization involves helping people see several different ways of viewing a set of circumstances. After people's feelings have been sufficiently surfaced and aired, move to the second stage of conflict management.

2. Deliberation - There should be a time for serious, mature discussion of the conflict by considering the various points of view.

3. Decision – Serious discussion should be followed by a decision to accept the conclusion.

VII. Some Mature Ways of Handling Marital Conflicts

• Clarify and identify the nature and area of the conflict.

• Recognize and accept the feelings of your partner.

• Let the Bible be your guide and compass in all situations.  It has helped a lot of couples and yours cannot be an exception.

• Patience and prayer - Like in the case of Isaac and Rebecca (Gen. 25:21).

• Beware of rumour, it destroys relationship.

• Faithfulness, confidence in one another as in the case of Manoah versus his wife (Judges 13: 1-25).

• Humility, respect and love. Before you see the wrong, see the right.  This is God’s way of correcting bad habit (Rev. 2: 2-4).

• Never take your partner for granted.

• Allow the Holy Spirit to lead

• Accept the leadership of the leader (in this case, the husband is the head of the home)

• Take care of any misunderstanding immediately

• Speak the truth always – I Pet. 2: 1-2

• Let there be no communication gap.

Final Word

• The man and woman, who have come together, surely must have grown under different settings and backgrounds.

• It takes God’s grace and determination by the couple to “work” so that the family would succeed.

• Beginning with God is basic and non-negotiable (Exod. 2: 1; Luke 1: 5 -NLT). If you started as unbelievers/backsliders and one of you becomes born again later, PATIENCE is needed in dealing with the yet-to-believe partner.  God will do it (I Cor. 7: 12-17).

• God knows no impossibility.  Your situation is a potential opportunity for God to be magnified and for your family to have an incredible testimony.

• Therefore, the best way of going together as ordained by God is by being right with one another and God.

Remain blessed, even as I wish your family the blessing and blissfulness that God has designed for you

Source: CACYOF Lagos1 2017 marriage seminar pamphlet

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