Resolve or dissolve (Part 2)

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Think a minute…“There are two sides to every argument and they are usually married to each other.” That’s not just in marriage, but also in our other relationships. Yesterday we started discussing how to resolve our conflicts rather than dissolve our relationships. Today we will finish with a few more important guidelines. 

First, honestly ask yourself: “How much of the problem is my fault?” Maybe I have unfair, unrealistic expectations of the other person. I expect my spouse to meet all my personal needs, and my boss to meet all my professional needs. But human beings can never meet all of our needs. That is why if you keep expecting it, you will be disappointed and angry much of the time.   

Second, talk it out. Problems between people are not magically fixed by themselves. People must choose to forgive and fix what is wrong between them by honestly and lovingly talking things through. Here are some good rules to follow so you attack the problem and not each other. These principles can guide you to have a clear and constructive conversation to resolve your conflict. 

The first rule is to never compare the other person to somebody else. Don’t say things like “You’re just like your mother!” or “Why can’t you be like him?” Comments like these only hurt and anger the other person, making the conflict even worse. 

The second rule is to never condemn the other person and lay guilt on them. These kinds of statements usually start with the word “you”, such as “You always do this” or “You never do that.”

And if the other person does open up and share his or her real feelings, don’t say: “You should not feel that way” or “You’re just too sensitive.” Instead, sincerely tell them you are sorry, and that you did not mean to hurt them and make them feel that way. 

The third rule is to never confuse the conversation by bringing up other, unrelated problems. Fight fairly—and deal with one problem at a time.  

The fact is we all need to learn to listen, communicate, and care enough to work at having peace in our life’s relationships. The great news is it is never too late to start. So won’t you ask the Prince of Peace to forgive you and get started today? It is only with Jesus’ love and power in us that we can become an honest, true peacemaker in our relationships. Just think a minute… 

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