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Part 4: Connecting Through Conflict

Alan Parker

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Alan Parker

Professor of missions and evangelism and director of Pierson Institute of Evangelism at Southern Adventist University

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  • April 4, 2015
    2:30 PM
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By the God we want to thank you that we don't have to worry about the challenges of life when we have you. But give us the courage to face the areas that we need to face and give us the ability to tune in to you. Thank you for this and thank you for the seminars that we've had in Jesus' name amen. All right. I shared a verse the other day that I thought was pretty powerful as first Peter three verses seven and I've added verse eight. Likewise husbands live with your wives. You know what kind of way. Understanding way showing honor to the woman is the weaker vessel. So is all CO is with you of the grace of life so that your prayers may not be hindered So this suggests to me that God's plan for marriage is that we understand each other but how we do that understanding is important. Look at verse eight be one of the key words read them with me like minded compassionate loving kinda hot it and how many minded. So how we deal with conflict is important and means we need to be like minded we need to be loving we need to be humble tender hearted. In fact what you could do is just make this one of your memory versus put this up in your house and you memorize this is how I am going to deal with conflict. I want to be like minded agree where I can agree. I want to be compassionate I understand their point of view. I want to be loving kinda hearted and I want to be humble. Do you think you guys could do that. All right so now we're going to talk about some of what would be involved. Now the first thing I have to say is I believe conflict is healthy when a couple comes to me and they say oh yeah you know we don't have any conflict. Can you remember the last time we had conflict in the other guy. No I can't remember the last time we had consequence we just never. We about anything. I get very worried right now. You see conflict I believe is actually healthy. Why is it healthy. What would happen without conflict. OK you could have everything building up inside it could be like a volcano that explodes all right because you're not you're not sharing what else there is no communication you're not being honest there may be communication but you're not being honest you see conflicts suggests that you trust each other enough to be honest. And so when you have conflict it's actually a healthy thing so some people get funny because their parents may have hid all conflict from their kids and there's pros and cons to that but they think that when I get married we'll never have conflict. Where is it believe you me there's always behind doors closed discussions that are going on and so conflict is healthy eight expressed trust and openness. Some other things is what would happen as I said without such expression. You mentioned hidden anger and resentment would come out you know it just builds up and fight and eventually it explodes. You have bad decisions I can't believe how many times I would have made a bad decision of my wife hadn't said hey you know what I just don't have a good feeling about this. And who intuition would often save us from a bad decision. So I needed someone to confront me like I don't think you should do that and she needs me to confront a shallow relationships because if you never share what you really feel it's just shallow It's like Facebook a lack of growth you can grow and there's somebody critiques you you know the Bible says better the wounds are of a friend than the flattery of an enemy. So conflicts really good thing. So we all love conflict right. Like if I said to you you know tomorrow morning I'd like to come across and so that we can have a conflict. You know Michel Sika let's just skip tomorrow. You know nobody likes conflict. But conflict is still helpful. So how do we communicate through conflicts. They've done this little test and so you may have heard of Professor Gottman. He has something called the Love lab and he takes couples it's like a mountain retreat but they take them in they have video cameras on them in these public places and they watch how the couples interact with them be a little freaky and so they watch them and then they trace the couples for ten years over one hundred thirty new Sorry six years of one hundred thirty newlyweds over six years of videotape interaction and they compared this group with another study of couples that was studied over thirteen years and what they were doing was they were looking for patterns in stable happy couples. Let's see how do they interact how they conflict how is that communication and one of the things that they discovered a surprising result was that even though they had taught these couples communication techniques like I mean it's just an active listening. They didn't actually use them in conflict and you know think about that you know you taught. So what I hear you saying is you know if you taught that but in the middle of a conflict you're not going to use that. So what I hear you saying is is that you think that I do always kind of goes away from it so they fit even though couples who are taught these things they don't use them when they're in the midst of a conflict because you don't feel like using them. So this is something else was going as they said what makes a successful couple from a couple in many cases here that ended up in divorce or separation. What was successful communication and they found two critical factors to success. This kind of my summary of it if the wife who often initiated an issue was able to do it in a gentle compassionate and soothing way and if the husband responded by being open to the suggestions of his wife or you don't like that one then the couple are happily negotiated with. Conflict did you get that. So the wife knew how to make the conflict and if the husband knew how to respond things would go great. And as they trace these couples and they saw you know of a period of time where because the wife often would recognize this something wrong in the relationship she would bring it up. Guys we we don't always bring up the stuff. So you know I should bring it up you know there's a problem between us and if she brought it up in the right way and if he responded by being open to suggestions then that couple successfully negotiated conflict. However he said there are four horsemen of marital apocalypse and of these four horsemen come Palladian across your marriage. You're in deep trouble and he's with a fabulous man number one criticism. Why do you always do this so that kind of criticism. Biting criticism by I can't believe were you born in a in a in a cave. Why do you always leave the door open any view that these things said so when is criticism now till apocalypse content mocking snide remarks sarcasm that one of the key ways that they discovered is in the first ninety seconds somebody was kind of rolling their eyes. That marriage was in deep trouble. So I was like I can't believe we're doing this again. You know and I can't believe you just did that how stupid was that. You know and the eyes rolled. He said he could predict with a ninety seconds with that couple was going to make it through the first five years of marriage and just watch for ninety seconds. Yep they'll make it they want to make it and he had an incredibly high prediction success rate. But well in the eyes content mocking flied remarks was part of that defensiveness explaining away where you see it's not really the way you say it excusing behavior. It didn't happen that way well of course if you hadn't done this but I would have done that or deny responsibility you know that's not my fault if you can. There was that day and then there's just something wrong with you. And and I've seen couples really struggle with this because they they go back to defensiveness and protectiveness instead of being able to deal with the issue and in stonewalling withdrawing looking away stopping listening I don't like what you're saying so I'm just going to shut down it's too would be too difficult for me so I'll just shut down. Teenagers are very effective at this you know. How did your day go. It was OK so tell me about your day but it was fine. Is there anything wrong with Venus now everything's everything's fine which means it's not fine you know and even so I said it's fine OK It means it's not fine. You know so it's fine you know and then they they stomp off to the room are you sure. Yes. Leave me alone. Stonewall I'm not going to speak to you I'm going to be silent. I'm going to withdraw I'm going to stop listening so if these things were occurring on a consistent basis in a relationship that relationship was in trouble and I can think of many other things you know should we mention shutting down avoiding just giving in. Fine have it your way you know this was something that I had a tendency to do in my early marriage is that I would be like if if I felt criticized I felt disrespected and may need respect. So what I would do is I would be like OK well we'll just go we'll just go on holiday to your parents then and she said Are you sure. Yeah that's fine we're going to do that because that's what you want right now no no no no no. If you were doing this because you loved me it would be different it would be like washing the dishes. If I saw that remember I like to clean house. So if I came in and the dishes went washed I would go in and start washing the dishes my wife would come and say Please don't wash the dishes would you love your wife to say that to you please don't wash the dishes and I mean like no I'm going to wash the dishes Now why was I being stubborn. Because I wanted to prove a point to her that when I'm washing the dishes I can keep house better than you can. You know you're not going to do this but I'm going to do this. So was that loving to wash the dishes or unloving. It was another. And there she says if she said that to me. Look I don't want you to wash the dishes because what washing the dishes said to her is you have failed as a housewife and so communicated failure to a so would leave a feeling terrible and I would insist on being sick. What's wrong with my washing the dishes I mean I'm just trying to help around the house here. Wouldn't every wife left of a husband to help her out the house. Now you guys can connect with the food All right so what was happening as I was being selfish and I was doing something good and I was I that you know you're giving in or you're doing the right thing but you're doing it for the wrong reason. And it's it shows your heart and your heart is still selfish so demanding labeling them you know what do you eat to try this on your spouse. It works really effectively had been able to sleep on the couch you know you just like your mother might be a good thing you know that you know you say you just like your mother or you you just like so and so like you know and then you end up on the couch. I've never slept on the couch but you know those things can happen. Criticizing manipulating arguing or even making out as a way to just try and resolve the conflict. All of these are negative ways and what we need to do is deal with conflict constructively in ways that aren't like this. So I'm going to share with you some biblical principles for how to deal with conflict. They work whether it's husband wife or in any relationship I love you feel the force just like my favorite conflict resolution chapter you go to you go to fusion forums like this gives me everything I need to know. So first I'm going to start in verse two and it says we should begin with what. Humility Have you ever tried praying when you're in the middle of a conflict. I have so mad and then you pray and God just like melts your heart you know it you're wrong. You know your heart's not right you know you're being selfish here. You know like God go away I was doing so well I went in this argument before you stepped so you need some humility and then the second thing is gentleness. A lot of the problem in conflict is that when we get angry we get aggressive. What's the difference between anger and aggressiveness. Anger is a response to a perceived injustice or a perceived hurt. So that's anger. It's just an automatic response I feel hurt. Anger's always secondary to hurt I feel hurt. I respond when I feel unjustly treated I response or anger is the feeling. Aggressiveness is a determination to to hurt the other person back. See the difference. One is my response the other is a sinful second DRI action that happens when I say OK I'm not going to show you how much on hurt by hurting you. So what the Bible says that actually says something surprising. Be angry. That's not one of the bees that you thought you know be kind but it says be angry but don't sin is different and going to grace in this and that means so the Bible Ephesians four was true says we need to military and gentleness even when we deal with areas where we're angry we need to be gentle and then it says with patience bearing with one another in love. How many of you are missed that people just raise your hand. Yeah it should be most of us were misstepped people and God has been patient with us right. We need to show that same patience to others and this is eager to maintain the unity of the spirit in the bond of peace with us my family or my friends or my spouse. There is a unity that exists between us and I we are allies not enemies. And when we have. It's an issue we approach it as we are both going to solve this together. Then I'm going to get you to do it my way. We're going to come together we're going to figure this out because we're allies not enemies. So how do I solve conflict Ephesians for this fifteen gives me some good principles here. Rather speaking the truth how in love with the purpose of growing up in every way and to him is they had Jesus Christ. So my goal in conflict is to become more like Jesus physically everyone. That's my goal. How am I going to do it. I'm going to tell you the truth about how my going to tell you the truth in life and that's passed because there are some times I just want to tell you the truth and get you to understand my point of view. So when I LOVE YOU I share that truth in a way that's going to help you because I want what's best for you and I know if I keep silent it's not going to be best for you. So I'm going to show you the truth in life but when I share it you're going to since you love me. You're not just trying to change me to a different concept you have to think it through. All right here's another one if you did four was twenty two put all of your old self which belongs to your former manner of life and is corrupt through what's this key word deceitful desires. You know a lot of the problem in conflict is I desire something for me it's deceitful because I think it's the right thing. All I want is a cleaner house. But what it's really rooted is I want to be king of my house I want to invite people over and show them my kingdom. You know like Hezekiah come see my kingdom all or never you can visit with Babylon. Is this not the great kingdom that I built. Look at it it sparkles it shines. My children watch and I rather like they out of a Sound of Music with soul you know and here they are it's a wonderful look at this is beautiful. So it's really selfishness that's driving it. So a lot of conflict is my deceitful desires and instead it is part of all of that old man and be renewed in the spirit of your minds and put on the new self created after the likeness of God in true righteousness and holiness. If you guys think you can do that put the old guy and take on the new guy now that I tell you the story about the fellow by the husband or wife living in Texas and he died and she embalmed him that I tell you that I don't think so. She embalmed him and stuck them in a glass coffin and put him next to the steak I said this in place of ranch in Texas so you'd go up on the stake case he was right next to the steak house and when she left in the morning to go up to the ranch she said by John and when she came in in the evening should say Hi John and you know kind of walk up the steps. Well it so happened that she traveled across to Europe amid a fine British gentleman and they fell in love and so he said why don't I want to die. Whisk you back to Texas and we get married. So they went back to Texas got married went over to a ranch he picked her up and said let me carry across the threshold and he picks it up and he goes and he kicks open the door and he walks and he does it because who's standing at the foot of the stakeouts Giada he says that's jogging says Look Johnny has got to go. Well you know each of us keep our old man still hanging around when we were ready married to Jesus and we need a pull of that old guy who is selfish and just wants his own way and we need to we need to take that guy bury him and allow Jesus to reign of our lives fair enough right. So come on the new South created after the likeness of God in true righteousness and what's the key word holiness remember what's the goal of marriage. Holiness not happiness. So set some other principles laid no corrupting literally that Greek word means right. What would come out of your mouth. But only such as is good for doing what. Building up some translations say edifying as fits the occasion you choose which words will work. That may give grace to those who hear. So if you speak rotten would you know it just comes out and it stinks. Or do you speak words that the other person up. Remember five words out of your mouth may take you five months to fix. Is it worth it. The satisfaction you get from speaking those with just going to say them you are about to commit a fatal error. Please retract your words but some of us we will release the clutch in our brain before I mean release the clutch in our mouth before we kick the brain into gear and it's very challenging. So be careful don't let rotten words come out of your mouth and then it just kind of emphasizes again be what to one another kind to one another be tender hearted what should you do forgive one another why because God in Christ has forgiven you he forgave you so you need to approach it that way. You see what we've been talking about here is it's ministry versus manipulation. It's how can I become like Jesus instead of How Can I get the other person to do what I want as soon as you make that shift. It radically changes all your communication. So let's just say now that it's not the husband not me in the kitchen I washing the dishes let's just say that a man comes home after a long day at work. He's right tired he's exhausted and so you know what does he want first he wants to eat. Yeah you got it. So he's hungry he wants to eat so he goes and he he will start his food and then he shoves his he leaves his plate on the table and he goes way down into the kitchen where does he go to the television and he goes and he sits down. Television or in front of his computer and he wants to chill he wants to relax. Now back in the kitchen the wife is clearing away the dishes she puts the dishes in the kitchen and she looks down at the dishwasher which still isn't fixed because he promised to fix it a week ago and he still hasn't fixed it. So now she's going to have to wash the dishes by hand. And so she begins washing the dishes as she's washing the dishes you can just imagine the scenario she she starts putting the plates in but she's getting angrier and angrier why. Because he's sitting on the couch. He's not happy and he hasn't fixed the dishwasher. He seems to just expect all of the stuff she has to slave away from him. She's getting angry and anger. How do the dishes go into the rack gently. Oh no noisily why because she is trying to get his attention. You know and he's oblivious he's like I am trying to watch television here could you not make so much noise. Bad mood bad mood or maybe he doesn't even to know it all you know you just sort of he's in his waffle box he's in his television box or his computer box. He doesn't even hear it. And so eventually she comes out boiling mad and says the dishwasher is still broken and he looks up and instantly goes Oh that's right you know I should get to fixing that sometime and goes back to his box. Now how is that going. Not very good right. I mean this is a situation where you can see the tension building in that moment. Both of them can either become selfish unselfish and the Bible tells us in James chapter for all of us one exactly what the problem is so if you want to take a look at James chapter for this one and it identifies the reason why conflicts occur verses one through three so I want you to quickly read that and then see if you can come up with the answer James chap the focus is one two three just kind of glance. Through it and see if you can come up with what the answer it says why all the troubles and fights among you and then it comes up with a reason it says there's a reason what is that anyone figured out yet why all the troubles fights conflicts among you what's going on. You have desires right. Lust says cool things and then we have less to desired opinion your translation it says what you want to spend it on yourself. So the real reason why there are fights and conflicts among us is because we have selfish desires. Is that such we want our way we want to do things our way and both of them. He wants to be left alone so he can relax and just watch television she wants to get the dishes washed and she wants that dish washer fixed and she doesn't want to be the slave. So both of them are coming at this with selfish perspectives and as a result conflict is occurring. Now when conflict occurs we can use bad tactics and we've talked about some of them earlier. We can use emotional guilt to try and get the other person to see or do it your way. One of my students see I said oh you know what do your parents the says well my mother's a travel agent I said all this till a travel agency says yeah she specializes in sending people on guilt trips like you know but some people they do they just it's the way they speak they tend to manipulate and we've got to be careful to eradicate that from our language. Some use logic I had one girl who told me she said you know our first five years of marriage were terrible I said why she said because my husband was always right. He would use logic to try to show me I was wrong and I always ended up being the stupid one. And he just like well you know it looks like you looks this way it looks like it's my fault but it's not really because you didn't do this and this and this and just use your head blah blah blah blah blah blah. And in the end she would go. He was so good at persuasion. He was. The pastor by the way is so good at persuasion that he was able to persuade her that she was wrong and he was right. Using logic some use silence and we've talked about shutting down. I just don't want to listen to it so I'm not I'm not going to participate in it and in some people even use aggression to try and force the other person. Look you've got to listen to me and that's why people use anger anger gets people's attention. When I get angry suddenly everybody listens and if they're afraid they do what I want but it destroys the love in the family and in the relationship and so while the Bible says Be angry it says don't sense that this is don't let the sun go down your wrath. Deal with that that day. Quick side in here. When we thought Don't let the sun go down in your rare we thought well you know we can't let anger build to it becomes bitterness and resentment. So we have to deal with that before we sleep. So at about nine thirty at night my wife would bring up an issue and that was disastrous because in one thirty at night my brain switches off. So I'm not capable of processing anything. So she would say you know we really need to talk about this and I would try to to respond back but you know and then I would get frustrated and then she would get frustrated and then we got a bit even angrier. So what the Bible is saying is deal with something before you get too tired to deal with it because it says before the sun sets right. So the earlier in the day when you have the ability to deal with it. So that was that was very helpful you know. Don't get aggressive. Deal with it. SPEAK ABOUT IT work your way through with it and always look to see what selfishness is taking place. How are you being selfish you know. When it came to disciplining our kids I remember making a fatal mistake. This is good for those of you who are going to be parents. What I did was I would go and sympathize with the kids after my wife had disciplined them. That was a terrible mistake. You know but at the time it's like I would. No I describe or Skyler in this case. So they do comfort Skyler do you know I love you because you care about me your mommy doesn't have to wait. Well what did you just say. Something's going on here. No you have to be careful that what I was wanting was I wanted my kids to love me and I wanted to be the good guy and that was a selfish motive the better motive was we going to stand as a team and do this together. So learn from my mistakes or what a ministry perspective therefore leads you to ask how can I understand this person's perspective and minister to them where it's a selfish perspective is more intent on how can I get this person to understand me and do what I want so that you can see the difference there and that's why a lot of contemporary psychological counseling doesn't work because it does teaches two people how to get what they want. Where is Christian counseling should be. Hey let's deal with the selfishness on your heart and have you give up that selfishness so that you can learn to be like Jesus in this relationship. So the key thought when it came to conflict I know conflict is many different factors but it was something that was really profound to me early on in our marriage. I said what causes conflict and I kind of examined all the conflict situations and you know what I came up with conflict is the result of unmet expectations. It just it just hit me. Two people have expectations and when those two sets of expectations come together there's conflict because my wife expects me to do business in this and then when I don't do it you know what. He must not love me because he didn't do those things. And what's more devastating than that that his someone doesn't love you and so I had these expectations if she loved me she bang bang bang and they would she didn't do it as like she doesn't care about me. It was that it all makes expectations. And so what should you do. Well firstly we said you got to be unselfish in your expectations what do you do Secondly communicate your expectations. Work them through. So the answer is not to defend yourself I learnt to work it through to understand what's another line those expectations. So I promised you yesterday to do the banana story so let me do it how many of you have been and a story of a few of you. There's a few of you. So what happened when we first got married my wife I took it over to Africa three days after we got married I took it to a different continent which is kind of scary. But she doesn't live there. She still figuring out she can't go to the store buy stuff because she doesn't want to drive on the other side of the road. And so it's a little scary and we have things called roundabouts and when you're on the wrong side of the road which way do you go around the roundabout it's all scary. So I would take her in to go shopping and then I do a few things and pick her up again and so she goes shopping she looks at all of this food she can't really figure out the prices because of a different color and see. But she sees bananas and she thinks well you know that's probably a safe food is probably not expensive so she grabs the bananas and brings them home and I see them at home and I like bananas. I particularly when there's a touch of green and they kind of golden yellow you know what I'm talking about. So I've like I know you have bananas so I start eating my way through these bananas love them. I notice she doesn't take any sound like she doesn't like bananas. Something new to learn about just as she goes out the next week and she gets back in the car she has two bunches of bananas Some like I like bananas so I guess she's pleasing me she loves me she wants to give me two sets of bananas. So she brings the bananas back and puts them on the counter then I start eating my way through it I don't say anything I'm just glad I have such a loving wife. The next week we go out and she brings in three bunches of bananas. Now I don't want to cause conflict some life I shouldn't say anything here but I really don't need three bunches of bananas and she doesn't eat them so much. So I begin eating my way through them. And I'm eating my way through them and I'm beginning to get tired of bananas by now I mean you can only have so many bananas you know that after a while they just not appealing anyway so. So I'm going to end where at the last one last banana sitting there and it's got those nasty little spots on them you know what I'm talking about. And it started to develop those spots and I like all I hate bananas and spots but whatever. You know I'm just kind of police or any of those that's been in and I go up and I grab the last banana and I'm busy eating the banana and all I have left is the peel as she walks in and she looks at me and harder and she says You ate the last one. Just when it was getting right I realized she liked bananas with spots and I like bananas that have a touch of green. I mean why would people like bananas with spots. This week good for smoothies and good for you and good for banana bread that's all that they're good for. So here I was here was something we just hadn't communicated our expectations and that was an easy fix but it's much more difficult when someone says and I just had a couple who went through this. He expects that just getting married. He expects it to be home five to six nights out of the week. And she's very social. She expects to be gone three to four nights out of the week. You know so she's like we'll going to be able to see my parents on this night. And then your parents and they will see our friends and they were going to you know she's got a whole lot of social stuff to do. And he's like you know I want to be in bed by seven thirty. And she's like I don't get home from work at five thirty and she's like are we going to see people so they had these two expectations. And I helped in the glow she ate their expectations because Could you see how that. Of course serious conflict. When they got married it's already called it causing serious conflict. So those are things we have to do to work through it. He has a simple formula that will help you. We call it love. First thing you're going to listen. You're just going to you've got to understand because you're trying to figure out with the other person is coming from. So when the wife walks out of the kitchen saying the dishwasher needs to be fixed you're going to listen and you got to listen on two levels one is sad and then the cry of the hocks because those are two different things. So what is said is you would like the dishwasher fixed let me get that right. Yes I'd like the dishwasher fixed but then you try and understand the cry of the heart what's going on at the higher level and at the heart level you can say has my not fixing the dishwasher left you feeling unloved and maybe like I don't care about you and what you have to face fears. Yes. Come sit down here and you're in for a wonderful night. So understand I understand what's going on at the heart of a trying to read the heart not the words. And for most people what they're looking for is affirmation so that brings us to. They want to be validated. At least you can validate their feelings. Listen. Understand is this where you coming from and then validate you know you're right by not fixing the dishwasher has left you with a lot of work and I can see how it's really hurt you just validating You know I love you and then there is no male in the forehead and this is there's a long way and then the nail will go the other way and you'll be at your forehead while my sweat is getting stacked. So one of the things to do when you're bringing up conflict. So the first step is listen first seek to understand then to be on. I stood so listen if you have to deal with conflict then use something that is what I call the affirmation sandwich. And what I mean by the affirmation sandwich is you have a piece of meat or maybe it's a veggie burger for you that's in the middle of your band but on either side is a lot of sources and toppings and you've got the actual bread that represents for me praise an affirmation and the bun. I mean the mead represents the criticism. So when you have to deal with something we know now that it takes four to five affirmations to counteract one criticism I mean just think about those of you who are in school. Do you remember the four good remarks that your teacher made. All the one area where they said you didn't do well. You remember the one area. And so with my wife she sometimes reminds me. I don't think I've had my full complements yet right. You're right. Let me go back I love you because and then and then we can deal with the issues. So so giving compliments affirming a person letting them know how you love them helps them to accept the meat of constructive criticism and that's been a vital principle for me. Let's see we have five minutes I'm going to try and cover conflict styles in the next five minutes. But I've also found that when you're ministering you have to recognize you approach conflict differently. Now some people are very interested in relationships how many of you are very focused on keeping your relationships and keeping the other person happy just kind of raise your hand. You know the happy people all right a few of you. So we're not being honest all right because that is the safe to do this here. And then there are other people focused on goals. They're very good at achieving their goals. Now what we found is these people who are very focused on Goldstein to marry people who are very focused on relationships and we have a little animal. It's to help you understand these different things so those who are very focused on relationships they are what we call teddy bears you know because they just warm and cuddly. So if you ask a teddy bear you know if you say to a teddy bear Let's go to the actual Christ conference they'll go OK let's go because they want to please you. Now they may have had something else to do. They may have had a goal to achieve like maybe homework for the weekend but because you've asked them and they don't want to disappoint you what are they going to say yes. Now on the other end of the spectrum we have an animal that we're just going to call the shark see shots are very good at accomplishing their goals but they sometimes ruin their relationships in the process. Now these are extreme. You know we lean one way or the other and if you want to little survey to do on this I can give it to you. So the teddy bear is like oh I want to just please you and the shark is like I want to accomplish my goals. What happens when a shock marries a teddy bear. Initially the shock is like this is so cool. I just say something and she wants to do it. And so initially they get along well but eventually the tail begins to become resentful because kind of builds up inside because I'm not accomplishing my goals and I'm trying to keep this relationship and the shark doesn't always recognize the damage they do into the relationship as they come push their goals. Now there's some people who just like to avoid the whole mess altogether and they're total like just inside my shell. There's a conflict but I pass by the Safe yes no go back inside. So Jesus interesting the enough and drops one of these at different times. It's not like they're wrong but it's how you approach them that can't be wrong. Now that some people go OK I'm not it's really been around not a shock of not until now when I really am is a fox. I try and compromise. We'll do it your way a little bit and then we'll do it my way a little bit you know let's find a compromise here. You know they're very good at making compromises and then who would all like to be is this nice. A wise bird who can both accomplish relationships and achieve their goals what we call win win you know we all like to be there but the reality is that we came towards one of these other ones. Now what would happen if two tapirs marriage other just had this we had engaged weekend sixteen engaged couples come to us and we do a weekend seminar with them and then we had to take the show scene and try to go out for lunch. So what do you want to do I don't know what do you want to do I don't know should we go for lunch. Well that sounds great. Well I don't know I mean if you don't like it we don't have to go there I mean we can go somewhere. No I mean I think it's fine and he's sounding hesitant so may we do that so well I don't know shall we do. And in fact by the time they were ready to go for lunch it was almost the end of lunch you know it's like oh look the tons coming up should we go for lunch. Because then maybe maybe they'll be upset if we come back in like I did not should we go for lunch or not like I just go. All right so you know if you get two sharks together what happens there. Let's kill each other. I'm going to do this. Not going to do this I just like both stubborn. No I'm going to do it this way. No we're going to do it this way you know because they're so focused on accomplishing the goal. So there is something about playing in this and just understanding the style. How does your partner work through conflict. Do they do they avoided through the accommodated audit compromising collaborating they cheat in their own goals and so on. Now almost any of these files I found can become essentially selfish. I attack or withdraw all compromise or accommodate in the hopes that this will keep me happy that a ministry perspective what we've been talking about this whole morning has growth towards holiness is the goal therefore the point is not to change the other person to do what I want but to minister to the other person so that we both become what God wants so that we can go. No together the way God wants us to grow and I believe if we approach conflict this way even though we have different styles we can be effective. And so we shared a lot of information. There's a lot more that we could share about communication and conflict. But I found when you deal with selfishness the other things tend to disappear. And so I want to encourage you to commit your conflict to God Examine your heart pray listen understand validate the other person and then share your conflict constructively with with a heart of love speaking the truth in love. This pray together Father God we want to thank you that you have brought us through conflict by giving us a heart that desires the best for the other person. Help us to deal with the issues. Maybe there's been a friend or a spouse that there's been a war that's grown up between us. We need to go in and and pique our heads over the walls and say we need to deal with this we need to talk it through. I may be this someone we've been angry with that we need to forgive and we need to discuss with him ways in which we felt disrespected or unloved or we've been hurt. And you're going to give us the right words to say to work through that conflict. And Lord you got to bring us back into into the bond of unity into that spirit of unity that you desire. Thank you for this prayed in Jesus' name amen. This media was brought to you by Adil a Web site dedicated to spreading God's word through free sermon audio and much more. If you would like to know more about our universe or if you'd like to listen to more sermon W W W R U. verse dot org.

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