Although no one looks forward to conflict, we can prepare to handle it well when it comes. As a result, we can also grow individually and in our relationships with others. The following Biblically-based action steps helped me and may also help you resolve conflict in a way that promotes personal growth and intimacy in relationships.
Take the initiative to resolve conflict sooner rather than later. Realize when disagreements stem from personal differences that can’t be fixed like opinions, personalities, and strengths. Seek God for truth and trust Him for solutions that seem beyond your reach, because no problem is too big for Him.
Discuss the situation and how you feel. Hearing others out may reveal the real issue at hand. Be careful to not verbally tear up yourself or other people over mistakes made—God’s grace is enough for all of us. Using kind, respectful words will keep anger at bay (see Proverbs 15:1).
Think carefully and positively. According to 1 Corinthians 13:7 (Amplified), “Love…is ever ready to believe the best of every person…” If you can love each other through the conflict, it’ll make loving each other afterwards easier, too. Remember the shared goals you’re trying to achieve such as a mutual friendship or oneness in marriage.
If necessary, step back from the situation to pray and get your emotions under control. A break may give you both a better perspective, so you can continue interacting in healthy ways when you come back together. Be sure to come back after 30 minutes, a few hours, or another specified time period as running away from the problem or shutting down communication can be hurtful and make matters worse.
Sometimes conflict can’t be avoided, but even in the midst of it, peace is possible. God often works through our problems to develop our character, making us more like Him. Resolving conflict in healthy ways can draw us closer to God and to others.
Do you have a story to share about how you’ve grown or become closer to God or your loved one through conflict?