Our close relationships and marriages will always have their share of conflict. It seems a natural part of the way we humans deal we each other. Often our conflict with people we care deeply about has to do with our style of communication. We hold back. We don’t quite tell what needs to be shared. Or we say things we shouldn’t have said. I’ve experienced in my marriage and in the church some tough moments of disagreement and conflict.
These times bring anxiety for us and we’re often left wondering what to do. Or we’re praying hard for God to work and help in some way.
Conflict can bring out the worst in us, which is precisely the time we need God to bring out something better from within us. The New Testament talks about how we should speak the truth in love, which is a challenge when we have to be frank, speaking difficult words while caring deeply for someone. To speak the truth in love is to allow God to speak through us. To speak the truth in love is to make certain our caring and compassion is heard and seen during the conversation. Sometimes our challenge is to learn to disagree without being disagreeable, to listen as much as we speak. Perhaps we pray for God to speak through us. Perhaps we pray for God to help us speak words of truth, but we also pray for God’s love to be known in the hard circumstances. This Sunday, my wife Kim and I will share a dialog sermon and perspectives on communication and conflict in relationship. Join us as we meet God who never leaves us in times of conflict and difficulty.
Senior Pastor Dave Summers