Summary: In writing to the Christians in Ephesus the Apostle Paul gives teaching on how to resolve family conflicts God’s way.
How To Resolve Family Conflicts God’s Way
Most marriages start out on a positive note. The wedding is an exciting event. You watch your lovely bride come down the aisle and you heart beats faster and skips several beats. You can’t believe God has brought to you the woman of your dreams.
Many weddings start off with a roaring good time.
#A little boy was in a relative’s wedding. As he was coming down the aisle he would take two steps, stop, and turn to the crowd alternating between the bride’s side and groom’s side. While facing the crowd, he would put his hands up like claws and roar loudly. So it went, step, step, ROAR, step, step, ROAR all the way down the aisle.
As you can imagine, the crowd was near tears from laughing so hard by the time he reached the front. The little boy, however, was getting more and more distressed from the all the laughing, and was near tears by the time he reached the pulpit. When asked what he was doing, the child sniffed and said, “I was being the Ring Bear.”
After the honeymoon you come to the reality that you came from different planets. Gypsum, Kansas is not the same as Eau Clare, Wisconsin. You have different family backgrounds and different values. Like two rivers coming together there is a time of turbulence.
The question is: “How do you resolve family conflicts God’s way?”
The reality is that there are no perfect relationships or marriages. Why? Because relationships are made up of imperfect people.
In writing to the Christians in Ephesus the Apostle Paul gives teachings on how to resolve conflicts God’s way.
There are fewer conflicts in the home when
I. Parents Are Honored in the Home
Ephesians 6:1-3 (NLT)
Exodus 20:12 “Honor your father and mother. Then you will live a long full life in the land the Lord your God will give you.”
In any home where parents are not honored and respected that home is in for trouble. In the Old Testament times family relationships were governed by fear. If a young person dishonored his parents he could be taken out and stoned to death.
Jesus came teaching not the letter of the law but love and grace. Jesus put the responsibility on both parent and child. The parent is to live his or her life worthy of respect and children are to honor their parents.
Even if you don’t agree with your parents you can honor and respect them. Proverbs 6:20 says, “My son, obey your father’s commands, and don’t neglect your mother’s teaching.” NLT Proverbs 23:22 says, “Listen to your father who gave you life, and don’t despise your mother’s experience when she is old.” NLT
When conflicts and disagreements arise in family relationships take a time out and sit down and listen to each person involved in the conflict. As parent we often serve as coach. To one child, you can tell your side of the problem and no one will interrupt you. After you have had your say the others involved will have their say until each person has had a chance to tell their side of the story. When we get all the facts we’ll give everyone time to ask questions and we seek Biblical answers to the problem and spend time in prayer seeking the Lord’s guidance.
Through give and take and by getting the whole truth, can lead to managing conflict and making compromises in relationships. The key is truly listening to the other person’s point of view.
Without honor and respect in the home the home is characterized by damaged lives and broken relationships.
As parents we need to help create an atmosphere conducive to respect and honor. Ephesians 4:27 encourages us to “Give no opportunity to the devil.” Ephesians 4:31 “Get rid of all bitterness, rage, anger, harsh words, and slander, as well as all types of malicious behavior.”
Take away honor and respect and you have attitudes of revenge and resentment. Revenge and resentment lead to bitterness. There is nothing that will shrivel your soul like bitterness. An atmosphere of revenge, resentment and bitterness give opportunity to the Devil in the home.
God’s word commands, “Put all bitterness away.” No Christian can afford to harbor bitter feelings toward another person. A Medical doctor, Dr. S.I. McMillen gives this helpful advice, “The moment I start hating someone, I become that person’s slave. I can’t enjoy my work anymore because he even controls my thoughts. My resentments produce too many stress hormones in my body and I become fatigued after only a few hours of work. The work I formerly enjoyed is now drudgery.”
There is a high price to pay when a person tries to get even. Some people spend endless nights brooding over resentments and trying to think of ways to get even. They do this at the cost of possible high blood pressure, ulcers, and intense colitis. A hospital did a study of 1000 patients suffering from severe colitis and found that resentment was the most prominent personality characteristic occurring in 965 of the patients.