Summary: Part 5 of 5 "The Lord of the Rings" Every long term relationship has problems eventually. Here are some ground rules for fighting "Biblically".

Conquest for the Rings

The Lord of the Rings (part 5 of 5)

14 Even so it is not the will of your Father which is in heaven, that one of these little ones should perish.

15 ¶ Moreover if thy brother shall trespass against thee, go and tell him his fault between thee and him alone: if he shall hear thee, thou hast gained thy brother. 16 But if he will not hear thee, then take with thee one or two more, that in the mouth of two or three witnesses every word may be established. ..… 19 Again I say unto you, That if two of you shall agree on earth as touching any thing that they shall ask, it shall be done for them of my Father which is in heaven. 20 For where two or three are gathered together in my name, there am I in the midst of them. Mt. 18:14-16, 19-20 (KJV)

In one of the episodes of the old "Amos & Andy Show", Amos got tired of Andy always hitting him in the chest and asking, "Ain’t that right, Amos ?"

One day, Amos goes to see the Kingfish. "Look, Kingfish," Amos asks, showing several sticks of dynamite strapped to his chest. "The next time Andy slaps me on the chest, he’s gonna blow his fool hand off !" -- That’s the way many of us deal with the problems in our marriages.

1. The marriage covenant must be included in Jesus’ instructions concerning the repair of a broken relationship in the church.

2. Marriage conflict – Three stages:

1- Intimacy

2- Conflict

3- Withdrawal.

3. The only means of keeping withdrawal temporary is handling conflict properly.

4. Without resolution skills conflict can become dangerous to the body and marriage.

5. Good conflict resolution skills will minimize permanent damage! (All relationships)

We are going to talk about how to fight.

Let’s make some ground rules and stick to them!

1- Expect Conflict (Jesus used a figure of speech “if” = “when)

Marriage sometimes reminds me of story about little boy trying to sell a lawn mower. The local pastor walked up and he was able to persuade him to buy the worn out lawn mower. The pastor pulled on the rope several times to make sure the mower would start, but nothing happen. Not even a spit or a sputter.

The boy told the preacher that he would have to kick the mower and say a few cuss words before the mower would crank. The preacher said, “Son, I can’t do that. It’s been years since I said a cuss word.” The little boy replied, “Just keep pulling and it will come back to you.”

2- Identify the Problem Clearly

1- The right answer to the wrong question is useless!

• Pro 2:9 He (God) shows how to distinguish right from wrong, how to find the right decision every time. (LB)

• Heb 5:14 You will never be able to eat solid spiritual food and understand the deeper things of God’s Word until you become better Christians and learn right from wrong by practicing doing right. (LB)

3- Policy of Racial Honesty (Not popular – but when is it right to lie?)

4- Show Respect Listen to the Other Side of the Story

• Pr.1:5 A wise man will hear, and will increase learning; and a man of understanding shall attain unto wise counsels: (KJV)

• Pr.19:20 Hear counsel, and receive instruction, that thou mayest be wise in thy latter end. (KJV)

• Ja. 1:19 Quick to hear, slow to speak and slow to anger! (NIV)

• Pro. 18:13 He who answers before listening--that is his folly and his shame. (NIV)

• Pro. 18:13 What a shame--yes, how stupid!--to decide before knowing the facts! (LB)

5- Take Full Responsibility for Yourself and Spouse

1- Ask honestly, What part did I play in the problem?

2- If you will be Radically honestly with yourself you will probably find some area.

6- Choose the Appropriate Time To Deal with the Issue.

1- Never try to solve a “real” conflict when you are angry. (Don’t intervene too early!!!!)

2- But, act quickly -- Frustrations eventually lead to aggressiveness! (Don’t wait too late!!!)

• Ecc.3:1 TO every thing there is a season, and a time to every purpose under the heaven: (KJV)

• Pro 15:23 A man hath joy by the answer of his mouth: and a word spoken in due season, how good is it (KJV)

• Pro 25:11 A word fitly spoken is like apples of gold in pictures of silver.(KJV)

Bedouin camel drivers in the mid-East understand how relationships can get out-of-balance this way. Camels are notoriously moody. Their selfish ways are legendary. From time to time a camel-driver senses his camel is fed-up with the owner. Wanting to head-off an explosion, the owner will hand his own outer coat to the camel. The camel will bite, spit-at, and trample the coat into the desert floor, until all that is left is a thread or two. Once the camel’s anger is spent, the relationship can get back on balance.

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