Healthy Family Relationships

Don’t Let Marriage Conflict Surprise You or Spoil Your Healthy Family Relationships

It is not uncommon for relationship problems to pop up in a marriage. With two different people, with differing perspectives, backgrounds and preferences, it is understandable that every marriage must face a certain degree of marriage conflict. The Bible even states that marriage trouble is a guarantee. 1 Corinthians  7:28 puts it this way: “But if you do marry, you have not sinned… Yet those who marry will have worldly troubles…”

The Apostle Paul understood that every marriage will face its difficulties. So many life situations--from job stress to losing your home to financial impact--can cause trouble between a husband and wife. However if a couple is prepared to face conflict, and armed with biblical encouragement, then dealing with stress from marriage problems will be  made easier.

Healthy Family Relationships Begin with Loving Communication

Truthful and loving communication is the key to healthy family relationships.

A husband and wife must be willing to speak the truth in love to each other about their feelings, needs and desires.  Ephesians 4:15 says this: “… Rather speaking the truth in love, we are to grow…” The context of the verse is concerning doctrine, however the principle holds true for relationships as well.  If a husband and wife commit to speaking truthfully to each other and yet balanced with love and respect their relationship will grow.

An essential part of loving communication is patience.

Patience is the first attribute of love that is listed in 1 Corinthians 13:4. Proverbs 19:11 puts it this way, “A person with good sense is patient, and it is to his credit that he overlooks an offense.” (God’s Word Translation) Loving communication first requires that we do not jump down one anothers throat at the first offense. Love means that we can overlook an offense. Yes it may be the truth that leaving the toilet seat up, or gabbing loudly on the phone till the wee hours, are annoying habits which may need to be addressed, but loving communication first requires that we extend each other grace and patience to correct bad habits without harsh judgment and condemnation.  Many minor relationship issues can be resolved not by being quick to judge or correct them, but rather by being patient and long suffering.

Every Relationship Needs Forgiveness to Flourish

At times, when we are hurt badly, it is hard to overlook the offense.

Betrayal or abandonment cannot simply be overlooked. Such offense need more than patience or long suffering, they need forgiveness to be overcome. No relationship can continue to grow if anger and unforgiveness are allowed to take root. Anger, bitterness, and unforgiveness are like weeds which choke the life and love within a relationship.  On the other hand, marriages can overcome even such heartbreaking offenses such as infidelity when forgiveness is extended. Ephesians 4:31-32 says, “Let all bitterness and wrath and anger…be put away from you…. Be kind to one another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, as God in Christ forgave you.” (ESV)

When a couple faces conflict, sometimes an escape away from stress and the daily routine is needed to find the time to communicate effectively. Marriage retreats and Christian marriage seminars can be useful getaways for couples in conflict to recharge and reconnect. While the daily hustle and bustle may not allow a walk through the park or a quiet breakfast by the shore, a retreat can allow a couple those quiet moments to unburden their hearts and work through their conflicts. Date nights and purposeful times together can be great marriage builders and just what the doctor ordered for couple facing conflicts. Often at seminars or retreats Christian marriage counseling is also available for couples who need a neutral party to help mediate differences.

It is important to remember that marriage conflict is not unusual. Every couple will face relationship issues. But with loving communication, patience and forgiveness as building blocks any marriage can grow strong and healthy family relationships.

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