Monday, January 23, 2012

Relationships Take Work! ( Forgiveness - Part 1 )

Source: via Ann on Pinterest

Bear with each other and forgive whatever grievances you may have against one another.
Forgive as the Lord forgave you..” Colossians 3:13
Understanding Marital Conflict from James 4:1-3
Just like any interaction between two people, disagreements in marriage are bound to happen. Sometime disagreements can turn into conflict and, if not dealt with wisely, can literally destroy a marriage. This is why so many marriage counselors and even businesses have offered conflict-resolution and problem-solving workshops.
Why do couples fight and argue? Why can’t they just enjoy lasting peace? Didn’t they get married to have a greater life together than when single?  We need to realize that conflicts are more than the simple difference of opinion or approach. Conflicts are the way couples poorly carry out the expression of their varying viewpoints.

“What is the source of quarrels and conflicts among you? Is not the source your pleasures that wage war in your members? You lust and do not have; so you commit murder. And you are envious and cannot obtain; so you fight and quarrel. You do not have because you do not ask. You ask and do not receive, because you ask with wrong motives, so that you may spend it on your pleasures” (James 4:1-3).
Two key words are used here:
Quarrels- the long-standing unresolved war along with all the tensions and underlying issues at stake.
Conflicts- the individual battles

If you solve a conflict, will you solve the quarrel? No. We need to go deeper, much deeper like James does. Six observations can be drawn from James 4:1-3
1) Quarrels require cooperation. Two are needed! We should be humble enough to accept that marital arguments require both the husband and wife.
2) Quarrelers are motivated to please themselves. Without careful thought, more than likely the world’s thoughts have influenced your attitudes and decision-making process when quarreling.
3) The actual pursuit to fulfill their desires causes conflict. James 4:2 says that they “cannot obtain; so you fight and quarrel. This is the opposite of love. There is no thought of God and they are self-driven.
4) Quarrelers lack self-restraint and self-control. Have you ever heard someone say, “That is just the way he is.”? Actually we all have a sin nature. The point is some spouses will repent and turn to God for His Spirit to help them and their marriage. Others will not. We all are responsible for our deeds.
5) Quarrelers do not seek God’s way. James 4:2 says, ‘You do not ask.’ They do not have a mind to seek what God wants or even to think how He might provide for them. They want to control God to get their wishes.
6) Quarrelers lack a perspective of peace or oneness. If a couple lives without a commitment to oneness, then their wills will compete against each other. Peace will be substituted for disharmony until they live according to their oneness.
Financial Issues:  When the purse strings are tight, then the spouses need to give up more of what they would like. James says that it is when they do not get what they want, that conflicts begin. 
The real source of conflict is our own hearts.  We allow ourselves to prioritize our own preferences over the wellbeing of the whole, in this case meaning our spouse and marriage. The reason we become so aggressive in meeting our own needs so that we will even become pushy or selfish (which is always impolite and unkind) is because of our selfish nature. Deep down below, we are out to please ourselves.

If you are a genuine Christian and still struggle greatly with these issues, we can be confident that God is able to and desires to help us out faster than we ever thought possible. We have the power to live a godly life in Christ by living out the fruit of the Spirit. Of course, we can also by choice and deception fall to living by our old nature.
Steps to Bring Relief from Past Conflict
(1) Identify these pleasures or desires. What is it that has been driving you into conflict?
(2) Repent from seeking your own gratification rather than God’s will. Focus on your own shortcomings rather than your spouses.
(3) Commit to doing God’s will regardless of the consequences. You as a Christian are to serve God.
(4) Follow God’s will. Talk is empty without action. (More on this is coming next.)
(5) Patch up ‘war’ scars. When you have hurt others (whether it was in anger or in defense of your spouse’s negative behavior), then you need to apologize, confess your wrong and ask for forgiveness.

The couple is one, not two. As husband and wife, are we not on the same team? Do we not have the same goal? Aren’t we both winning when the other does well? We sure are!
In “Forgiveness” (Part 2) I will talk about Creating Marital Harmony (Philippians 2:2-5)

Continuing to list God's graces upon me and take part in the Joy Dare
3 ways you witnessed happiness today: 
390. Son's reaction when he got in for an interview for a job. 
391. A video of missionaries at our church, who felt called to serve and are enjoying living in New Guinea.
392. People talking and laughing in the coffee shop.
One gift that made you laugh, one gift that made you pray, one gift that made you quiet
393. Time with family, reminiscing and sharing life’s experiences, and laughing
394. Prayed for my son to get a new job.
395. Reading scripture – finding words in the book of Proverbs that made me contemplate God’s wisdom.
3 Gifts from God’s Word -
– Proverbs 30:18-19 “There are three things that are too amazing for me, four that I do not understand:
396. the way of an eagle in the sky,
1.    397.  the way of a snake on a rock,
398. the way of a ship on the high seas, and the way of a man with a young woman.
A grace in the kitchen, a grace in the weather, a grace that might never have been.
399. Watching my son and his girlfriend make a Caesar salad together.
400. Sun shining on a cold winter day.
401. Having and raising my son.
3 gifts you saw only when you got close-up plant covered with winter snow

403. Squirrel, gathering nuts

404. deer grazing in the back yard.

One thing in the sky, from your memory, that’s ugly-beautiful
405. Clouds
406. Growing up in a nice neighborhood
407. Moving to a new house in the wintertime
Linking over at:

(Information on marriage from the website “Biblical Foundations For Freedom” – Building a Great Marriage” Series.)


  1. I love how you wrote that a couple is not one but two...they are on the same team! That is so true! When we come together with our differences with God at our center, there is nothing that cannot be overcome!

    1. So true, Joan. Our culture wants couples to live independently, not working together. That is not God's plan, though! I always like to think of the strand with 3 chords (God, man, woman) which cannot be broken! Thanks for stopping by, my friend!

  2. We are on the same team... what a great reminder. So many wonderful gifts on your list. Hope the job interview is a success for your son! I love watching deer in our yard too. :)

    1. Thanks for dropping by, Jennifer. And we just found out earlier today that my son DID get the job!!! Amen!!! God is good!

  3. Great words of wisdom. Thank you for sharing. I wish I had been able to use these principals when they counted the most.

    1. I know about needing this info. earlier in life! I could have benefited, as well. But wherever we are in life's walk, we can learn from our past and continue to grow in Him! Thanks for stopping by!


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