button

Spirit-Led Woman

Want to receive SpiritLed Woman by email? Sign up here
angry couple
(Prometeus/http://www.stockfreeimages.com)

The SpiritLed Woman podcast is empowering women weekly to follow their purpose in Christ and boldly walk in faith. Listen at charismapodcastnetwork.com.


How do we keep our relationships intact when our individual needs collide?

One of the greatest weaknesses within the body of Christ is our paranoia when it comes to handling conflict. Regardless of how many scripture verses we learn about addressing it, we still treat it like the plague.

Why don't we deal with discord truthfully and without fear? Jesus taught us "Blessed are the peacemakers" (Matt. 5:9, NKJV), but we seem to have translated His words this way: "Blessed are the doormats." However, the truth is, peacemakers clearly practice the skill of negotiation during conflict.

For most of our married life, even though my husband and I were home-group leaders and active in the church, we had no idea how to constructively address conflict. Outside the home we worked hard to create the illusion that we were happy and carefree. But behind closed doors we were miserable.

My husband, Jim, had his way to deal with offenses: He perfected the art of intimidation. To keep me from penetrating his own deep sorrows, Jim withheld approval and affection. When my husband's behavior alternated between cold silences and outbursts of anger, I held my tongue.

Although my lips might not have expressed my pain over Jim's behavior, my heart grew weary under the weight of unresolved conflict. Instead of following the instructions of Matthew 18:15 and speaking openly to Jim after each series of offenses, I'd think, How peaceful life would be if he were simply gone.

Some days, my dread of him was so complete I secretly hoped that he would have a fatal accident coming home from work during one of our wild Pennsylvania snowstorms. No more walking on eggshells and complying out of fear! But at the end of the day, his car always pulled into the driveway, and I returned to my agonizing role as the people-pleaser--hoping to win his kindness.

We were locked in a solitary world of fear where no one would tell the truth. As a result, reality was never discussed. Although we knew that God wanted something better for us, we felt powerless to change. The hopelessness of our situation loomed large, and we were ready to call it quits.

But God had a different plan in the works.

TRUE GRACE If the truth be told, many of us don't believe that God loves us unconditionally. Since the day of our salvation we have been collecting and harboring a secret list of behavioral law we feel we must obey to gain His approval.

We struggle to be worthy but never feel secure, never certain we have the validity to act on God's Word and expect the promised results. Since it takes confidence and a strong sense of our personal value to God to address conflict, we are unable to bring true healing into tense situations. Instead, we use fleshly behaviors to cope:

**Murder (imagining our "adversaries" dead, wishing something awful would happen to them to take them out of our lives)

**Compensation and compliance (turning ourselves inside out trying to please and bring peace)

**Intimidation (alternating between the silent treatment and outbursts of anger)

**Avoidance or denial (pretending everything is all right, tiptoeing around the problems, purposely staying away from the person, living in emotional isolation)

**Character assassination (disclosing our adversaries' faults, often in an exaggerated way, to others; attempting to build our own credibility by destroying theirs).

It wasn't until Jim and I met with a team of counselors trained in inner healing that we learned how to grab hold of grace and resolve the conflict in our lives. Amazingly, when I finally acknowledged my own unfulfilled needs, gave up my self-righteous compliance and told Jim that I would no longer take responsibility for his anger, the Holy Spirit opened my eyes.

He showed me the truth: The sins of my heart were as hellish as the sins of my husband's temper. I had to embrace His grace for my own inadequacies and sins.

Jim encountered the true target of his anger: God. As he began to forgive his parents, other authority figures, himself and ultimately God for allowing his pain, the love of God penetrated his heart and changed it forever. Met with forgiveness, truth was no longer a thing to fear.

Jim needed God's grace, too.

How we learn to deal with conflict as children affects how we respond to one another as adults--in our homes, at church or in the workplace. Although I loved God deeply, I was always unsure of His approval. I knew I wasn't perfect, so I lacked confidence when it came to addressing unfairness or sin against me. Perhaps I believed I deserved it.

Draw closer to God. Experience the presence of the Holy Spirit every month as you read Charisma magazine. Sign up now to get Charisma for as low as $1 per issue.

Get to know the Holy Spirit and how to interact with Him on a daily basis. Learn to enter God's presence and hear His voice clearly for yourself! Go deeper in your faith with Life in the Spirit and change your life and destiny. Are you ready to start your journey?

Your Turn

Comment Guidelines
View/Add Comments
  • Chuck Pierce is calling the month ahead "critical."

    Chuck Pierce Prophesies 'Short, 10-Year Window' in the Nations

    Russia is a big part of what he sees.

  • A bit of flirting may seem innocent, but it can lead to destructive behavior.

    3 Do's and Don'ts When Communicating With Women Other Than Your Wife

    Do you and your wife have any other rules for communicating with the opposite sex?

  • The Things That Hold Us Back

    The Things That Hold Us Back

    The rich young ruler, like many of us today, was in a “quandary.” He wanted to follow Jesus, but he loved the lifestyle his money provided for him.

  • Warring angels

    Prophetic Word: 'I Saw Angels at Almost the Speed of Light'

    Here is why you must pray them through for yourself and for your nation.

  • Get the answer to your challenging circumstance in this insight from James 1:5.

    Early Warning Signs You're About to Make a Terrible Decision

    Is Holy Spirit sounding off these alarms in your life?

  • Are You Wishing the Holidays Would End Sooner?

    Are You Wishing the Holidays Would End Sooner?

    Perhaps you're one of the 45 percent of adults in a recent survey who said they dread the holiday season.

  • This revivalist had a vision of hell.

    Revivalist: I Went to Hell in a Dream

    After God took him on a prophetic journey, John Burton left with an important message for the ...

  • Cindy Jacobs is encouraging intercessors across the country to pray to keep the nation stabilized through December 19th.

    Cindy Jacobs Issues Critical Post-Election Prayer Alert

    Will you keep watching and praying?

  • Fidel Castro

    Castro Couldn't Kill Christianity in Cuba

    The sober truth is the world is a safer place now that Cuba's dictator is dead.

  • Don't let pornography impede God's plan for your life.

    How Watching Pornography Ruins the Destiny God Has for You

    If the devil can seduce you, he can reduce you.

  • Continue Your Journey with the Holy Spirit

    Continue Your Journey with the Holy Spirit

    Follow God on the most fulfilling journey of your life with Encounter the Holy Spirit! Break away from past hurts and press into the One who wants a personal encounter with you.

  • Dream the Unimaginable In His Presence

    Dream the Unimaginable In His Presence

    Reach your full potential and be led by His Spirit. In His Presence takes you to a deeper understanding of who God is and how he communicates with us.

  • Set Your Spirit on Fire

    Set Your Spirit on Fire

    Receive the power and gifts that come through the Holy Spirit Baptism. Don’t go empty-handed; accept all that He has for you! His power is available to those who ask.

  • Put on the Full Armor of God

    Put on the Full Armor of God

    Break every stronghold with the power of the Holy Spirit. Use the power of your tongue to declare and decree the Word of God. Witness heaven move on your behalf.

Use Desktop Layout
Charisma Magazine — Empowering believers for life in the Spirit
button
button