SINGAPORE, 21 NOVEMBER 2008 — Conflict is inevitable in a marriage. It exists in forms of disagreements, arguments and quarrels. “It is impossible not to have conflicts in a marriage, as communication is involved in marriage,” says John Lim.
Lim, a member of City Harvest Church, is the speaker of Conflict and Anger Management in Marriage, one of the many elective workshops offered in Asia Conference 2008. He has been married for 18 years and has three children.
|PHOTOS: Koh Meng Kwang|
He emphasized that quarreling is normal in a marriage. The important thing is how to handle those conflicts and anger, a consequence of conflicts. The root cause of anger includes tension from the pain of past hurt and guilt from wrong responses to them.
Therefore, it is important to resolve issues that cause hurt and guilt to prevent accumulation. In addition, anger can also be caused by iniquities of the forefathers passed down, also known as generation curse.
Unresolved conflicts may lead to eruption of tension and as it builds up, it causes the growth of bitterness and damages the spirit of marriage — which is oneness in spirit, soul and body.
In total, there are 10 steps to resolve conflicts and anger:
We are all different and unique as how God creates us, so understand your spouse’s personality.
- Know that God wants restoration, as marriage is precious to God.
- Examine yourself and take responsibility for your own words, actions, thoughts and attitude.
- Go to God and commit yourself again to Him, and tell Him your desire to do the right thing.
- Release forgiveness to the person unconditionally, from God and to yourself.
- Approach your spouse with gentleness and sincerity, perhaps with a simple pat or touch.
- Communicate and empathize by simply asking his or her feelings, and share your feelings and thoughts as well.
- Agree on how to handle conflicts in the future, such as establishing ground rules.
- Praying together may be difficult, but a couple should come together in prayer for wisdom, mercy and grace to resolve the issue. Wives should be more encouraging toward their husbands, who are the spiritual leaders, and not critical of their lack of bible knowledge for instance.
- Celebrate and cherish oneness again.
- Learn from mistakes, move on and know that there is no more condemnation.
- A good marriage requires hard work by putting in time and effort. It is not automatic, but like a mechanical watch which constantly needs winding to make it work.
- And in everything, seek God for His help to give you the resources to help your marriage.
Having renewed their minds with these tips, the delegates left the session, energized and equipped, to make their marriage last for life.