Being married guarantees that there will be conflict that will arise from all aspects of life. It is inevitable. Hanging out with other couples will affirm that conflicts do happen. Well I am blessed because John and I hardly argue. That is a blessing in itself.
When John and I were given the chance to speak on Resolving Conflict at Saturdates, we dissected why people including us have conflict in the first place. And we came up with 2 main roots to the conflict that we may not be necessarily even aware of. It’s the silent killers.
The first one is Selfishness. Most people will say that they are not selfish but we all know we are all born as such. Selfish people have a lack of consideration for others. They are mainly concern for one’s personal profit or pleasure. They often are self serving, hence are self-centered.
I realized that I am very much guilty of this. When I lack sleep or I am hungry – I see myself transform into this selfish monster. I would put a mood that is not pleasing to my husband simply because I feel entitled to sleep or eat. I thank God my husband pointed this out and by God’s grace I am growing to learn to be more patient and to never make this as excuse to start a conflict.
John loves to extend kindness to people and even to strangers. One way he has done this was by subscribing to a couch surfing site. Couch surfing is a community where people traveling can opt to stay with a host who let them sleep literally in their couch. Now as you know we Filipinos don’t just let their guest stay in the couch, we in fact try to give them a room and the best hospitality. I used to be so stressed every time John would mention that he is having a couch surfer guest stay in our home. I felt he was inconsiderate of my feelings because it meant I would have to entertain a guest. I also felt it was a security issue having strangers stay with us. But the truth is that’s my selfishness getting the best of me. Its not my liking and its inconvenient for me – that’s why I whine or show an attitude. But as you all know God will always teach you something in every circumstance. Couch surfing has taught me to be selfless and more importantly it became a venue for us to share Jesus to these strangers. So far. all our couch surfers have been a blessing to us, one of which was even a pastor in South Africa and he was such an encourager to John and I.
The second root to conflict is Pride. Pride is a feeling that you deserve respect from others because of how you see yourself. It’s a feeling that you’re better or more important than other people. So people who have a pride issue are usually those with critical spirit and are fault finders. They master seeing the wrong things people do. They are always trying to protect their reputation so they are quick to blame others. They are great in debating and they never want to lose a conversation because it’s a sign of weakness. They cannot receive correction nor will the admit they are wrong. So don’t expect them to apologize or at least make the first move to apologize.
“Pride only breeds quarrels,
but wisdom is found in those who take advice.” (NIV)
There was a time I had an issue with John regarding work. It really bothered me and he knew that it did but he did not want to deal with me. I started giving him the silent treatment (which I know is wrong!) – but because John felt he had his own points and that he did not want to apologize, his battle plan was to sleep it off. That really made me more upset. I could not believe he was willing to sleep and not fix the issue. This “pride” is like an invisible wall that can’t get you through the other person. At 3am, I had to wake him up because we needed to resolve or else I would end up miserable and not be able to sleep. This made him realize, we did not need this pride to get between us. So we settled that early morning and I slept like a baby after.
When I think about the times I have been selfish or prideful, I regret it. Selfishness and Pride are not the same but they can co-exist. Having both is a bad combination. Can you imagine if each one decided to think of their spouse before themselves? What if we decided that we can learn from our mistakes when we are corrected? Communication would be much easier and married life less complicated.
The truth is John and I rarely fight because we have the right perspective. We understand we don’t have forever in this life. Life is too short to live for misunderstandings. We want to live life to the fullest and make wonderful memories. Live a life without regret. So we agreed that we can point out our flaws and be willing to change and adjust.
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Tip on Resolving Conflict
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