3 Big Steps to Overcome Conflict

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3 Big Steps to Overcome Conflict


This lesson on the 3 big steps to overcome conflict was presented to Titus 2 Community and the Explicitly Christian Marriage groups on Facebook. To watch the video, click the button below.

Here are the notes so you can follow along:



What are the 3 Big Steps to Overcome Conflict?


Step 1   Glorify God

1 Corinthians 10:31  So, whether you eat or drink, or whatever you do, do all to the glory of        God. 

Not all conflict is sinful, wicked, or evil under certain circumstances.  Conflict provides an opportunity to glorify God, to grow like Christ, and to serve others better.  

Unresolved conflict, on the other hand, is almost always an issue of attitude, not of the problem itself.

To glorify God is to reflect his weighty and radiant beauty of holiness. To please him, that his face would shine upon you, be gracious to you, and give you peace.

            You need to feel the weight of his holy presence bearing down on your lives, 

            You need to find a way to honor God in your dispute.

            And you want Jesus reflected even while you are conflicted. 


Q - How can I, how can we glorify God even in this conflict?



Step 2   Love him or her

Not talking about the hormone, oxytocin. 

Biblical love is the intentional investment and active display of compassion for another’s well-being that seeks their highest good in life.

By loving your spouse, you want the best outcome for his or her life.

1. Rom. 12:9 Let your love be without hypocrisy or your love is to be sincere.

2. Rom. 13:10 Love does not wrong to a neighbor.

3. Matt. 5:43  But I say to you, love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you.

4. Prov. 10:12 - Love covers a multitude of sins.

How do you love during conflict?

1.  “Kind”(verbal sense) your partner

                  Biblical kindness is bestowing good on another for their blessing.

1 Cor. 10:24 - Let no one seek his own good but seek the good of his neighbor.

                  Q - Am I being kind in this conflict?


2.  Humble yourself

                 You can be passionate but you must not be arrogant (Prov. 11:2; 13:10; 21:4; 28:25;

Mark  7:22; 1 Pet. 5:5).

                 1 Corinthians 13:5 - It does not insist on its own way; it is not irritable or resentful.

Q – Am I exercising humility in our conflict?


3.   Respect/honor your spouse.

1 Peter 2:17 - …honor everyone (to treat others with dignity and respect as one made in the image of God)

1 Peter 3:7 Likewise, husbands, live with your wives in an understanding way, showing honor to the woman as the weaker vessel, since they are heirs with you of  the grace of life, so that your prayers may not be hindered.

Ephesians 5:33 However, let each one of you love his wife as himself, and let the wife see that she respects her husband.

                  Healthy relationships are upheld by mutual respect and mutual responsibility

Q - Am I respectful toward my husband or wife? 


4.  Suffer with  (Show compassion)

Compassion is more than most people think. It’s more than just empathy, caring, and concern for another person. Compassion originates from the Latin root meaning “to struggle with.” Literally, compassion is “co-suffering.” Whereas drama means to struggle against with destructive outcomes, compassion means to struggle with for creative outcomes.

Get to the root problem.  What presents as the problem is often not the problem.

Define and describe the core problem.  Agree on the main problem and address that together. 

Q -  Am I struggling alongside my husband or wife for a creative solution?

5.   Be patient

Love is patient (longsuffering; has a long fuse)

 1 Corinthians 13:7  Love bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things.

      a. Calm down.

       The point is not to prove you are right. 

When it comes to your spouse, this is not a competition. You are to be on the 

                              same team. Don’t compete with each other. Leave competition for games. 

b. Show a willingness  to work things out.


      Q – Am I exhibiting the fruit of the Spirit, the life of Christ by being patient?

Q -Am I loving?


Step 3  Negotiate

Psychologist and relationship expert John Gottman says that what makes relationships work is negotiation.  Negotiation, as it turns out, requires the capacity to recognize and name feelings and to regulate and soothe ourselves (the ability to experience and contain complex emotions) while empathically holding concern for the feelings of another.

 1. Engage to stay on the same page.

a. Talking to your spouse is a matter of personal engagement, not declaration.

You are not engaging to accuse; no finger pointing!  You are engaging in order to dialog, to present your case in love and concern for their welfare and for your mutual reconciliation, and to restore a good relationship.

 b. Don’t aggravate and communicate.

 c. “Connect to correct”  

 d. Don’t be blind. Know their mind.

When you have come to understand where your spouse is coming from, then you can better tackle the problem as allies rather than as enemies.

When the two understand the problem, the two have command of the problem.

How can you know if you understand?  When you can articulate what your spouse’s perspective.   One technique: Use a conference table.

2.  Be empathic           

Romans 12:15-16 Rejoice with those who rejoice, weep with those who weep. Live in harmony with one another.

To be empathic is to empathize. It’s when you feel what your spouse feels about the matter. It’s when your spouse knows you get it and you get him or her. It’s what we call making the other person feel felt. See this article 6 Steps to Making Another Person Feel Felt.

“Research shows that 70 percent of marital conflicts are not resolvable; the disagreement remains. As long as the participants learn to live with their differences—one of the biggest challenges in marriage—this is not necessarily bad news. But differences must be grasped, even if no problems are solved. One of the reasons empathy works so well is because it does not require a solution. It requires only understanding.”       

3.  Find common ground 

Relational change between people often starts at finding common ground:

                        Common ideas

                        Common motives

                        Common goals

4.  Seek a win-win resolution

See Romans 14:19 where we are called to peace and mutual edification.


Q – Am I negotiating or aggravating?


 Closing comments

2 Corinthians 13:11 Finally, brothers, rejoice. Aim for restoration, comfort one another, agree with one another, live in peace, and the God of love and peace will be with you. 

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