Is it hard for you to resolve conflict in marriage in a healthy way? Unfortunately, being a Christian doesn’t mean you automatically come with conflict resolution skills.
In fact, most of the time, healthy conflict-resolution skills are learned through trial and error. In my case, mostly errors. I’m a bit slow…
When problems would arise in my marriage, I would try one way, only to move on to a new tactic if I didn’t get the desired result–a win.
After a while, I realized we were a team. We were either going to win together or lose together.
Now that we have been married for 30 years, I can clearly verbalize what has worked (and what hasn’t).
If you want to glean a few pearls of wisdom from an old married couple keep reading. You may learn a few tips on how to resolve conflict in marriage biblically.
How Do You Resolve Conflict Between Husband and Wife?
Not like this…
We had only been married a week before the big one hit. It was our first major fight as a married couple. And let me tell you, it was a doozy. The conversation started off innocently but went south within a matter of minutes.
The next thing I knew, my husband was telling me the health protocol of our invisible children. No questions, comments, or rebuttals. It was his way or the highway.
One of his proclamations was that we were going to feed our children (that didn’t exist) cod liver oil.
I, of course, reacted in defiance to the idea because I, of course, knew how to resolve conflict in marriage the healthy way. We didn’t need to talk about the benefits of cod live oil (fish oil) or read any information about the subject.
I already knew he was wrong without listening. (This would be the first mistake.)
I wanted no part of my husband’s evil plan. That was not the kind of mother I was going to be. And most of all, he was NOT going to tell me how to raise our pretend children.
Who did he think he was anyway? I was a teacher. I was an expert!
In a fit of rage, I grabbed my husband’s finger, bit the fire out of it, and then ran to our bedroom which was about 7 feet from the living room. After that, I slammed the door and locked it.
As a Christian, I knew exactly how to resolve conflict in a relationship–biting, running off, and slamming doors.
And that is how we started our first month of marriage. Truthfully, neither of us knew how to resolve conflict in a new marriage.
7 Biblical Ways to Resolve Conflict in a Marriage
If you want to know how to resolve conflict in a marriage relationship, you should probably do everything opposite of what my husband and I did in our first month of marriage!
After many years and lots of tears, we have both learned that it is better to show up as two adults and work together. If you want some hard-earned advice, then check out these 7 biblical ways to resolve conflict in marriage and work through your differences:
Pursue your spouse. Genuinely listen to his point of view. Be interested in her ideas, feelings, and dreams. This means taking time away from the kids so you are not distracted. Dates are an excellent way to reconnect as a couple and talk through things.
Consider the facts, evaluate, and pray through the situation at hand. Sometimes emotions take over and escalate a situation. Stand back and see it logically.
Would it be a good thing for you, your marriage, and your family? Who would it hurt? Does it go against God’s word? Consider these things when you’re trying to resolve conflict in marriage.
Reject pride and selfish behavior. Be willing to admit when you are wrong. Put the other person first.
You don’t have to always get your own way. Many times we mistake questions for dissent and feel threatened. Choose to respond in love.
Get your FREE CONFLICT RESOLUTION (PDF) TIPS to help you and your spouse navigate difficult conversations.
Focus on the problem, not the person. Be willing to address the situation even if you know it is going to be uncomfortable. Avoiding it will not make it go away.
If your spouse overreacts, keep calm. Gently direct it back to the problem. Don’t escalate it further. This is one of the best ways to resolve conflict in marriage.
You can not change your spouse. You can only change yourself. Work on you. If you have an addiction, anger issues, or any other unhealthy behaviors, address it now.
Ask God to show you any blind spots in your life. Changing yourself will force your spouse to have to change the way he interacts with you.
Wait until you both have peace about a decision. Pushing too hard to get your way may end up in a disaster if your spouse has a genuine concern about something.
God uses the gifts of both the husband and the wife to get a sound decision. If you think you don’t need your spouse’s input, you are sadly mistaken. This is an important thing to remember when you resolve conflict in marriage.
Be willing to compromise so you both win. This means changing your thinking from “I” to “we.” You both win or lose together. It is not a competition against each other. Marriage is a team sport.
Many people go into marriage thinking they are going to get all their needs met when in reality many times it is about dying to self.
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What Does the Bible Say About Resolving Conflict in Marriage?
Here are 10 powerful Bible verses to help you learn how to resolve conflict in marriage biblically. I hope they will help reinforce some of the tips I suggested.
I Peter 3: 8-9 (NIV)
Finally, all of you, be like-minded, sympathetic, love one another, be compassionate, and humble. 9 Do not repay evil with evil or insult with insult. On the contrary, repay evil with blessing, because to this you were called so that you may inherit a blessing.
I Peter 3: 8-9 (ESV)
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.
Matthew 19:6 (ESV)
So they are no longer two but one flesh. What therefore God has joined together, let not man separate.”
Colossians 3:19 (ESV)
Husbands, love your wives and do not be harsh with them.
Proverbs 14:29 (NIV)
Whoever is patient has great understanding, but one who is quick-tempered displays folly.
1 Corinthians 13: 4-8a (ESV)
Love is patient and kind; love does not envy or boast; it is not arrogant 5 or rude. It does not insist on its own way; it is not irritable or resentful;[b] 6 it does not rejoice at wrongdoing, but rejoices with the truth. 7 Love bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, and endures all things. Love never ends.
Romans 12: 19 (NIV)
Do not take revenge, my dear friends, but leave room for God’s wrath, for it is written: “It is mine to avenge; I will repay,” says the Lord.
Philippians 2:3-4 (NIV)
Do nothing out of selfish ambition or vain conceit. Rather, in humility value others above yourselves, 4 not looking to your own interests but each of you to the interests of the others.
Hebrews 12:5 (NIV)
See to it that no one falls short of the grace of God and that no bitter root grows up to cause trouble and defile many.
Matthew 18:15-16 (ESV)
If your brother sins against you, go and tell him his fault, between you and him alone. If he listens to you, you have gained your brother. 16 But if he does not listen, take one or two others along with you, that every charge may be established by the evidence of two or three witnesses.
Share your tips on how to resolve conflict in marriage in the comments below.
Got Family Problems? There is Help and Hope!
Are you experiencing family problems or have a family estrangement? Do you feel shame, anger, or rejection? Check out my book Estranged: Finding Hope When Your Family Falls Apart on Amazon or at your favorite digital store.
This book not only talks about my seven-year estrangement (and reconciliation) from my Christian family but also gives solid tips to help you with your family problems. Break free from your pain. Allow God to heal you no matter what has happened in your family of origin. There is hope when your family falls apart.
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