United we stand, divided we fall…
We have all heard that motto. While reading through the book of Matthew recently, I was reminded of it when Jesus says, “Any kingdom divided by civil war is doomed. A town or family splintered by feuding will fall apart.” (Matthew 12:25).
It is common knowledge that families are being torn apart at an alarming rate in our society. A non-chalant attitude toward sex, and the pressure to compete with jobs, money, cars, etc. has infiltrated many family units causing words and actions that can’t be taken back. The hurt remains, even after the apology has been given (if there is one).
Can love unify us?
Can love make us stronger and keep us working together and in support of one another?
Keeping any group of people united toward one goal is a tough job. Every group needs a peace maker. There is a vast difference between peacemaking and peacekeeping.
Peacemaking is hard work. It requires facing the problem head on in love. Peacekeeping address the symptoms and tries to draw attention away from the real problem. What is the root of most disagreements? Pride. We want something and we aren’t getting it, or we don’t like the way that things are being done or choices that other people are making. It’s human nature to think that we know best for ourselves and for everyone around us, but letting that ego invade our relationships will doom them.
We all want our families, teams, departments, and any other unit we are in to be successful. No one likes to fail, but if conflict isn’t resolved, that’s exactly what happens.
What can we do?
- · Respect: Set boundaries. Everyone deserves to be treated with respect. At one time or another, we will most likely lose our temper with those around us. Be aware of your boundaries being crossed, and walk away. Find a quiet place, breathe, and ask God to help you before you go back, or just drop it.
- · Research: Find the real issue in the conflict. Be sure you aren’t yelling at your husband for not taking out the trash when in reality you’re upset because you don’t feel like you’ve spent any real time with him lately. It’s not always easy to be honest with your feelings, but sending mixed messages will always end poorly.
- · Risk: Take a risk and compromise. Discuss ways that both needs can be met, or agree to go along with a choice until a certain time or goal has been met, and then try your way to see if things get better. However, don’t ever compromise your beliefs or morals..just your pride.
- · Reconsider: Is the issue really important? When you look back in a year, will this matter? Ask yourself these questions before you continue to stress your position on the subject.
Our enemy wants to destroy our families because he knows that’s where our heart lies. If he can get to our hearts, it makes us more vulnerable, and makes us doubt what we know as the truth. It happens every day to people we know.
Let’s choose to love and ask for guidance so that we stay strong TOGETHER.
Are there other ways that you deal with disagreements? We would love to hear from you.
Passages to Ponder:
God blesses those who work for peace, for they will be called the children of God.
What is causing the quarrels and fights among you? Don’t they come from the evil desires at war within you? You want what you don’t have, so you scheme and kill to get it. You are jealous of what others have, but you can’t get it, so you fight and wage war to take it away from them. Yet, you don’t have what you want because you don’t ask God for it.
Above all, clothe yourselves with love, which binds us all together in perfect harmony.
Contributors: Karen Bromby and Kim McClure