It is naive to believe that the person the Lord has for you will bring with them a relationship without conflict. Conflict is part of life, in all areas of life, including relationships. A certain amount of conflict in a relationship is not a bad thing, in fact when conflict is handled appropriately it can be a healthy strengthening tool. When both partners feel free to speak their minds and be honest about what they think and feel, and it is received safely, a deeper trust forms.
We read about conflict all throughout scripture, we also read about unity all throughout scripture. Paul, in his letter to the church at Corinth instructed them to be perfectly united in mind and thought. He wasn’t suggesting that they agree on every minute detail of life and actions. What he is referring to is the big picture. The big picture of their love for God and helping each other follow Jesus. The big picture of eternity.
In relationships you will never agree completely on everything that comes your way, two people with different backgrounds, different personalities, and different life experiences will naturally generate conflict. Why would we expect otherwise? But when the focus is on the big picture, winning a conflict becomes less important.
What is the big picture of a healthy relationship? It is actually quite simple. The big picture is two people, despite all their differences deciding to follow Christ together. When both people step on that path and walk in the direction of Christ, the details and differences fade. Not in a becoming mirror images of each other sort of way. Or that there would never be a time where there are differing opinions, but in a – we are in this together, committed to each other, and committed to encouraging each other to draw closer to the Lord – sort of way.
Arguments will still happen, conflict will still happen, but if there is a commitment to Christ and an active intention to stay committed to one another, despite occasional disagreements, trust builds, the relationship strengthens, and it becomes possible to put the conflict in perspective.
Strength and unity comes in a relationship as we, through Christ, daily seek the big picture and persistently strengthen the bonds of love, respect, and faith.
Today’s thought: Are you focusing on the big picture or on the minute details?