Saturday, July 19, 2008

The Excellent Wife, Ch 17

Conflict...Quietness of the Wife's Spirit

In this chapter on conflict, the author said there are basically three types of conflict:

  • Differentness
  • Selfishness / Sinfulness
  • Righteousness

Differentness is not right or wrong, its just...well, different. I think differentness conflicts happen, for the most part, in the early stages of a relationship. Eventually, after arguing over and over about how to squeeze the tube of toothpaste, you come to a compromise. Or you buy two tubes.

Overcoming differentness is "forbearance", which is basically "putting up with the other person's traditions or idiosyncrasies". Neither person should insist on having their own way and if you know its something really important to your husband you should "willingly give in graciously for the sake of unity and for the sake of remaining under your husband's authority."

Over these 14 years, Shaun and I have worked out and come to understand most of our differences. In fact, I think we appreciate each other more because of them.

"The sin of selfishness is the number one reason why people do not get along." Yeah, totally makes sense. I don't think I've ever seen it boiled down so simply, but its true. Forget all the 25-reasons-your-marriage-is-in-trouble books. The conflict is because one of us is sinning by being selfish. This yields "angry outbursts, pouting, manipulating, nagging, or resentment". Ug-ly!

The third conflict trigger is righteousness. Essentially, arguing over how to interpret Scripture. "A wife needs to be careful to separate her own personal interpretation of God's Word from the level of God's absolute Law".

Attitudes Needed to Solve Conflict

  1. Humility "a humble person view himself in proper perspective to God and others".
  2. Gentleness "strength under control". Tenderness and compassion, calm while under pressure, careful and thoughtful when responding during conflict
  3. Patience taught through tribulation and testings
  4. Forbearance "self-restraint and putting up with one another"

Difficult? Yes, because we are all, by nature, selfish. However, "Love does not seek its own way" I Corinthians 13:5. As I prefer Shaun and "put on" love, I will be loving him instead of being selfish. As Peace said in chapter 9, "you do not have to feel 'led' to be unselfish, you just have to do it".

1 comment:

Amy said...

Awesome job on this chapter, Lisa.