Family conflicts can make life inside the home horrendous. Nobody wants to be around when arguing, fighting, and complaining are the norm.
So how do you get past the arguing?
You get past it by preventing it in the first place. And you do that through working hard toward every person in the family having a right relationship with God.
But, isn’t conflict a part of every family?
Well, yes. But you can stop the effects and frequency of it, if you know one important thing.
“…God is light, and in Him is no darkness at all” (1 John 1:5)
“Whoever says his is in the light and hates his brother is still in darkness. Whoever loves his brother abides in the light, and in him there is no cause for stumbling. But whoever hates his brother is in the darkness and walks in the darkness, and does not know where he is going, because the darkness has blinded his eyes. (1 John 2:9-11)
As you can see, John uses the illustration of light a lot. This is because it is vitally important to understand the nature of our relationship to God and God’s relationship to sin.
You see, family conflicts usually start because someone is walking in selfishness. Because of pride. Because of sin in somebody’s life, or perhaps in both parties’ lives. Conflict is evidence that someone is not humble enough. Someone is not being a servant. Someone is not loving like Christ would have them love the other person.So what can we do about it?
This passage tells us that God is light and in Him is no darkness at all. But when we are having conflict between one another – John calls it “hatred” – you, at that moment, are walking in darkness.
Therefore, conflict reveals that you may have moved away from God. It may be a simple as an attitude of the heart, or it may be as practical as not spending enough time with Him, seeking His help or power of His Holy Spirit in your life. It may be that you’ve got your heart, mind, and eyes set on how something should be according to the way you want it to be, without being flexible to other people (or worse, to God’s will). Or perhaps you’ve moved away from the role you have in serving the other people in your family for their good.
What we need to understand is that the way to eliminate conflict within your family is:
- For you to move closer to God;
- Help your children to understand this concept as well.
You see, when we are all, as a family, move close to God – daily walking with Him, listening to Him, reading His Word, drawing close to Him – that struggle we have with selfishness instead of love will diminish. Because God’s light will illuminate in our lives and our families.
So, there are two applications here:
- Think through your OWN responsibility. Ask, “what is it in me that is driving me toward conflict?”
- Think of ways that your entire family can walk closer to God.
This will cause the frequency of these times of conflict to grow less and less.
The Bible says that when we practice love instead of conflict, you will find that love will start to flow toward each person in your family – even those people who irritate you, who are inconsiderate, or who don’t do their chores. You will find yourself coming up alongside these people and discovering ways to help them grow in their walk with God instead of just entering into conflict.