For, brethren, ye have been called unto liberty; only use not liberty for an occasion to the flesh, but by love serve one another. For all the law is fulfilled in one word, even in this; Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself. But if ye bite and devour one another, take heed that ye be not consumed one of another. (Galatians 5:13-15)
We have found that conflict in homes is usually not about love. When families are in conflict, we ask them if they love one another, and they affirm wholeheartedly that they do. Conflict is all about reactions to each other which are less than pleasing to our Savior. Families often follow their old nature, rather than God’s Truths.
The heart of conflict in homes is all about the heart. Keeping the heart right with God will reduce much of the conflict. Serve one another with love by building up each other rather than tearing down (Ephesians 4:29). Follow the Golden Rule which is heralded by business and education alike. Treat others like you would want them to treat you. This is part of the godly communication that needs to be present in homes.
Speech was both created by God and cursed by God. God hates evil speech (Proverbs 6:16-19). Blame shifting was paramount in the first home as Adam blamed Eve when God confronted him about his sin. Eve turned around and blamed the Serpent. In today’s homes, sometimes a parent will even blame a child for their own bad choices or reactions. God condemns the wrong use of the tongue (Matthew 12:36). Taking responsibility for the right use of the tongue is commanded by God (Colossians 4:6).
Two people can choose to get along even if they are not believers. Some unbelievers have chosen to be compatible because it is more practical for them. Many believers have changed the atmosphere in their homes by choosing to use the tongue for blessing rather than attacking. Many times the problems remain unsolved because bad communication adds to the problem rather than solves it. One time I announced to a wife who was verbally attacking her husband in our office that he was not the problem. She immediately thought I felt she was the problem, and I replied that she was not the problem either. When asked to identify the problem, the husband stated that it was the wrong things that they did to each other that caused their problems.
Many times conflict is over who is going to be in control and manipulation is greatly in use. Christ should be in control of our communication, and He gives us good instructions to follow for godly communication. Some choose control without being the leader or follower because they have a problem with God’s Plan and authority. Some individuals either do not know how to use Biblical Principles to help them have good relationships or will not allow God to help them in their relationships.
God has answers to conflict and can bring unity to homes if individuals are willing to follow His plans rather than do what comes naturally for one reason or another. Speech is also redeemed by our Lord Jesus Christ. Speech has great power and value and needs to be used to build up others and please God in doing so.