What usually happens when Josh and I disagree is that I just give in and let it go, because that is easier to me than dealing with a disagreement. And if that doesn't solve the problem, then I get upset and cry and go to bed.
Yeah. Not the healthiest strategy.
Fortunately for Josh and I, we have been growing through Chip Ingram's "Experiencing God's Dream for Your Marriage" with another couple from our church. We are almost through the study and have learned some really great things about what marriage is designed to look like, intimacy, and communication. But I'll admit, when I found out last night's topic was "Conflict Resolution: How to Fight Fair", I got a little squirmy. I don't even like to talk about conflict. Ugh.
I am so glad we did, though. We discussed some ground rules for fighting fair and why we each react to conflict differently.
What stood out for me more than anything else is that conflict is normal. I guess this might be a "duh" moment for a lot of people, but it really resonated with me. Conflict is normal, it is healthy, and it is a necessary part of marriage.
Chip gave the example of Paul and Barnabas in the Bible. We don't know all the juicy details, but basically, these two amazing missionaries parted ways because they couldn't agree on what to do with John Mark. Two of the Godliest guys in history had conflict. In the end, their conflict actually allowed them to spread the Gospel to more places individually than if they had gone together.
This isn't the first time I've heard "conflict is healthy" but it was the first time I really was able to see the truth in that statement. I'm hoping that this revelation will help lessen my dislike for conflict, and help me learn to deal with it constructively.