‘Conflict Resolution’ was one of the counselling sessions my husband and I had to go through as we prepared for our wedding day, and a very memorable session it was. I remember the session mainly because I was called out on some issues relating to how I perceive other people’s actions. So, I made a decision to try really hard to let stuff out, so that I don’t harbour evil thoughts anywhere.
It is really not a sin to disagree with someone or have a unique opinion on a matter, but how we express our views is where the danger resides. I had a really strong argument with a friend of mine lately and I was so upset about being forced into a situation where I would even react the way I did.
My friend (Jackie) has had a history of going out with the wrong guys and ending up hurt. We’ve been friends for over two decades and it hasn’t been fun watching her go through these horrible break-ups, so I told her that I wouldn’t be shy about my opinions when next she meets someone, and she was grateful for that. She is very beautiful with an attractive figure to compliment her gorgeous face, so it wasn’t long before a couple of guys were taking an interest in her again. The guy who really caught her attention was about 15yrs older with plenty children and a baby-mama. He was physically attractive (not in my opinion) and seemed to have a lot of time on his hands to spend with Jackie. Now, Jackie is a single mom who really wants to get married and really really really wants to have more children. I’m honestly not sure if she is bothered about which comes first at this point in her life, but seeing as she still calls me friend, I am pushing for marriage first naturally.
This guy, to his credit, told my friend that he is not interested in marriage and does not want any more children. He is just looking for some fun. At least he was honest about his intensions. I saw this as a sign to cut all ties and move on swiftly, but my friend couldn’t get over his looks. My rational mind could not understand what she was still doing around him since he couldn’t meet any of her said needs, but my gentle words were falling on deaf ears. Twice she said she had cut him off, and within a couple of days she was back to ‘hanging out’ with him. I decided it was time for an intervention and when I told her my plans, she was very angry. “Why do you always think you know everything? Who gave you the right to butt in?” she asked. “How dare you tell someone else about my business?” “I earned that right when I had to help clean up the last 4 or so messes you found yourself in!” was my response. We ranted on the phone for a few minutes and then I hung up on her. She flooded my phone with messages which I ignored. I was so upset. How could she not see how obviously wrong what she was doing was? She said she had been praying for God to make him love her enough to marry her. Why would God do that to her, when He loves her more than she will ever understand? I prayed and asked God to open her eyes. A month later and she is still in the process of breaking up with him. You can imagine that I have kept my distance.
While this is juicy gist, I am still in this conflicting position of being a firm friend, or just letting her make her mess again and be there when she needs me. I am a very calculating person who doesn’t give room for too many surprises, and because I think ahead, I make a lot of calculated assumptions which are rarely off the mark. This is generally a positive thing in my life, but can be negative in certain relationships. Some people want to make their own mistakes, and some people need to make their own mistakes. My problem is seeing that you are on the wrong path and not being able to stop you from falling, and then I am expected (Because I am a Christian) to help you get back on your feet without saying “I told you so.” Really tough call! I hope that my friends will be bold enough to tell me when I am on the wrong path because falling is not fun.
I had a gentler situation with my husband last week. We had planned a weekend away to get some chill time. Apparently, I really came prepared because I ’wore him out’ while I was still on fire. By the time he used that phrase 5 times, I took it as a sign to have a cold shower, especially because he was not smiling when he said so. We got home and during pillow-talk he said he had been hoping for a little more action but I seemed cold. I told him he had made me feel … wrong… so I turned my attention to other things. How sad that we both had the same idea but the communication line was terrible. It’s something we have agreed to work on.
Conflict will happen, it’s inevitable. However, we can choose how the end of the matter will be. The Bible advises to be at peace with all men, as far as it depends on you; so, you take care of your reactions and actions and let God sort out the other person(s).
God help us all