The Breakdowns that creates the Breakup
There are five key aspects that are fueled from our pride with which we humans come against each other like animals in our relationships. These symptoms become our arsenal for attacking others so we are protected from their attack. We use them to self-protect by creating offensive measures to protect ourselves while destroying others, encompassing everything from simple arguments to total war. These are the root issues from which our behaviors and responses stem. The five responses are:
- Being Defensive!
- Being Critical!
- Being Condescending!
- Withdrawing from others!
- Uncontrolled Anger
These are the rotten fruits from our sinful nature and pride.
Help from God’s Word! First Peter, Chapter 3 gives us a passionate precept–the will of God on how we are to treat one another in marriage and solve conflict. This is a call to work within the boundaries of culture with the Fruit and Call from God. Here, Peter is actually reminding his congregation to show love as if they have forgotten what Christ and the Fruit of the Spirit are all about. We must use this passage as a template, a Christian living checkup of how we are to treat others and see if we are healthy in Christ and in showing the work that He did in us (John 17:20-23; Romans 12:9-21).
The bottom line to make our homes happy and not dysfunctional is to be considerate in all that we do to whomever is in our life. This passage also echoes what James told us in Chapter Four (1 Peter 3: 1-12).
Lasting marriages have two important ingredients: A style of resolving conflict that avoids the five diseases and a large dose of positive interactions that overrides negative interactions by five to one.
- What can you do to work within the boundaries of your culture with the Fruit and Call from God to be more considerate? What would this look like? Can you think of a specific instance of this?
When things go awry, the plan is: Do Not Repay!
Do not repay, is a call, a precept as in this is God’s will for us, to not seek revenge or to retaliate against those who have wronged us, especially friends and family. Yes, this does not apply to those who wage war or to police intervention, rather to harmony in the home (Proverbs 20:22; Romans 12:17; 1 Peter 3: 7-12).
So what do we do when things go awry?
What can I do? God calls us to bear one another’s burdens without letting those burdens break us.
How do I do this? By understanding the role of restoring, we can pursue restoration and not the defensiveness of our hurts. We have the tendency to protect our hurts, fears, and wounds from others by attacking them first. In military terms, this is a classic preemptive attack, which is the attack-before-they-attack-us approach. However, in relationships, we are not to be at war in a combative mode; rather, we are to be in a reconciling mode.
We can be better at building our communication and solving conflict through being respectful. When we are being:
Responsible–we are evolving our relationship, becoming more…
Patience, finding ….
Contentment, and building…
What about abuse? If you are in an abusive relationship, get out of it, even if it is a marriage. Abuse is physical, mental and spiritual. It is hitting, manipulating and the refusal to stop and get help. Get out and get help. IF the abuse completely stops and will not reoccur, reconciliation is possible. Make sure you have a trusted and trained counselor helping you in the process! Keep in mind the precepts we discussed in Chapter XI “How to set Boundaries.” in my Book Field Guide to Healthy Relationships.
- What can you do to not jump to conclusions or preconceptions, stereotyping, or generalizing?
- How do you feel that Christ has treated you beyond what you deserved or needed? How does this help you with the attitude of love, respect and submission?
Havinga problem? Ask, what can we do to solve this problem together? What are some steps you see that could resolve this issue?
If that does not work, place the issue on what the purpose of the Christian life is about–to worship and glorify Christ. How can we develop a solution that glorifies our Lord (Proverbs 19:11; Matthew 18:15-17; Ephesians 4:29)?
Remember that LISTENING IS ESSENTIAL! Good friend-makers are good listeners. Be the person who listens (John 8:47; James 1:19-25)!