What goes hand in hand with relationships? Most of us ideally would say love. But if we're honest, that's not always the case. If we're honest, the answer is conflict. It's a tale as old as time. Literally from the first humans created and their initial conflict with God, to Jesus on the cross, to our now. Try as you might (and I REALLY try to avoid this!) you can't miss the tension and clashing. When you put people together, there is going to be CONFLICT. So of course you will inevitably find it in the marriage relationship. But take heart, since it is a tale as old as time, we have a lot of great options to help us to deal with it.
The first and best option we have is our relationship with God. Getting still and spending time with Him, inviting Him into our hurts, asking Him for help, and trusting that He will help is the best step always when dealing with conflict. You can use the meditation this week as a tool to help in that process. The second option we have is the Bible. We see so many mistakes made during conflict that lead to destruction and we see so many right choices that lead to peace and healing. Our verse this week is incredibly helpful when struggling with our partner. It gives us some really good guidelines that I like to use to check myself when my husband and I disagree. It really helps me to get to my heart - am I more interested in being "right" or in love? The third option I have found to be helpful is feeling compassion for the other person. And trust me, that's not easy when we are fighting. To get to any of these steps, I often need to get away for a bit and get some space. When I do, I really try to put myself in his shoes and try to understand him and where's he's coming from.
Having said all that, the truth is that conflict hurts! Right?!?! No one can hurt you like the person closest to you! The songs we are highlighting this week really sum up the emotions of conflict. For many of us, our response in conflict is to say, "Don't come any closer," as we put up our protective walls. For others the answer is, "How are we gonna move together? Come closer." Some want to press into conflict and battle it out until it's solved. And there are those of us that just push it all down and try to pretend or ignore it. But our final song this week really says it all. In our conflicts, as we set aside the hurts, one of the most important things we can do is remember that we are on the same side - working for the same goal - LOVE. It reminds us of our promise to each other and to God, that even when it's hard, we're two souls who chose each other to journey through this life bound by God's Love. And there is something holy to be experienced in that space.
There is no easy answer to the struggles we face in marriage. Many of us here at The Chase Is Real have sought professional help in our marriages. It's real and it's tough. Recently, I read somewhere that you know it's love when you stop thinking in me and start thinking in we. Truly there is no relationship on this earth that is closer to the one God has with us than the marriage relationship, where two become one. It's worth the time, the effort, the intention, and the sacrifice. Just as we are worth all of that to God.