Speaking the Truth in Love (Part 1)

20 11 2009

In our first two years of marriage, Kathy and I didn’t handle conflict well. It was horrendous. Any time a disagreement would come up, I would attack and she would retreat. I would blow up and she would clam up.

After a couple of marriage retreats, we came to learn the truth about why we acted the way we did.

In my house growing up, we would yell. When we were irritated, we would raise our voices and tell each other what was on our mind. When we were mad, we would throw stuff. When we were really pissed, we would say nothing. In Kathy’s house growing up, they handled disagreements completely different. Actually they wouldn’t argue at all. It was peace at all cost. If they were irritated, they said absolutely nothing. When they were mad, they would sweep it under the rug. When they were really pissed, they would write a letter.

When I would raise my voice and tell Kathy what I was thinking, she would think, “This guy is completely out of control. Maybe it will blow over, so I’m saying nothing,” What did silence mean in my house? Anger, so I would in turn blow another gasket…then she would get more quiet. We were a divorce just to waiting to happen.

Which way was right?

1. Speak the Truth: It doesn’t matter who you hurt. This resulted in verbal shrapnel all over the place.

2. Be Loving and Say Nothing. Sweep everything under the rug. This resulted in a lumpy carpet of unresolved issues, which we both would trip on.

Neither. Both are wrong. Both don’t work.

I was good at speaking the truth. She was good at loving. What we needed was to learn to do what Paul said in Ephesians 4:15 “Instead, WE WILL SPEAK THE TRUTH IN LOVE, growing in every way more and more like Christ, who is the head of his body, the church.” We needed to learn to speak the truth in love.

And the journey of learning a whole new way of resolving conflict began…

“CONFLICT” SERIES continues @ Epic

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