Before we launch into today’s Marriage Monday post, I want to extend a warm welcome to our Focus on the Family listeners who are just joining us today for the first time.  Come look around and be encouraged.  If you’d like to receive my daily posts by email, you can subscribe in that box over to the right. And if you’re so inclined, leave a comment and introduce yourself…we’d love to meet you!

For my regular readers, today Focus on the Family is featuring an interview with Mark and I on our book Living With Less So Your Family Has More.  It’s a great discussion about the many facets of living with less.  You can catch it on your local Christian radio station today or online HERE

Today’s Marriage Monday deals with conflict in marriage and how we can reframe conflict from negative to positive.

Mark says:
Jill and I have had our share of conflict over the years.  If you’ve been hanging around here on the blog you’ve heard us describe ourselves as being married 27 years, 17 of them happily.  We know the realities of conflict, and for many years we would clash with one another and it would be a flash point in our marriage.  A flash point happens when we have conflict and defenses go up, anger sets in, tempers rise, and we find ourselves alienated from one another. 

In the past few years, however, we’ve come to see conflict in a new way.  I’ll let Jill share how we’ve transitioned our thinking.

Jill says:
When conflict happens it’s usually because one of us has frustrated the other.  It also happens when we are not on the same page, meaning we don’t have a shared vision or opinion about something.  When we are faced with our own shortcomings or we need to work from disunity to unity in some way, we often find ourselves at a flash point.

However, we’ve found that conflict can be resolved quickly and sometimes even prevented, when we turn flash points into growth points.

A growth point is a place where we need to mature or a place where our relationship needs to mature.  We may be adults, but that doesn’t mean that we don’t have places where we need to grow up.  We all do.

Mark says: 
So when Jill communicates to me her frustration that I didn’t do what I promised to do, I’m at a Y in the road.  I can make this moment a flash point and get defensive or I can make it a growth point and apologize for not keeping my word, ask for forgiveness, and let the moment be a form of accountability for me.

Jill says: 
Flash points react to the situation.  Growth points respond to the situation…and responding is always better than reacting.

What about you?  What strategies have you learned that help  resolve conflict in a healthy way?

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