Special thanks to Trey and Jennifer Williams for this week’s incredible message! Great truths with great delivery!

Rules of Engagement for Conflict and Communication

  • Be a Grown-Up.

Brothers and sisters, stop thinking like children. In regard to evil be infants, but in your thinking be adults. 1 Corinthians 14:20

Most marriage counseling could be settled with two simple words: GROW UP! You must surrender the right to be right. And don’t give the old silent treatment.

  • Assume the Best.

Make allowance for each other’s faults, and forgive anyone who offends you. Colossians 3:13a

We tend to assume the best about our own motives and the worst about others. Give them the benefit of the doubt and assume they are doing their best.
  • Tell the truth
We are only as sick as our secrets. Don’t hide things (unless it’s a gift for them or a surprise party).
Confess your sins to each other and pray for each other so that you may be healed. The earnest prayer of a righteous person has great power and produces wonderful results. James 5:16

Don’t hide from others, but pray for each other’s faults today. Speak the truth in love with kindness.

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. Ephesians 4:15

There’s a BIG difference between being blunt and being truthful. When you speak your mind, say it with love! You can tell the truth in a nice, respectful, and loving way without beating around the bush. Sarcasm may be funny to you, but it rarely helps to resolve conflict.

  • Take a time out

It’s okay to call a time out for a little while if you need to cool off. But be sure to call a “time in” soon after.

  • Listen
“…You must all be quick to listen, slow to speak, and slow to get angry.” James 1:19
Deal with selective hearing. Or just won’t listen. Listening is the act of understanding.The words “Listen” and “Silent” are made from the same letters. That means we need to stop talking and stop thinking about our response and work to really understand what is meant by what is being said.Practice active listening today.

  • Eliminate the Escape Hatch
This explains why a man leaves his father and mother and is joined to his wife, and the two are united into one. Since they are no longer two but one, let no one split apart what God has joined together. Mark 10:7-9
You can’t work to build your relationships if you aren’t fully committed to making them work. One foot in and one foot out will never work.
Questions For Discussion
  1. What rules do you follow when you have a fight or argument? How do the rules change depending on the situation (work vs. marriage, etc.)?
  2. Share an example of a conflict that was resolved productively. What happened? What difference(s) do you see when compared to a conflict that was not resolved productively?
  3. Read Colossians 3:13 and Ephesians 4:15. How might these verses help you resolve conflict as it arises?
  4. What new action(s) can you take next time conflict arises in one of your relationships (marriage, children, work, etc.)?
  5. Read Mark 10:7-9. What are are some boundaries that you have in place in your marriage that take divorce off the table as an option during conflict (other than for abuse, adultery, or abandonment)?
  6. If you are not married, what can you do now to ensure that divorce is not an option if you do get married in the future?
  7. What conflict(s) do you need to resolve using the “rules of engagement” from this message?