Romans 12:10 exhorts us to prefer one another in love, which can be done easily when circumstances and people align and we are all getting along. But what happens when conflict arises? Does your attitude change toward the one you love? How do you handle disagreement?
Scripture is replete with examples of relationships that walked in love, trust, discord, and more. What is common in the most successful relationships is love, grace, hope, perseverance and forgiveness. When disagreement arises and feelings are hurt, we experience one of our greatest needs for understanding.
Imagine how Jacob must have felt (Genesis 29) when he in good faith worked for his uncle Laban for seven years to gain the hand of Laban’s beautiful younger daughter Rachel; and instead was given Leah the older daughter whom Jacob did not love. It could be said that Jacob for once was on the other end of someone’s deception; which of course infuriated him. But Jacob agreed to work for Laban another seven years to gain Rachel in marriage. Jacob had to get past the betrayal of his uncle if he was to gain the one he loved. He also needed to get past the fact that he was now married to Leah whom he did not love. Now that is a lot of “getting past” for one person to endure.
Maybe you are feeling like Jacob, and you have been betrayed by a loved one, now what? While Ephesians 4:26 exhorts us to not let our anger control us to the point of going to bed angry; sometimes we fail to live up to this exhortation. Begin by seeking the Holy Spirit’s guidance. Ask Him to direct you and provide you peace. Wait on Him, and then you will be able to think more clearly and calmly.
The main thing in working through conflict is not to give up hope. Keep your eye on the prize the way Jacob did; the prize of restored relationship with the one you love.