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Spare Change - March 2023

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Fighting Fair: 5 Steps to Resolving Conflict with Your Spouse

Do you fight with your spouse? It might be a small skirmish or an all-out war but at one point or another you will have a dispute with your spouse. Since conflict is inevitable, we need to come to some kind of agreement on how we should address these quarrels. You might be saying, “Hold up, Pastor Bryan! Shouldn’t we be striving to avoid fighting?” Avoiding conflict is not a biblical idea and often leads to resentment over time. Look at what the scriptures says:

So if you are offering your gift at the altar and there remember that your brother has something against you, leave your gift there before the altar and go. First be reconciled to your brother, and then come and offer your gift. Matthew 5:23-24

Conflict must be addressed if we are to follow scripture. However, most couples do not fight fair. Instead of having a Christlike mindset, we seek to hurt the other person. We seek to win and conquer our spouse until they relent and recognize that we were right all along. We fight from a place of intense emotion and sometimes manipulation. All of this is a sinful way to resolve conflict. We need to learn to fight fairly! Here are some steps to resolving conflict in a biblical way:

  1. Reconciliation is the goal: We must remember that reconciliation is the goal. We should always be seeking to restore the relationship with our spouse. Our model for dealing with conflict is how Jesus Christ has treated us. Instead of letting us stew in our sin and receive our just punishment, He came to seek reconciliation through the cross (Romans 5:10).
  2. Be quick to listen and slow to speak: Communication is assumed and you must learn to share your heart with your spouse. One key part of communication is listening. The Bible tells us in James 1:19 to be quick to listen and slow to speak. It has been said that God gave us two ears and one mouth so we can listen twice as much as we talk. You must listen to your spouse and understand where they are coming from before any conflict can be resolved.
  3. Watch your words: When you do talk, be careful with how you talk to one another. Remember, once you say something, you cannot take it back. Even if you say sorry, the thing you said is out there. Do not resort to calling names, swearing, or using accusing language. It doesn’t help when you are attacking your spouse with words; you will most certainly regret it later on. According to Ephesians 4:29, we should not let any corrupt talk come from our mouths. Also, we see in James 3 an example of how powerful the tongue is in tearing down or building up.
  4. Deal in facts: When we fight emotions can rise quickly. We need to remember that emotions are important, but they can mislead us if we are not careful.  We must deal in the facts and not emotion. Try to talk through the facts of the situation when you fight. Take a break from talking if the emotions get too high. Also sitting down at the same table rather than standing toe to toe helps. According to Ephesians 4:26-27 we can be angry and not sin. The sin happens when our anger produces hatred in our hearts, which usually results in shouting, withdrawal, and resentment. 
  5. Run to forgiveness quickly: Forgiveness is the most important part of reconciliation. Once again, we look to Christ as our example. Colossians 3:13 says, “...if one has a complaint against another, forgiving each other; as the Lord has forgiven you, so you also must forgive.” How can we not forgive our spouse when we have been forgiven so much by our Lord? If you refuse to forgive your spouse, you need to do a heart check. I understand that sins have varying consequences and work must be done to complete reconciliation.  I am not saying that forgiveness is easy or quick, however, we must be working toward forgiveness if we are to fully reconcile conflict with our spouse. We can bring glory to the Lord if we address our conflict in a biblical way!

For more on communication in marriage check out the Families for Life podcast Marriage series at oakhillbc.org/f4l

Posted by Bryan Gotcher with

Worship Ministry - March 2023

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What He’s Done

In the gospels, we see over and over again the compassion Christ had for those that were hurting. The two blind men in Matthew chapter nine, having faith that Jesus could heal them, had their sight restored. The man with a “serious skin disease,” in Mark chapter one, begging for cleansing. A girl suffering from twelve years of bleeding, in Luke chapter eight, reached out to touch the robe of Jesus believing that even that small act of faith would heal her.

Compassion toward those suffering from physical hurt wasn’t the only way Christ reached out to the people He came across along His journey. He drove demons out of those who were spiritually hurting. He calmed the storm for others that were stricken with fear. Again and again, Christ Jesus met the needs of the community around Him, and this is still true right now. Think of all the provisions God has blessed you with over your lifetime! The money and job He provided when you didn’t know how you were going to pay that bill; the encouraging people He surrounded you with during your great time of need; that miraculous doctor’s report that can’t be explained. His blessings being immeasurable is a testament to how incredible our God is and how much He cares for us.

At age thirteen, I watched as my mother battled severe cancer and ultimately lost that fight. I watched as her body got weaker and weaker, the coughing got worse and worse, and the days she could barely get out of bed because of all the chemo and radiation treatments she had to endure. Eight days before I turned fourteen, my mother, the person I was closest to in all the world, took her last breath. Oh, how I wish Jesus would have healed her body here on Earth. Oh, I wish she could have stretched out her hand and touched His robe! I often think about how she never got to see me drive, graduate, and go off to college. She didn’t get to be there when I married my best friend, or to celebrate the birth of my two children. There are many days that I am flooded with intense emotions, longing to see her again and wishing she was here to be a part of whatever is happening at that moment. Tears fall that she never got to meet my bride. Tears fall that she never got to play with my dinosaur-loving son or spoil my baby girl with way too many clothes and treats.

If I were honest, when asked the question, “what is the best birthday present you’ve ever received?” my answer has to be the present received on my fourteenth birthday knowing that my mother was forever healed and is in the presence of God. I never give that answer because it seems too dark and morbid, but it shouldn’t be. Just like all of those healed in the gospels, I should want to “spread the news about Him (Jesus)” (Matt. 9:31), and want the world to know the hope I have in Christ. Hope that whether it be here on earth or in heaven, I will be made whole just as my mother was because of our salvation in Christ Jesus. We should want to testify to the world of “What He’s Done” in our lives and what He will do when we take our last breath. I still miss her, but because of Jesus, I have a joyful hope to rely on. Just like the two blind men, the man with the skin disease, or the girl who bled, I have a testimony of God’s healing because He has washed me clean of my sins. Do you have this hope? Can the world see His hope in you? Tell the world who God is!

Lyric of the Month
All the glory and the honor to the Son
My sins are forgiven
My future is Heaven
I praise God for what He's done

Psalm 95:1-2
1Come, let us sing for joy to the Lord; let us
shout aloud to the Rock of our salvation.
 2Let us come before him with thanksgiving
and extol him with music and song.

Posted by Evan Gray with

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