Relationship Builders (Part 3) – How To Resolve Solvable Problems
16 Apr 2016 Saturday Service – Kong Hee, Sun Ho
Do keep in mind that these relationship tips are not solely for married people but for all kinds of relationships. Your boss, your classmates etc
Some issues can be minor annoyances but some can lead to complex major fights.
All conflicts fall into 2 types.
1. Those that can be resolved
2. Those that can’t be resolved, which are called perpetual problems. Having an argument over the same issue again and again. And we WILL have perpetual problems.
We DON’T have to resolve all perpetual problems for marriage to thrive. But if it’s getting out of hand you need to deal with it and not ignore it.
How do you know if the perpetual problem needs to be dealt with?
#1 Feel rejected by our partner
#2 Condemn each other during conversation
#3 Unwilling to compromise
#4 Emotional disengagement
(more in Part 4)
Solvable problems usually have no hidden deeper issues in dispute. However, a solvable problem can become a perpetual problem due to underlying deeper hidden issues. Issues like love, trust, etc. “You don’t love/trust me anymore”
The goal in solving solvable problems is to ensure we don’t end up in a screaming match or angry silence. Handle them with good manners and respect!
We are usually sensitive to the feelings of friends or acquaintances. But not to our loved ones or intimate ones!
34 A new commandment I give to you, that you love one another; as I have loved you, that you also love one another. Jn 13:34
5 Now hope does not disappoint, because the love of God has been poured out in our hearts by the Holy Spirit who was given to us. Rom 5:5
4 Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. 5 It does not dishonor others, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. 1 Cor 13:4-5 NIV
31 Let all bitterness, wrath, anger, clamor, and evil speaking be put away from you, with all malice. Eph 4:31… Clamor mean yelling screaming and shouting. It is equivalent to bitterness and evil speaking!
3 Self-control means controlling the tongue! A quick retort can ruin everything. Prov 13:3 TLB
As Christians we must always communicate in love.
The Four Horsemen of Apocalypse in Relationships
#4 Stonewalling (refusing to communicate)
Most couples divorce when they give up on their friendship.
#1 Soften our startup
A soft answer turns away wrath,
But a harsh word stirs up anger.
Most discussions end on the same note they begin with.
If you are the one raising issues then you need to soften up.
If your spouse is the one, make sure he/she is acknowledged and respected.
A. Be gentle! Think through the problem and things you are going to say
29 Take My yoke upon you and learn from Me, for I am gentle and lowly in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. Matt 11:29
You have also given me the shield of Your salvation;
Your right hand has held me up,
Your gentleness has made me great.
Psa 18:35 ….Your gentleness has made me great!
B. Never use sweeping statements
Words like always, never..
“You’re always late”.. Etc
C. Complain but don’t blame
Discuss what is right not who is right. What is wrong not who is wrong.
D. Be appreciative
“I appreciate you working so hard for our future but I’ve not spent some time with you, can you work lesser late nights? “
E. Make statements that start with i not you
“You” sounds very accusatory.
F. Don’t store things up
You will explode eventually
26 “Be angry, and do not sin”: do not let the sun go down on your wrath, 27 nor give place to the devil. Eph 4:26-27
#2 Make effective repair attempts
These are like emotional brakes to prevent discussions from worsening.
A repair attempt carries the message ‘stop‘!
” I need your support right now”
“This is important to me, can you try to understand? “
“did I do something wrong “
” that hurt my feelings”
“how can I make things better? “
“I think your point of view makes sense”
“Let’s agree to disagree”
“thank you for… “
” I love you “
Use these emotional brakes when dealing with arguments if not you’ll be headed for an accident!
#3 Keep calm
When you’re angry and hot-headed, you will never make good decisions and cannot rationalise.
Happy marriage = husband’s happiness + wife’s happiness
It is giving up individual gain for the better gain of the marriage.
However, compromise is only doable when you have done the first 3 steps – Soften your startup, make a repair attempt and keep calm.
You don’t have to agree with your spouse but you need to be open to his/her views. Talking through your differences and preferences.
Compromise can only work in a positive environment!
We got to do everything we can that during an argument, we try to keep it positive.
#5 Become tolerant of each other’s faults
We must accept our spouses flaws. If not then we will be on a relentless campaign to alter the person’s life to suit who you want them to be.
The goal is solving conflict is not about one person changing. But about two people compromising and able to agree with each other.
If you have done all the above and it still doesn’t work, then your problem may be an unsolvable problem! (see Part 4)