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How to Resolve Conflict

Family Life Today / Dave & Ann Wilson, Bob Lepine
The Truth Network Radio
May 12, 2020 2:00 am

How to Resolve Conflict

Family Life Today / Dave & Ann Wilson, Bob Lepine

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May 12, 2020 2:00 am

Pastor Dave Wilson and his wife, Ann, talk with Dennis and Barbara Rainey about marital conflict. The Wilsons admit that they had a lot to learn about conflict when they got married. Ann's family background included loud fights, which was a far contrast from Dave's, who learned at an early age not to rock the boat. Together they share what they've learned over the years about the finer points of conflict.

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Dave and Ann Wilson say one thing they were completely unprepared for. When I got married was how to resolve conflict.

My dad was big on conflict in terms of resolving it. And so I grew up with two brothers and a sister, and he would let us leave the table if something happened.

He made us talk about it and so Dave and I get married and we've been married a few months and we had our first big fight and she gets up and walks out of the room but I did.

I didn't even process it. I just like you leave and so I'm walking out of the room. Walk in the kitchen and she yells and gives this look and I said come here and fight me like you.

This is family like today.

Our hosts are Dave and Ann Wilson and Bob Pino find someone family life today.com so how do you handle conflict strategy plan or does conflict just turn into another battle over skirmish talk more about that today.

Stay with us and welcome to family life today. Thanks for joining us I'm hearing. Again, you guys sure stories from your marriage, I'm thinking.

Did you think about instead of vertical marriage calling at Dave and Anne's big book of failures. That's basically it is totally my dad read our book and he called me happy since he also said I feel sorry for Dave to do part of the thing that has resonated so much with people as they read the book vertical marriage is the transparency of the authenticity, which early on, you guys decided were just going to be honest about the mess did you flinch at that decision.

I mean, did you have to think for a month or two. Do we really want to be this public with this. I don't think it was even a decision. It's just who we are, it wasn't. How should we or should we just kinda comes out of who we are.

Yeah, I don't think there's any other way we could do it in the honest. Our hope in the book in a small group and anytime we teach on a stage is two things would happen. One is that people go there there like me. We struggled a struggle.

Number two would be. They help victory in Christ that I want so it's both. And you know it's like one of the know that there's a real struggle in life and I can hide that were to be honest, but there's actually a power in Jesus. That's real that can really work on a day-to-day basis in your life. You mention the small group and now vertical marriage is a small group series a five-part small group video series there's more information about vertical marriage small group series on the website of family life today.com one of the things you tackle in the book and in the video series is the theme of resolving conflict is conflict is common. Every marriage and we talked about this over a year ago right is the book could come out. Dennis and Barbara Rainey and I interviewed the two of you on family life today before you were the hosts of family life today and we talked about principles you've learned from Scripture about how to resolve conflict and you guys had two different approaches to conflict that you saw modeled for you when you were growing up. What was it like in the Wilson home when you're growing up well.

Love fights alcohol involved. I remember as a little boy. I mean my parents were divorced when I was seven. So let his members were you very young age, he would come home drunk and be abusive and loud. I would run away with my sister to my bedroom. You remember the fights.

I can remember there was a year 15, 18 years ago I did a family life.

We can remember in Parsippany, New Jersey and realize it's right near my home. I grew up in is in New Jersey. I do have an airline pilot flew out of New York and built this home in a gated community and long story short, I got a van went over and found my house.

I'm a grown man now and I walked in and I could remember fights all over that house and I can remember the feeling of fear and almost hear her running away and out to a bedroom just to cover my ears and not hear the sort of carnage out there that's I grew up with and that that didn't go away till the divorce which was yeah horrible I still wanted my dad even though it was a very sorta dark era of my life. But then my mom and I moved to where her parents lived in Ohio and I got real quiet. But I didn't know it then, but I knew it after he and I got married I developed a perspective about conflict, which was this it's bad avoided at all costs. It ends in divorce. It ends an ugly stuff.

So when conflict comes in your life you just avoid so I get married thinking that's gonna work in marriage will guess what I didn't marry that I married a woman who embraced conflict prizefighter chase you around the ring trying to pick a fight right exactly you don't like conflict but you grew up learning if there's conflict you wrestle this baby to the ground.

My dad was big on conflict in terms of resolving or battling it are tackling and so I grew up with two brothers and a sister, and he would let us leave the table if something happened.

He made us talk about it. I don't know if it was necessarily healthy in what we said because it can get loud, it could get verbal. I don't think there was any cursing and I didn't see it is negative.

At the end of the day, he would say. Are we all get and then he'd allow people to leave and so Dave and I get married and we've been married a few months and we had our first big fight and sticks up and walks out of the room but I did.

I didn't even process that I just like you leave and so I'm walking out of the room and I'm walking into the kitchen. Always it at home.

At this point we live in of their family at the time deserved raising support to become missionaries. I walk in the kitchen and she yells any gift is this look and I said come here and fight me like those words ever say that pilots the chapter title in our book come back here by like a menu chicken that's literally the chapter title introduces this whole thing about conflict in the book because on their forget those words because I turned around and she sitting on the couch and I yell back okay. Remember this 38 years ago. I yell back. Oh yeah will believe you and we were very new in our faith while and I leave and I didn't realize until years later.

What I done in that moment, I did exactly what I saw my dad never even computed that I would've seen my dad yell and scream and curse and there I am I say will believe you and I turned to walk away because that's what I do right and she yells back at me. Yellow never done never curse so that he would say I was in curse back double curse.

By the way, I was bad, but she was running and I just went I did. I little because I was shocked that my wife would curse me and I'm out and I left I went upstairs, I'm just going leave the situation because that's what you do right when thinking I bring you this is the selection committee with a question for you years ago as ever happens it never has happened since.

Again, I'm not there were perfect, but yeah, God is done a miracle in our life but here's the amazing when I walked upstairs. This would my wife does follow him as you absolutely I am like a member when it is the bedroom. She grew up and I went in there shut the door. She kicks open the door good prizefighter over there I sat beside and I put right beside my bed. I thighs are touching. I put my hand on the thing I looking like we talk about this and I was just so frozen. I was like what you doing, get out of here and it was you.

I look back now is like okay I had a belief about conflict and I was shown it right there conflicts bed you avoided. I now have a belief about conflicts in the book conflict is actually a good thing that I would say probably better stated, it's neutral and how you handle it determines.

It can be really a really good thing in your marriage. In fact, every marriage generally ship as it we all know how to have conflict. Very few of us know how to resolve that's what we wrote a whole sections like let's help couples if they go vertically with Christ thing to get the vertical merits and how does that help them resolve conflict is now I actually enjoy company outlook for going to happen.

So I go. My gosh, if we do this well were to be closer, but in the thing that further part. I think one of the most important hours in the entire weekend to remember is the session on Saturday afternoon right before the six talk. It's about resolving conflict and I think the reason is is because most couples do not have the basics they don't have a vocabulary nor the training to know how to talk to each other and to discuss a disagreement and how we hurt one another. When asked both Bob and Barbara first my wife Barbara, do you remember your parents arguing.

What was the model of arguing. I don't know that I've ever ask you that question just listening to you to talk about would be a great discussion to have with your spouse, and he really would tell me about like a married couple that engaged his apartment getting ready for marriage.

It be great and I will talk about that ahead of time and what he still carry into that so yeah now had five that my family didn't.

There wasn't much conflict resolution. There was conflict.

I'm sure but my parents were very guarded about what they expressed in front of us kids they didn't express a lot of emotion or a lot of affection or force. Certainly not much anger. Now there was a little bit toward the kids. Occasionally when we disobeyed her did something wrong but as far as marital conflict. I never saw any Bob. I remember isolation. I remember seeing that my parents are are close.

I remember seeing my dad come home would have dinner and then he'd go down to the basement to work and mom would stay upstairs and there was not connection there was not affection you looked at them and and you didn't see overt conflict, but you didn't see a couple where you thought these two are so in love with one another that's that's not the memory that I have later in my teen years I started to see some of the conflict out in fact I started in my teen years to get drawn into some of the conflict between my mom and dad and to try to do the referee guy was siding with Glaxo siding with my mom.try to be a referee's eye what it was about mom and me piling up on dad to try to address the issue that I saw in him I was oblivious to the issues with her. I could just see his overt behavior.

I didn't see her covert behavior that was going on behind the scenes with them and I only remember my mom and dad having one argument really yeah voices were raised. I remember as a five-year-old boy physically shaking for fear thinking my parents would get a divorce.

There were no bleak words there was just anger and disagreement.

I have no idea what about and I think today as you think about how prevalent horses in our culture. Kids have to be scared to death. There's an African proverb that goes when the elephants bite. It's the grass that suffers your kids need to see you two resolve conflict.

Now, you may not resolve all of it in front of them, but they need to see healthy engagement between two people who occasionally didn't disagree or disappoint one another. Now we just got a brief amount of time here. I want you guys to walk us through just the essence of the basics of how you go about resolving conflict between two selfish imperfect people who disappoint and hurt one another.

You think about couples shortlisting or set okay. We got conflict. We don't necessarily do it well. It leads to hurt feelings. We don't get things resolved so we need some help because we want conflict to be something that builds our marriage rather than tears down our marriage. What kind of advice would you give him what's interesting there so much advice and I try to make a real simple. Even the book, which is called the seven doses of conflict resolution in one album you start with and there not any order, but if you start here you start a good place first one is shut up the words. Listen, because we are selfish we come in conflict thinking were right there wrong and we can show them that we don't hear what they say and so honestly, a lot of times it's like oh my gosh, I've got to be selfless enough and again this will vertical comes and I go to God's eye. God give me ears help me not just to be about me.

I want my eyes to be focused on her on him on the listen him to let them talk. I'm not going interrupt him to look at them and put my phone away or turn off TV all that good listening skills stuff I'm going to do and I'm going to shut up. I'm telling what I can say this right now and it's almost thing to do because when she sang what she sang on my trying to interrupt and send you wrong. It's like no do not interrupt literally look at her look at him and say I want I want to know your heart because here's the thing. Behind every story is a story behind every feeling and comments year he's making there something behind and if you listen well, you'll get to the heart of the issue because often it's not the presenting problem. We all know that it's something behind that a member is a long story, but short clip of that would be and I got got in a fight about her parking in a parking spot at our church by the front door which there's a ruler church.

If you are on staff or a member you park in the worst parking spots and leave the best ones for unchurched people. She pulls into the parking spot by the front door the church while standing out to refer the service and comes walking up like a dog in this parking spot and I literally said God did not give you part despite move the car. Now I gotta go preach anyway get home were in an instant fight because she's violated a core value of our church, St. overture should do this but that was one of ours and we start into this fight and Cody, our youngest son I will do is a 14 is watching this fight and he says to me he raised his hand and vilifies in the kitchen. He does say that but your mom traveled around the country and teach couples how to resolve conflict and yet he was. Can you show me you said you gotta show your kids well here it is. I go you just sit there young man you watch I'll show you and I start yelling at her.

We don't yell much anymore but it got pretty as quick as I was really upset that she violated a core principle of our church. She leaves the room and while she goes upstairs. I'm literally thinking in my righteous anger like you should leave the room you know you're wrong and I sat there, and Cody's and we both shook their heads. I get up there and figure out that she's wrong. Come back that she comes back down 10 minutes later and tell him what you said well I wish I could say when a parent prayed and asked Jesus to help me but I really just kind of built-up ammunition of what he had done wrong and what I had done right and so I kinda blasted him with I have. I do everything around here while you're off at Kensington and I had a big long list and I felt good about it and then Dave came back to see when off. She's very very nice. I would just just walk through her life as I'm doing my thing seemed yeah just wrap right yeah it was good stuff to go to sit at the end of the kitchen table and he looked at me and it was one of those man-to-man looks.

We didn't say a word, but the look was dead, your toes and I looked at him like yeah I am but anyway when she got done.

I asked one question and hear a set of the question this way when she went upstairs for small Mike you should be upstairs when she was up to 50 minutes and I did a really important thing to do in conflict. And it's really hard to do was I prayed while she was upstairs. I prayed and I wasn't gotta want to be right and will prove her wrong. I was saying yeah I know she's up there but I prayed a simple prayer not allowed to sit there and I just I got amiss in some obviously missing something, help me to see when I'm missing for. She comes down. Those are little DRI and all I said was, let me ask you something. Do you feel like Kensington.

That's our church is more important to me than you are. She didn't even answer. She just shook her head yes. Unlike there is I've been missing that hope nothing about parking spot.

It was all about her feeling cherished and loved and priority and I missed all that because I one willing to shut up letter speak a lien and really try and say there's a story behind the story. What is it there wasn't like oh my gosh were back to the 10 year anniversary it's like again. She second everything else.

My life is first and so as well as moments where the conflict now could be engaged in and get to resolution because now we knew it was it wasn't a parking spot by the way, she's our partner again but it was a parking spot. I know a lot about that story and I think this is just if you could just do this one point in conflict. If go to God first.

Because let's be honest, we don't want to go to God first because we want to make our point. And God doesn't always want to make the same point that we might make and so I think that's a good plan that at first I know because a time when I walk through seven doses of conflict resolution. Get the book read him. But it's interesting. As you look through and here they are like shut up soft answer, which again I didn't really realize it in the moment. I responded gently rather than escalate when you escalate. They escalate when somebody is escalating and you de-escalate they can escalate if they do, they're just crazy it's like all proper. 15. A gentle answer turns away wrath.

I asked her gently to feel like Kensington's morn boom that led us to okay what's the truth you recoat seek truth or receive the truth then there's this whole big deal. That's a whole long discussions is seek forgiveness or grant forgiveness. These are these principles, but Anja said I think the most important one. The seven principles really number one and I and we just set this way surrender.your spouse to Jesus you go vertical when you surrender again, you can't control them surrendering because every couple try listening ongoing yellow. My husband Mona my wife forget them just you surrender your heart to say Jesus over me to do leave my spouse to you guys soften my heart.

God can do a miracle to resolution and we been lusting back to a conversation that Dennis and Barbara Rainey and I had with David and Wilson a little more than a year ago when the book vertical marriage. First came out that there's a video series that goes with it a five-part series for small groups to go through the vertical marriage video series. There is a common theme that he is showing up every eye, but the surrender message is central to what it means to walk by faith that were out walking surrendered lives to walk by the power of the spirit means you surrender your own power running continually and it's a continual prayer. When Paul said to pray without ceasing. It's that continual prayer of going to God first, asking them for wisdom, direction, power, yet I think one of the biggest problems in marriage in life is selfishness. It's at the root, and so when you surrender what happens is God makes is selfless and so then it becomes more about how can I serve my spouse rather than get her get him to do it my way and in conflict that is felt so hard when there is conflict and selfishness. You put those together conflict going to result you have to take self out in order for conflict to be resolved. I don't want you to get into this, but of course Thursday night.

You guys are not believing a small group that all of our listeners are invited to be part of our website a family like today.com there's a link to a Facebook group and this Facebook group is the vertical marriage small group that Dave and I am the organ be leaving Thursday nights at 8 o'clock central time and it's open to anybody who wants to be a part of it go for three weeks and here's what everybody does.

You watch session 1 of the vertical marriage video series which is available for your free online and then you come to the small group having watched the video and you join in the conversation that Dave anarchy to be leading that starts this Thursday night it's going go for three weeks go to family like today.com and join a small group with David and Wilson as your leaders starting this Thursday night. Information is available on our website a family life today.com along with information about Damien's book vertical marriage which is available.

There's also the video series available. So if you want to use that with your small group when it starts back up later in the summer in the fall. The information is all available on our website@familylifetoday.com but will see you Thursday night for the Dave Mendelson small group on vertical marriage and let me just say this small group is just one of the ways that family life is working hard during this unusual season to continue to stay connected with you to be a resource to provide practical biblical help and hope for your marriage and your family. Many of you have been connecting with us asking us to pray for you during this time were doing that. There's a lot of family tension going on.

There's a lot of hardship that families are experiencing. We are praying for you and were working hard to provide you with resources to help strengthen the most important relationships in your life, your relationship as husband and wife relationship with your kids, your extended family.

That's our mission and family life to effectively develop godly marriages and families one home at a time. You make all of this possible for others when you help support the ongoing work of this ministry and I know this is a time when for some of you that's just not possible for others who are able to be generous during the season.

We just want to say thank you and in fact if you can support us with a donation today would love to say a special thanks by sending you a copy of Barbara Rainey's new book, my heart ever. His a book about how we can pray more effectively during difficult seasons. It's our thank you gift when you make a donation today online@familylifetoday.com or when you call one 800 FL today to donate. Thanks in advance for whatever you're able to do and thank you for your ongoing continued support of this ministry. Thanks for praying for us. We appreciate it out tomorrow. What were the talk about issues from the past are still affecting our marriage 10 or 20 years in the future will have that conversation tomorrow. Hope you tune in for that think our engineer today. Keith Lynch along with our entire broadcast team on behalf of our hosts Dave and Ann Wilson and Bob Lapine see you back next time for another family life today. Family life today is a production of family life of Little Rock, Arkansas.

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