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May 11, 2021 6:00 am
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Tired and I was ready to walk away from our marriage and Abby's husband serves in the military, which means a lot of family moves in a huge strain on their relationship with through our podcast. Abby found hope for marriage. I don't believe that we would be where we are today on Jim Daly.
Working together we can bring hope to more marriages like Abby's gift today focusonthefamily.com/real family. I've been hurt enough already.
Think about any more, just don't bring up believe she said that speak to her again right like I'm supposed to forgive is something I don't think so. It's payback time fairly common ways that we tend to react in conflict with anger or perhaps a desire for revenge or maybe trying to avoid it altogether today on Focus on the Family will be discussing conflicts in some ways that we responded to a better we are more godly approach show that we might call peacemaking.
I'm John Fuller and your hostess Focus on the Family president Jim Daly John in this life conflict is inevitable even for Christians, even though we may know better. It's hard to fight that fleshly response and that we know that's true, by experience, but somehow I think we wish or pretend that conflict simply wouldn't exist that be nice. We don't like to talk about it.
Conflict feels like something dirty that would rather not deal with right of course, none of those responses are helpful or healthy attacking the person who attacked you, doesn't really solve anything, nor does running away from the disagreement you may have its finding that balance here Focus on the Family we have a different approach we try every day.
At least we have something called healthy conflict.
We don't always hit the mark.
But we try and that is where we deal with contentious issues in a respectful, caring way before they get out of control and I've always believed that you would gotta put our problems up on the table, the enemy of our soul works mischief when it's kept in the dark when you can talk things through. In the light that's typically where the Lord can bring resolution help and healing.
So I'm looking forward to today's program. I am to and it's it sounds like it should be easy to manage conflict. A lot of us just don't have the tools and our family patterns were such that there were eruptions that was kinda common for my family.
We erupted and then we just moved on and nothing ever happened. Direction well so I yeah so I've tried to pass on a better legacy to my kids but I think I failed.
I mean, we had a couple girls fighting just the other day it was exhaust on the normals of rhizobia wounds can run deep and they can last for generations and say well I love Proverbs 27, 17 were iron sharpens iron and that's what we want to achieve. Today we want to challenge you sharpen you with our gas pastor Brian Noble is Executive Director of peacemaker ministries is also the executive pastor Valley Assembly of God church in Spokane, Washington, one of my favorite places. By the way, it's a beautiful area. It is lovely and that he's also a certified Christian conciliator and that Brian that's hard to say but as I Focus on the Family my investor novel is written a number books, the one that would be talking about today is called the path of the peacemaker, your biblical guide to healthy relationships. Conflict resolution and a life of peace and you can get your copy by clicking the link in the episode notes Brian and explain why you believe conflict or tension as you call it can be a force for good or bad in our lives. I like this concept.
I think even negative things can be used for good course Romans, the book of Romans says all things work for good, including conflict really yes so we at peacemakers like to say we have healthy tension and unhealthy tension right healthy conflict and unhealthy conflict. The key to is that healthy tension brings us closer together. Think about this.
Illustrations of the Old Testament where God used tension or conflict to bring people back to him back to his heart back to who he is and so we like to say that God that healthy tension creates better outcomes is what we see in the church.
Often times and in families is where silence rules and there isn't a great outcome. You know there isn't a great there just patterns of bad behavior patterns of of broken relationships so that healthy tension brings us closer together are can bring us closer to one of the adverse as you point to is Romans 1218.
This may be a God incidence but Jean and I reading through the book of Romans and just today we are reading Romans 12 and read that very verse why is Romans 1218 such a good verse force when it comes to this issue of peacemaking.
Why think it's important when you look at that context of that scripture.
He's talking about are lower than what we go through and then it says, if possible, as far as it depends upon the live at peace with all men. The reality is it's not always possible right you guys go to extremes there to explain that maybe it won't happen all the time you struggle with that we get calls all the time where people begin to think if I call peacemaker ministries. They have a secret sauce.
They poured over whatever and it just fixes everything reality is that were were humans and were fallen humans and so sometimes it takes a period of time to see that transformation of heart and so he says if possible. As far as it depends upon you. So he does place the responsibility back on the individual live at peace with all men, and the reality is whether you'll get what you respond in a negative way. I respond anyway I can still be at peace with you because I understand the gospel message yet know it's good you know something that we say with in the Christian community often is in essentials unity in nonessentials liberty and in all things, charity. Why do we reverse that. It seems like we reverse that and end up fighting over small things that really don't matter and we don't hold each other accountable to the things that really do matter right ethics itself always had a tendency to want to play God in thanks and so James chapter 4 says, what is the source of quarrels and conflicts among you is not your desires that are a battle within you and so that internal battle that we have is what caused us to take the minor things. Those things are just elements or preferences that we have and elevate them to such a degree that were willing to break relationship with them.
Yeah, and say think about that.
Like when I was first married. I can remember sitting on the couch with my wife and we just had a great dinner and she says something like eight you go do the dishes and I'm like no women do the dishes. Ouch and she said excuse me and then I had never had a very smart, I repeated myself right you didn't hear me right I exactly and so I I like to tell that story. It wasn't that I was a male chauvinist in that moment I had the example of growing up that my mom did the dishes right and so I had equated my moms way of running the household to the normal pattern is that desire was in me that way. And so, just so were clear. I do the dishes and cook now but it raises an interesting point, and that his expectations right so so much disagreement in human relationship comes from unmet expectations that we have on each other often in marriage just is not even expressed like that lovely don't you do this and I do this is not mean-spirited, know that it can be taken in such a way that many create conflict. They can, and often times when I'm talking to. So when Alaska had you communicated the expectation I don't know the real percentage right I would say probably 90% no I haven't. They should just know that I was like I don't know that's true. Do we really we really read someone else's mind or let me ask otherwise listening right now I don't think so either were terrible reading our wives minds right exactly generally.
I'm sure there's one that's going to send us a note saying I do I do it well good for you. Maybe you should write a book you've developed a four step process and this is really good.
Maybe with your permission will put these four steps at the website and this is four step process for peacemaking.
What you call the path of the peacemaker walk us through those four steps so we finished Jennifer to handle conflict from a biblical approach. We need to come to our senses like in the prodigal son he found himself in the pigpen. Any he came to his senses. So we say Discover the story one of the facts of the story versus the emotional memories of the story right because oftentimes those emotional memories will speak so much louder than what actually was said or took place. Now I want to punch this a little bit because that sounds like one of most difficult things to do as human beings is to really get to objective truth. What's really happening here that hard for us to do this and so we tell people write up the story. If there are no repeated conflict. Write it out underline the facts and highlight emotional memories and then we say I double dog dare you to take that to a neutral person and see if the underline and highlight the same areas while because it's easy to convince ourselves that the emotional memory will always speak louder is that internal desire is talking about wrestling inside of us right speaking louder than the other part so that step one investment once what's real and then we ascend we go back to our biblical core values like the prodigal son some of the back to my father so we go back to our biblical core values. We put aside the conflict and we seek the things above and so yesterday I was working with a gentleman back east of the say that and he told me a story for about an hour and isolate stop and praying. I said to remind you that God is with you. His character is a good guidance. We pray together and it's amazing when you get that filter of God's presence and God's character is good and that were children of God into the situation. It helps filter S it helps to change our perspective and number three we reflect we take personal responsibility. Matthew seven says take the log out of your own eye just so you'll see clearly to take the speck out of your brother's eye that had tough one it is. And this is where we need help. Oftentimes, we need a coach to come up beside us and the reality is a lot of key leaders and and fathers and families.
They don't hustle he's truly honest with them to help them see the spec are the log in their own eye that can consider that spiritual dyslexia we always, we tend to act out like I'll get the speck out of my eyes so I get the log out of your exactly and that's not what the Lord is saying and the number four disconnect we we believe in asking for forgiveness and making a plan and implementing that plan. It's really key. The prodigal son said I want to go back to my father and in the next verse he says and he went right so a lot of Christians say I'm go do this they never go and so that's where we need to be people where we make a plan. We go back and apologize if you want to be the manager of your house be the first one to the cross be the first one to repent. That's manliness. Brian i.e. this is a tender area but your childhood was tough and people in and pick that up because of your joyfulness now in your commitment to Christ and the fact you're doing peacemaking, but you had a really hard family life and your parents divorced. Tell us how that experience impacted you yes so I parents are divorced from site six years old and this would've been in the 70s when divorce wasn't nearly as common. I was raised in a small town in central Washington and as far as I can remember I was the only kid who had gone through divorce in our whole school, and that by the age of 12, I started having alcohol problem and at the age of 12.
Yes, I was in her home while I was able to still if my parents are when what have you, and that it was I would say sporadic at times. You know it was not as consistent but by the age of 18 when I moved to Spokane.
It was every day will be trying to medicate for I think there's a lot of things you know just going through divorce at the mic. My dad I love him and we had. It's always hard to talk about because were completely reconciled. Now bet that just my dad when it was just a struggle for him.
He was a pastor and so the divorce class and not to to be a pastor any longer and there was just a lot of bitterness that was there and so I was working on that. I think I was also just simply working on you, not the fact of you know which parent do I live with. That was back when they did a lot of joint custody this week that week.
You know, and rules changing all the time and so and part of it was just naïve mess and stupidness. Quite frankly, but that there was a lot of that going on. Well, not so hard, and that feeling of you know I don't know, inability to the lack of confidence can come from that. I know that because I live something similar. My parents divorced about that same when I was that same age. I didn't find alcohol in the house.
That man is just it's a crushing blow right it is and it's one of those things that I think it people look at your life is that I do. I want to plan for this Odyssey not but that whole verse in Romans where it says he turns around for God's good and so that's what gives me the burden and desire to help them peacemaking is to say how can we say families. How can we save churches from going through destructive conflict and just to be clear at about 18 you cried out to God and I did actually God use an unbeliever like I was actually contemplating suicide. I was thinking I was done with life and I believe it just a friend of mine from college came over. Not of it or is it what you doing I had had my gun out. I was ready and he took the gun and I think that if you're really up to show yourself to me and and just through a number of events. God revealed himself to me and I went to a church in Spokane and they said they knew my grandfather who is a pastor and they like hey they got as a Christian kid that moved to Spokane to teach Sunday school I might sure I did.
I didn't know what to do and they writes, he doesn't know anything and so they backed up the wagon – that way we wait we got it we have decent discipleship. And Mark Eydie, a good friend of mine asked me don't you know Jesus Christ as you have you repented and Mike know and so we repented of our sin was baptized and just began to move in the things of God in and went to Bible school next to nothing.
Well, what a remarkable story from Brian Noble today on Focus on the Family and will encourage you to call us if you have any questions about what he was just talking about knowing who Jesus Christ is and knowing his forgiveness would be happy to tell you more, and then certainly would love to have you pick up a copy of the path of a peacemaker, your biblical guide to healthy relationships, conflict resolution, and the life of peace I reach out if we can help our numbers 800 the letter a in the word family or the link is in the episode notes Brian in the book you reviewed the life of Jesus and how he dealt with conflict that's always a great source of direction for you, having a Jesus deal with this and that he responded to it in kind of unexpected ways. Sin we can learn from that example that your claim in the book. Let's start with the story about the woman caught in adultery, in John chapter 8 and what can we learn from that experience. I think often times when we look at conflict Jesus knelt down and paused and let people do what they need to do. I find a lot of times and fathers and leaders it stand that and fight right sit and kneel down and pause and then when he addressed the woman who was caught in San. He asked a question.
Most of us will merit will learn conflict with make statements and I've learned to step back and say let's ask was now here's the thing. The more intimate the relationship.
The more difficult it is to pause so I could I can work this out with you between us really quick. When I got when I go home. It can be a lot more difficult as the relationships much more intimate and so having that go from area to area and make an authentic response takes time and practice.
Yeah, and it's a good example. Yeah, he was writing in the ground and said he was without sin. Let him cast the first stone crowd.
Yeah, and they all walked away. The oldest to the youngest and had ordered gags that I find interesting and think there's a couple of different conflicts going on their writing and there's the woman who is in conflict.
Obviously, with the men who brought her to Jesus, but they were really trying to set Jesus up so there is a conflict between Jesus and the and the leaders as well. Absolutely. And you think about that tension and how the creed of the universe handle that. So while it may, it's surprising but it's not at the same time right and he's the creator and so only within body. He took all those dynamics and he interwoven them into a place where man this is how he responded. I did, we can learn from another one that is often used. I mean I can't count the number of conversations I've been in were talking about the political arena or some other major conflict and people go Christians go right to Jesus overturning the money changers table right exactly love that righteous anger at you and see even Jesus got mad at these people and he upset the moneychangers table and cleared the decks or to speak what was going on in there what do we really need to understand about what Jesus was accomplishing in that moment, I think it's important to realize that when we're looking at right righteous anger from Jesus and our righteous anger there might be a slight difference, right effort. First and foremost because one is righteous and one is not. And I also think that the things that Jesus fought for. That has happened that God has to be a house of prayer and my political preference might be two different things and so oftentimes we take the standpoint from two different angles right and it's like were similar minds righteous because of this well at you. Is it really about God's kingdom are about your kingdom.
I think that's a big important question you know anything about. It is a set of a sin that you can find in the Bible or is this a personal preference that we have anything and you know and then also to realize that Jesus never set aside the fruits of the spirit that's good like you know to me like you didn't like that in them only temporarily lose. It is very like everything he did, he did intentionally and I can tell you my anger everything I do is not intentional. It is this is a great point and you know it's funny, I know Christian later one time were talked about this person's lack of patience and he said and I just out of the fruits.
I just don't have a lot of patience.
I member the thought that went through my mind as I don't think it's like a menu you order from you give me 4 ounces of patient 6 ounces a love. It's like it's present or should be present in the believer's life because you're tapping into the very nature and character of God is what the promise is yeah right you mentioned something and I'd like to ask about that. What why is it when I thought of Paul in Romans seven when he says the very things I don't want to do I do when I get upset and I'm in an argument right have a conflict. I really blow past everything I would like to see happen. Why is that what I think it's because of that is sanctification. If we every bullet down to one word right were being sanctified were being that process of being made holy in God's presence. So we are brand-new creations at the same time, there's parts of us that are being turned over and over and over because we won't be fully like him until his presence. Romans chapter 7 is also one of the most misquoted areas because you have to read the book of Romans six and Romans eight, and those bookends are important to the contacts I heard many leaders in an fathers make excuses and say why I do things I don't want to do and sidestep those things.
You know that's not Paul's intent in writing those things you know I he says. Shall we go on sinning so that sin, that grace may increase by no means you know, and that the idea that we can truly have self-control. The thing is, I think we look at perfection versus practicing. We're being made perfect in the sight of God. But we forget to practice and so self-control is developed by a daily walk. A daily practice.
If you just wait here in the fight are your and that you know and that in the game and say will not in a practice that doesn't work in football doesn't work in basketball the circuit anything you practice before the event and I think oftentimes we forget to practice self-control before the event. Now that's good and and go through the mental picture of exaggerations think the brain that key theme from your book in the path of peacemaker is that keeping our eyes on the main thing so everything you say what what okay what's the main thing you have an example of the main thing I think it's the gospel.
II like to ask people wait we talk about picking up our cross daily and dying. How are you dying in this conflict.
How are you setting your preferences aside fill out God's newness of life to walk through you. It seems like we have a lot of theology when it comes to salvation, but for some reason when it comes to conflict. We forget that same theology and so the main thing is the gospel message, and then I think it's both sides of the gospel. So it's not just what we don't do, but it's where we begin to proclaim what God has already done were new creations in Christ Jesus. And this is where Jennifer and conflict where I something to think about your bad behavior or mild bad behavior and forget the state weight that has a child of God sitting across from me that he's a brand-new creation. I had a conflict with a lady at church the other day and it frustrated me and I went down I actually sat in the hot tub and I was like Lord what's going on. He's tell me the story right and then let's biblical values, and I said oh core value is she's a child of God.
That's my sister and my whole perspective changed because I remind myself that that this is part of my family not just someone who is annoying me in the moment.
As I said I was ungracious in that response. Can we have coffee and talk his or her husband did not. Together we just talked and it was it a great event to to agree to pray about some things and here's another tough one, Brian, and that is the overlooking of an offense and I can write when I said that I'm sure many listeners, what you you did know what that person did to me right you can overlook that. Why is it so hard for us to overlook an offense and why is it so important for us to do so right, so Proverbs 1911 tells us that that weird it's to a person's glory to overlook a transgression, and so the ideal overlooking is not sweeping it under the rug.
It's going to the cross. I believe it's through prayer and saying, Lord, I latest atrophy and say that God you are the judge of this event. I think it's intentional versus passive and so then why is it critical because God is overlook so much in us through Jesus Christ right he's laid it at the cross for us. It is difficult because we want justice now we want to be right now and I like to tell people when you put this conflict in the scene of eternity in you trust God to be the ultimate judge at the last part of verse 12 chapter 12 of Romans.
You understand that he's a much better judge than you are.
Are I am. Thank you Lord.
Yeah, right, and we have a tendency to think will because of God's grace. He's going to wink at center. Something it's not true. He's a righteous God, and and he wants justice and so trusting him bright as we come in for the landing i.e. I love there is a story that in a really made an impact on me and I want to close with that story about responding to conflict with humility. This is a female teacher and this was you and how did you manage that. What was the scene. What did she do to provoke the situation. How did you manage it. Yes, we entered into a public high school and there had been two teenage suicides and they had contracted with us to help figure out what the tensioner conflict was and so we ate out my partner and I we had done a lot of intake conversations in discovery and we were giving a report back to the teaching staff and one of the ladies there didn't like the report is in essence what happened.
I was talking about consistency of classrooms like having a consistent set of rules throughout the classroom because the students were being frustrated with different rules in each classroom and she stormed out. It was obvious that she didn't like that that those points and she said something right. She slammed the door at me in front of hundreds of people.
She stormed out and slammed the door and so I went to another teacher who I knew was a believer to say we need to go we need to talk to her and said no way like this talk I don't like all right.
And so I don't want to address her alone. Honesty for those countries and so we went in there and it was like a tornado had gone off and she was throwing things distant big temper tantrum and so I don't know why I believe this is the Holy Spirit is cut down my knees my table put my arms up on the table and and said, tell me more, you know, and so she's like all these men in my life trying to unite so she was went through this grant with me and I and I just listened and I said will you forgive me and I got really quiet and she started bawling. She said you're the first man it's ever asked me to forgive. She started walking towards me and I said I want your forgiveness because obviously I had a hot button on you and that wasn't my intention.
I want to respect you. I care for you and I want you.
You seem like you're a great teacher and she kept coming towards encourages us very shortly and she says I hug you and I look at the other teacher like is this appropriate side try to do the Christian side hug and she's a sobbing and she told me she said I just have never had a man do that.
I've had an abusive husband and she went through this whole little thing yeah and ISAF stuff we talk through it and then she says why, I know that you were intentionally trying to single me out like I had never addressed her publicly that it just felt that when we forgive me for that well in brining your experience helping people like that.
How often are these root things years old and people are pushing a button that has been formed some other circumstance, and insight on a percent. Yeah it has its it's a huge percentage and and often times that the individual themselves don't even know until that moment to write this like a landmine it's just sitting there triggers by this is been so good and I hope the folks are encouraged and hopefully a little more challenged about how to forgive and how to take things to the cross and how to lay it down and asked for forgiveness.
Don't sweep it under the rug. But to get right in there with humility, which is the key right to really find success in your relationships, and this is been so good. Please remember Focus on the Family in the months ahead as so many families have been impacted by the Coburg pandemic and were here to offer godly encouragement and advice like we shared today but were counting on you to be part of our financial team so that working together we can provide real families with real hope. So please be generous with your support and if you can help us out financially.
Will send you a copy of the path of the peacemaker as our way of saying thank you for standing with this.
During this critical time yellow and as we said earlier, if you'd like to talk to one of our staff members about Christian life for conflict. Perhaps that you just can't push through that list be of help are numbers 800 K and the word family or you can donate to get your copy of Brian's great book week of the link in the episode and coming up next time Dr. Kevin Lehman is back with some important reminders for moms and dads. You understand that message. The kids are feeling like they need more parent. They need more love they need more acceptance and that's that's the art of being a parent was making it to feel special. On behalf of Jim Daly, and the entire team.
Thanks for joining us for Focus on the Family I'm John Fuller inviting you back once more help you and your family thrive in Christ, your marriage resources.
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