Teaching by Tommy Nelson on Conflict, chapter by Mark Driscoll called Friends with Benefits & more.

Conflict is part of any healthy relationship. We are humans who were made unique and our differences can sometimes be a struggle. How do you conflict in a loving way with your spouse? Find out how in the full teaching session that will help you handle conflict with your mate.

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By |October 26th, 2011|Conflict, Weekly Devos|4 Comments

Tommy Nelson – Why Revenge is a Bad Idea

I heard a priceless story about revenge one time. A woman asked her husband one morning to zip up the back of her dress. He began to play around with the zipper in a flirtatious way—zipping it up and down, up and down—and in the process, the zipper broke. She had just had the dress dry-cleaned and was late for a meeting, and there she stood with a “broken” dress. She was furious.

About 5:30 that evening, she returned home, still angry over her husband’s behavior that morning. She found her husband working on his car, lying underneath the car from his waist up, the lower part of his body sticking out and temptingly accessible. He didn’t seem to hear her as she approached, so she reached down and grabbed the zipper on the front of his jeans and began to zip it up and down just as he had done with her dress that morning. Then she walked into the house.

To her astonishment, her husband was standing in the kitchen. She said, “What are you doing in here?” He said, “What do you mean? It’s our kitchen.”

She said, “You were under the car just two seconds ago.”

“No,” he said, “I haven’t been under the car at all.”

“Well, who is out there in our garage working under your car?”

“It’s the next-door neighbor,” he said. “The muffler was coming off and he volunteered to fix it, so I told him I’d really appreciate his help and I came in here to fix a glass of tea for him when he’s finished.”

His wife went pale as a white sheet. She admitted to her husband what she had done, and they both hurried out to apologize to the man. They found the guy lying totally still. He didn’t respond to their calls, so they pulled him out from under the car by his legs. When he came to, they discovered that he had done what any man would have done if someone suddenly grabbed the zipper to his pants. He sat straight up, and bam, he hit his head on the underside of the car with such force that he knocked himself out!

All acts of revenge need to be left to God. Strange and terrible things can happen when you take retaliation and vengeance into your hands, and none of them are good.

My Question For You: Do you ever want to exact revenge on your spouse for their actions? Has it ever gotten you into trouble?

My Challenge For You: Don’t let revenge even cross your mind when it comes to your spouse.

By |May 5th, 2010|Conflict, Tommy Nelson|1 Comment

Ask God to Make a Change

There was no manipulation whatsoever in the scene in Song of Solomon 5:6-8.  There was no bargaining—“you do this for me and I’ll do that for you.”  Bargaining results in manipulation, not ministry.

A woman asked me after I had presented the information in this chapter, “If I can’t leave him, can I kill him?  No, you can’t do that either!

But you can continue to love your spouse and to pray for your spouse.  Ask God to do what you cannot do, and that is to change the human heart and transform the human mind.

State what you feel you must state, make whatever requests you believe are right to make, put forth your case as best you can make it, but don’t attempt to force a change in your mate.  Leave that up to God.

My Question For You: Is there something that you want to change in your spouse (or maybe something your spouse wants to change in you)?

My Challenge For You: Leave the changing part up to God.

Want to watch the SOS Tommy Nelson Study? You can buy the DVD Series here or Rent one Session at a Time here.

By |April 28th, 2010|Conflict, Tommy Nelson|2 Comments

When Teasing Goes Bad

Early in our marriage, my wife was lying in bed one morning, and I said, “Teresa, get up and fix me some breakfast!”  I was teasing her, but my words didn’t exactly come out in the teasing way that I meant for them to sound.  At the same time I spoke those words, I picked up a metric stick that I owned, a four-sided stick with a steel border on one side, and I cracked that stick down on what I thought was a lump in the sheets.  It was my wife’s leg!  I had hit her hard.  I saw her eyes puddle up with tears of pain, and I immediately fled to the kitchen in contrition, determined to serve my wife breakfast in bed!

I popped the top off the orange juice container, and in my hurry to make amends for my bad behavior; I poured orange juice down my front.  At that point, Teresa walked into the kitchen, and I turned toward her, covered in orange juice and said, “You prayed for that.”  She sweetly said, “Come here, Sweetheart,” inviting me for a comforting hug, but as I turned toward her, I hit my head on the corner of the cabinet, and suddenly there was blood trickling down from my forehead and mingling with the spilled orange juice.  I was a mess.

Did I ever again attempt to tease my wife about fixing my breakfast, using a metric stick to emphasize my point?  No way.  For her part, Teresa was kind enough never to bring up the matter again.  She knew God had dealt with me in a better way than she ever could have.

My Question For You:

Has something similar to this ever happened to you?  Were you the teaser or the teased?

My Challenge For You:

Consider what you say wisely when you decide to tease!

Want to watch the SOS Tommy Nelson Study? You can buy the DVD Series here or Rent one Session at a Time here.

By |April 21st, 2010|Conflict, Song of Solomon, Tommy Nelson|0 Comments

A Continued Pursuit in Love (Part 4)

Let’s continue from last week’s discussion about Peter’s charge concerning how we act in conflict. Such an attitude and means of resolving conflict begin with how you individually choose to respond to a situation. Will you allow your hurt to linger, fester, and grow, or will you give it to the Lord, ask for His help in resolving the situation, and then speak to your spouse later in loving kindness and with a sure and sincere approach that can bring you to positive resolution?

We come to know in our marriages when we have hurt a spouse. There is a look in the eyes, a slumping of the shoulders, a slow walk away, or a spirit of dejection. I know immediately when I have hurt Teresa. Her eyes fill with tears and I know that—regardless of what has been said or done, and regardless of how “right” I might have been in what I did—I must ask her forgiveness first for hurting her. She knows how to read me equally well. And she knows that before she can ever get across her point of view, she is wise to ask forgiveness for hurting me. It is in this spirit of mutual forgiveness and a desire for mutual continuation of our relationship in love that conflicts are genuinely resolved, a torn relationship is mended, and difficulties are turned into paving stones for a stronger foundation.

My Question For You: What are the signs that your spouse displays when you have hurt them? What do you do when you notice them?

My Challenge For You: When you see these signs from your mate, make a conscious effort to seek forgiveness.

Want to watch the SOS Tommy Nelson Study? You can buy the DVD Series here or Rent one Session at a Time here.

By |March 24th, 2010|Conflict, Hub Thots, Song of Solomon, Weekly Devos|0 Comments

A Continued Pursuit in Love (Part 3)

In 1 Peter 3:1, 3-4, 7-8, Peter taught:

Wives, likewise, be submissive to your own husbands…Do not let your adornment be merely outward…rather let it be the hidden person of the heart, with the incorruptible beauty of a gentle and quiet spirit, which is very precious in the sight of God…Husbands, likewise, dwell with them with understanding, giving honor to the wife, as to the weaker vessel, and as being heirs together of the grace of life, that your prayers may not be hindered.  Finally, all of you be of one mind, having compassion for one another.

Peter encouraged wives and husbands to deal with each other graciously and tenderly.  A wife is to bear a gentle and quiet spirit in her discussions with her husband.  A husband is to approach his wife as if she is as delicate as a china cup—which is what it means to regard a wife as a “weaker” vessel—recognizing that his bombastic tone and mannerisms can cause his wife to shrivel inside and to feel demeaned.  Don’t hurt each other, Peter said.  Have compassion for each other, and seek to have one mind—in other words, love each other until you reach a common point of agreement.

My Question For You: Husbands, do you treat your wife as a delicate china cup or do your actions cause her to feel demeaned?

My Challenge For You: Have compassion for your spouse when you are in a disagreement—it will serve you well.

By |March 17th, 2010|Conflict, Hub Thots, Song of Solomon, Tommy Nelson|0 Comments

A Continued Pursuit in Love (continued)

A Continued Pursuit in Love

Continuing from last weeks thoughts, how do they square with my earlier advice that you not let certain things build up inside you until you feel an explosion coming on? Very easily. It is up to you to give weight to a situation or circumstance that you perceive to be a conflict. Some things are not worthy of emotional battles or open conflict. Other things that should be addressed need to be addressed in the right time and place, with the right attitude and goal. It is up to you to decide what really matters. Choose your areas for discussion and conflict resolution wisely.

Maintain your poise and composure when you feel hurt, rejected, or maligned by someone. Choose to take control over your attitude and to control the subsequent discussion of the issue with a tone of quietness and positive communication.

My Question For You: Do you keep your composure when you are wronged by someone or do you react without thinking?

My Challenge For You: Consider your attitude the next time you are in a situation that can turn into a conflict and try to determine if it is really worth it.

Want to watch the SOS Classic Study? You can buy the DVD Series here or Rent one Session at a Time here.

Tommy Nelson: A Continued Pursuit in Love

Solomon did not at first respond to his wife’s rejection in an angry way. He persisted in expressing his desire. At first he only called to her. She heard his voice. Then even after she had rejected him verbally, he reached out for her. His behavior did not mirror hers. He continued to pursue her in love.

Refuse to overreact or to react too quickly to what another person does or says. One person said to me, “My mother had a phrase, ‘let the river roll on for a while.’ We lived near a river, and I knew precisely what she meant. Some things are best left to float right on by because they are issues that are too little to warrant a fight.” You might have heard it said, “Don’t make mountains out of mole hills.” Same principle. Continue to pursue your relationship and your spouse with love. Don’t make big issues out of little ones. Proverbs 12:16 tells us, “A fool’s wrath is known at once, but a prudent man covers shame.”

My Question For You: Do you react like Solomon did when you are rejected?

My Challenge For You: Can you react to your spouse in a way that “let’s the river roll on for a while” and then follow on in love?

Want to watch the SOS Classic Study? You can buy the DVD Series here or Rent one Session at a Time here

By |February 24th, 2010|Conflict, Hub Thots, Song of Solomon, Weekly Devos|0 Comments

Tommy Nelson – SOS – Sharing your Feelings During Conflict

Last week we left our discussion with being slow to anger and not reacting like the person who has hurt you so that you resolve your conflict.  Maybe you are saying, “But you said previously, Tommy, that I should not stifle my feelings and that I should express them freely in my marriage.”  That’s absolutely correct, but how and when you express your feelings, and with what underlying motive and attitude, are very important.

Express yourself, yes, but wait until your emotional temperature has cooled.  Be proactive and intentional, not reactive and instinctual, in expressing your feelings.  Wait until the one who has hurt you also has cooled off or is in a good frame of mind to hear what you have to say.  Every person I know can do a better job of keeping a cool head and choosing at all times to respond as Christ would respond.  It’s tough to do, but it’s what we as Christians are called and challenged by God to do.

I know people who have grown up in homes where passive-aggressive behavior was the norm.  That’s behavior in which a person is warm and loving one minute, and the next minute, the person is ice cold or hateful.

Such behavior does not need to occur.  Conflict can be resolved at this very first stage if one of the persons in the relationship will be mature enough to sit back, analyze and pray about the situation, and make a measured response that is loving, kind, and aimed at a greater positive in the future.

My Question For You: When you are responding to your mate during a time of conflict, is it in the heat of the moment, or do you take time to cool off and think about your response?

My Challenge For You: Are you willing to act as God wants you to during times of conflict by showing love, kindness, and seeking to positive resolution?

You can rent or buy the Song of Solomon and other Bible Studies by Tommy Nelson, Mark Driscoll, and Matt Chandler and watch them online starting as low as $4.99 per session.

By |February 10th, 2010|Conflict, Weekly Devos|1 Comment

Conflict Series Part VIII: Both Parties Feel Harmed (continued)

Two weeks ago we left Solomon knocking at the door of his beloveds and where she was not letting him in.  He persists in his expression of desire and longing for her:

My beloved put his hand by the latch of the door, and my heart yearned for him. I arose to open for my beloved, and my hands dripped with myrrh,
My fingers with liquid myrrh, on the handles of the lock. I opened for my beloved, but my beloved had turned away and was gone.
(Song 5:6)

By this point, Solomon had felt wronged from his wife’s rebuff.  He didn’t break the door down or demand entrance.  He reached out to her in sincerity and tenderness.  The myrrh that he left on the latch was a symbol of sweetness.  His attitude toward her was tender.

When he got no response, Solomon walked away.  He no doubt felt rejected.  He might very well have said under his breath, “Hey, I’m the king.  I married you.  I’ve loved you.  I was working late tonight, I came to you in a loving manner, and look what I get.  You have rejected me.  I don’t deserve this response.”

Two persons feeling wronged—that’s the first part of any conflict.  If only one person feels wronged and then thinks through the situation and concludes, “Actually I haven’t been all that wronged or hurt,” an argument or disagreement is not likely to occur.  But when both spouses feel that a wrong has been done to them, conflict ensues.

At this stage of feeling wronged a conflict can be most easily resolved.  We’ll discuss this more next week.

Tommy_NelsonMy Question For You: Was Solomon right in feeling rebuffed?  Was his wife also correct in her feelings?  Can both people be equally right in their feelings yet be on opposite sides of the disagreement?

My Challenge For You: When you feel rebuffed or wronged, consider the thoughts and feelings of your spouse to see how they might feel they are being wronged by you.

Miss some of this series? Find all of them here. These conflict devotionals are from the Song of Solomon DVD series by Tommy Nelson. Click here to for more details or to purchase this series.

By |December 30th, 2009|Conflict, Song of Solomon, Tommy Nelson|1 Comment