Confrontation in relationships is a normal and healthy sign of human connection. Even so, it isn’t natural to enjoy the experience, often leading us to react out of shame or fear. Read on for three useful ways to partner with the Holy Spirit in conflict, regardless of the circumstance.
Remember who you are
Don’t panic! A relational difficulty does not change the identity that God has given to you. If even the thought of confrontation raises your heart rate, take a moment to connect with the Prince of peace. Ask God for help remembering what He says about you. Even in correction, you do not have to disconnect from the Father’s heart.
Choose to stay connected
Whether you are in a romantic relationship, a long friendship, or in conflict with a coworker, remember you are on the same team. It is you “plus” them against the problem. If you let the enemy trick you into believing the person in front of you is the problem, you will create an entire new issue for yourself. Even with uncomfortable emotions, remind your heart and mind why you care about the person in front of you and how you want to value what they have to share.
“Better is open rebuke than hidden love. Wounds from a friend can be trusted, but an enemy multiplies kisses” (Proverbs 27:5-6).
Consider how your family did conflict
Was confrontation brash and abrasive in your home growing up? Maybe it was quiet and shameful. These may be places that the Holy Spirit wants to release deeper healing for.
As we grow in our walks with God, we certainly will face difficulty in our human relationships. This does not mean we have to give up our identities, our peace, or our connection to one another. Partner with God in your relationships and watch Him teach you more of His love and patience than ever before.