When Conflict Happens: PAUSE and do this FIRST

When conflict happens, the first and most important step to keep in mind is this: put everything on pause–until you are able to talk about it in a healthy manner.

We all know the experience of trying to talk things out in the heat of the moment–it only makes matters worse! You have been there. I have been there. It doesn’t work.

So what then?

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Learn This One Principle and Change Your Life For The Better!

Driving home from visiting our daughter in Tulsa yesterday, we drove by colorfully adorned fields of green giving way to the auburn milo and back to the green again. The various crops, each with their unique beauty, are part of what makes the mid-west a wonder to behold. They also speak of a very simple but life-changing concept for all who will hear…

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The Single Most Helpful Step To Process Conflict:

Over the weekend my wife and I processed two areas of conflict between us. In both instances they occurred LARGELY because of a failure to hear, understand, and appreciate the other person’s perspective. Let me explain what happened in one example, and show the positive outcome of taking this single most helpful step to process conflict.

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What Helped Me In Saying Good-bye To My Daughter:

I said good bye to my oldest daughter this past weekend as I helped her move to California.I have said good bye to her before, but this time was one of the hardest.  I think it’s partly because of knowing she is going to a school of ministry to prepare for her next move–that of living overseas in India, Africa, and where ever else the Lord leads. On our second day of driving from Kansas to California, I told my daughter there is one thing that makes her journey doable for me…

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A Fire In the Kitchen!

The single must frustrating and grieving part of my job as a marriage counselor is this: most couples put off coming to see me until their situation is so bad, it is nearly impossible to turn it around. It is like waiting until their house is nearly burnt to the ground before they call the Fire Department. Over and over again, I think: “why didn’t you come to see me, when there was simply a fire in the kitchen?”  Here are three reasons people wait and three actions to take instead:

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Short, Simple, Powerful To Do

One evening not too long ago, I was kind of grumpy. I told my wife I was in a bad mood and just needed to go to bed and get over it. It wasn’t any profound therapeutic advice I gave myself. I just needed sleep. I knew that I would either wake up with a new outlook or have more strength to carry on. Sometimes it is that simple. Not always, but sometimes. Here’s another simple exercise:

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Star Trek and Your Marriage!

Over the weekend I went to see Star Trek Into Darkness with one of our extra girls who has become like a daughter. It was a great flick. But it was not until the very end – and I mean the very end – that I really learned something important. You see, while I am ready to leave as soon as the movie is over, she likes to remain until all the credits are over! I could never understand why until this time when I asked. Here is how she replied, what I learned, and how it relates to your marriage and family:

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When I was angry at my wife I had to recognize three things:

It happened yesterday in the airport. We were on our way home from Miami where we had a great time visiting our son. I was tired and wanting some food – it was 4:45 in the morning. Zerrin had gone off to get something to eat and drink while I watched our bags. When she finally got back, I was impatient and a bit snarly. I know you probably never get that way.

I still do at times…less and less I hope, but it still happens on occasion. When it does, we must come to recognize three things:  (WARNING:  you may not like my first point.)

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“I wrote a book too” – God.

I don’t know about you but writing isn’t easy – at least not for me. I labor over the words and word order to do the best I can at saying what is in my heart. And yet I write because I want to make a difference. I want to take what God has given me and pass it on to you in hopes of it being a true source of encouragement. My promise to you, my reader, is this:

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