TLP 367: The Spiritual War in Your Home, Part 13 | biblical conflict resolution for your family, part 1
How can you resolve conflict with a three year old? What does God expect from us when it comes to addressing the spiritual war in our homes? Join AMBrewster as he lays out the first three steps for Biblical Conflict Resolution for Christian parents.
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Discover the following episodes by clicking the titles or navigating to the episode in your app:
"Parenting Suffering Children” series (starts in episode 342)
“Peace in Parenting” series (starts in episode 69)
“Joy in Parenting” series (starts in episode 120)
“The Most Beautiful Part of Parenting” (episode 341)
"Why Is It Always About Me?” (episode 2)
“Should I Ever Ignore My Child’s Sin?” (episode 31)
“Children and Shame” series (starts in episode 260)
“Immediate Consequences” (episode 265)
“Is it Okay to Get Mad?" (episode 153)
“The Communication House” (episode 38)
"The Parents 5 Jobs" series (starts in episode 184)
James Video Bible Study available for members of the TLP Family.
The complete list of communication resources is available to the TLP Family.
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Click "Read More" for today’s Episode Notes and Transcript.
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Lord willing, we are just three episodes away from wrapping up our “Spiritual Warfare in Your Home” series.
It’s possible you’ve found this podcast because you’re looking for a biblical conflict resolution method for your family, and I’m so glad you’ve joined us.
Truth.Love.Parent. is a community of believers who love God and the family. We’re committed to glorifying God by equipping dads and moms to be the parents God called and created them to be.
I hope this first interaction with us will lead to many more in the future. Please check out TruthLoveParent.com to learn who we are, discover amazing free parenting resources, and continue on your path toward becoming an intentional, premeditated, disciple-making Ambassador Parent.
We have over 350 podcast episodes spanning marriage, parenting, and family topics from communication to consequences, sexuality to spiritual warfare, and faith to friends.
Typically, people who discover a new podcast generally just keep up with the newest episodes, but we encourage you to go back to the beginning or peruse our content for specific episodes and studies that can be applicable to you and your family right now. Our content is evergreen and will never go out of style because it’s founded on God’s Word . . . which makes it eternally relevant and practical.
And never hesitate to send an email to counselor@TruthLoveParent.com if you’d like to get specific biblical guidance for your unique family situation.
Lastly, while you’re at TruthLoveParent.com, you can check our blog, Taking Back the Family, where you’ll gain access to our free episode notes and Transcript.
We’re honored to have you join us, and we hope this episode is a blessing, but please understand that everything we’re talking about today is built on a foundation that started 13 episodes ago. I think starting at the beginning of this series will help you appreciate and apply this information better.
My personal biblical counseling ministry involves meeting in face-to-face as well as virtually with adults, children, families, couples, and everything in between. I specialize in marriage and family counseling — with a proficiency in at-risk families — but I’ve worked with many suffering with anything from the consequences of addictions to church hurt.
If I or any of the other TLP Counselors can be a blessing to you, please check out TruthLoveParent.com to learn more. We offer various levels of counsel, and I’m sure you’ll find it much more affordable than secular options.
Anyway, I mention that primarily because I put together today’s material while I was doing premarital counseling for a wonderful couple. How many of you wish you had learned about Biblical Conflict Resolution when you were just getting married? And the rest of us wish we had actually used what we learned.
But it wasn’t until I was researching our last episode that I realized how perfectly these concepts align. In fact, they’re identical. While some people may call it “conflict resolution,” it’s also a necessary part of spiritual warfare, but both of these are an integral facet of yet one more biblical concept we’ll discuss at the end of our next show.
As we discuss this material over the next two episodes, we’ll dip back into many of the spiritual warfare topics we’ve discussed so far because these will likely be our final episodes concerning how to engage our spiritual enemies.
We’re going to focus primarily on engaging the most dangerous enemy — the Flesh (both in ourselves as well as in others) — but we’ll talk about demonic forces and the World as well.
Let’s start by reviewing one more time so we’re all on the same page. Remember, practice makes permanent. We may walk away inspired after listening to a single podcast episode, but the information is too easy to forget when we find ourselves in the thick of family life. It will take repetition and focus in order to see significant change in us and our kids.
All of this review really is helpful!
And with that, here we go.
I want to present 6 stages of Biblical Conflict Resolution (over the next two episodes) and end our discussion by helping us see how vitally important these 6 stages are within God’s larger plan for His people in general and your family in particular.
1. We will never resolve conflict to God’s glory if we don’t prepare our minds.
For those of you who are new to the show, let me explain why I frame that point in a way that sounds negative. If I had said, “In order to resolve conflict to God’s glory, we must prepare our minds,” it’s extremely easy for us to either passively dismiss the statement or simply assume that we already do that. Many times it doesn’t really get us thinking.
However, when I say, “We will never resolve conflict to God’s glory if we don’t prepare our minds,” everyone’s brain is now firing. Some people are immediately trying to disprove what I said, and others are beginning to digest it. But the key is that we’re all thinking about it. And since spiritual warfare is a war of the mind, we’d better get them turned on. Satan loves nothing more than attacking an unmanned outpost.
But — back to the point — it’s true that if we don’t deal with our own sinful Flesh first, how on earth can we expect to glorify God in anything? We’re never going to do the right thing in the right way for the right reason in the right power if we don’t intentionally and premeditatedly choose to trust God’s plan.
So, what does preparing our mind entail? Three things:
A. Be Thankful for the Conflict
We’ve talked a lot about this in our “Parenting Suffering Children” series as well as our Video Bible Study through the book of James.
By the way, any time I reference a previous episode or resource, we include links in the description of the episode so you can easily find them if you're interested in continuing your study.
We can’t dedicate time today to describing exactly how we should be thankful for the fact that our children are melting down, our spouse is shutting us out, or any number of real and imagined trials . . . but it’s what God says and we have plenty of resources to help us better understand it. Many of which are linked in the description.
But one way we can be thankful is by acknowledging that God is working. James 1:2-4 and Romans 8:28-29 are extremely helpful in opening our eyes to this Truth.
But we can also be thankful because according to I Corinthians 13:7 we’ve been called to hope all things and believe all things.
We need to enter a conflict situation trusting that God is actively working in you and your family member and that we lovingly hope and believe that our family member is going to respond correctly when confronted.
If we’re only going have conflict, there’s not much for which to look forward except how God promises to use the situation to mature us. But since we’re talking about conflict resolution, we can get even more excited about that because it involves reconciliation.
Let me say one more thing about this step before we move on.
This is likely the most counter-intuitive point today. If we could get this one thing, it would drastically change how we engage the Flesh in our homes.
Seriously, before reacting internally or externally to the conflict in your home, talk to God. Thank the Lord for the opportunity to glorify Him by helping your family member glorify Him. It will set you on the right path from the very beginning.
Okay, so we prepare our minds by being thankful for the conflict, but we also need to . . .
B. Check your Flesh.
We should all be very familiar with the fact that Jeremiah 17:9 says that, “The heart is more deceitful than all else And is desperately sick; Who can understand it?” And we’ve talked in great detail about the sinfulness of our Sin Nature.
This means that we should not automatically assume in any situation that we’re automatically right — either in our position or in our response to their position or behavior.
We need to do some self-triage first before diving headlong into the conflict.
Picture it this way, you may be trying to assist your child who’s clearly being laid to waste by the World and the Flesh on the battleground of the Pride of Life, but, you too are being demolished on your own Pride of Life . . . how helpful do you really think you can be?
This is why, in Matthew 7:1-5, Jesus says, “Do not judge so that you will not be judged. 2 For in the way you judge, you will be judged; and by your standard of measure, it will be measured to you. 3 Why do you look at the speck that is in your brother’s eye, but do not notice the log that is in your own eye? 4 Or how can you say to your brother, ‘Let me take the speck out of your eye,’ and behold, the log is in your own eye? 5 You hypocrite, first take the log out of your own eye, and then you will see clearly to take the speck out of your brother’s eye.”
We parents often say all the right things, but we say them in the wrong way. We’re trying to remove the splinter of not-staying-in-bed with the log of annoyance-and-bad-attitude-that-my-child-is-inconveniencing-me swinging out of our head.
Sure, our kid may get the picture that getting out of bed is a bad idea, but only because it makes mommy angry. And — by extension — if mommy can react that way when she doesn’t get what she wants . . . how do I get to react?
Before entering any spiritual engagement with someone else’s sin nature, you must start by making sure the content and the method of your communication is pleasing to the Lord.
We have many resources about family communication, and hope it will help you better understand God’s expectations for how we talk to each other.
And if you find that there is a log sticking out of your eye, you need to address it with the same spiritual weapon you’re preparing to use on the individual in front of you.
Even Paul had to do this. Romans 7:14-24 says, “14 For we know that the Law is spiritual, but I am of flesh, sold into bondage to sin. 15 For what I am doing, I do not understand; for I am not practicing what I would like to do, but I am doing the very thing I hate. 16 But if I do the very thing I do not want to do, I agree with the Law, confessing that the Law is good. 17 So now, no longer am I the one doing it, but sin which dwells in me. 18 For I know that nothing good dwells in me, that is, in my flesh; for the willing is present in me, but the doing of the good is not. 19 For the good that I want, I do not do, but I practice the very evil that I do not want. 20 But if I am doing the very thing I do not want, I am no longer the one doing it, but sin which dwells in me. 21 I find then the principle that evil is present in me, the one who wants to do good. 22 For I joyfully concur with the law of God in the inner man, 23 but I see a different law in the members of my body, waging war against the law of my mind and making me a prisoner of the law of sin which is in my members. 24 Wretched man that I am! Who will set me free from the body of this death?”
First, Paul recognized the reality of his own sinful heart. But look at what he trusts.
“25 Thanks be to God through Jesus Christ our Lord! So then, on the one hand I myself with my mind am serving the law of God.”
Christ-honoring behavior can only come when serving God by obeying His law.
If you’re a born again believer, you need to ask God for wisdom to know His Truth and confess and repent where your life does not line up. You don’t have to wonder where to find His Truth, it’s all in the Bible. You then need to see your own Gospel need in the moment, and let fly the Truth right into the foolish thoughts and beliefs in your mind that convinced you that your way was better than God’s.
Remember Truth either destroys or sanctifies. When you interact with it, you will either become calloused to it and hate it, or you’ll see it for what it is and submit to it.
And the third way we prepare our minds is . . .
C. Remember that your struggle is not against flesh and blood.
I won’t spend much time on this point because I think we’ve done a good job of that over the past 13 episodes (Ephesians 6:12).
Before you engage in spiritual conflict with another, prepare your mind by thanking God for the opportunity, confronting your flesh as necessary, and remembering who the real enemy in this situation is.
2. We will never resolve conflict to God’s glory if we don’t make the time.
There are two important facets of this point. The first is . . .
A. Don’t Run from Conflict
I love how Jesus presents both sides of any conflict. In Luke 17:3-4 He addresses how we should respond if someone sins against us: “Be on your guard! If your brother sins, rebuke him; and if he repents, forgive him. 4 And if he sins against you seven times a day, and returns to you seven times, saying, ‘I repent,’ forgive him.”
And in Matthew 5:23-24 He details what we should do if we’ve sinned against another: “Therefore if you are presenting your offering at the altar, and there remember that your brother has something against you, 24 leave your offering there before the altar and go; first be reconciled to your brother, and then come and present your offering.”
Either way, we never have an excuse to dodge or avoid conflict.
Now, I’m not saying that we look for conflict and foolishly run into a dispute. But I am saying what Galatians 6:1 says, “Brethren, even if anyone is caught in any trespass, you who are spiritual, restore such a one in a spirit of gentleness; each one looking to yourself, so that you too will not be tempted.”
And the final admonition in James 5:19-20 says, “My brethren, if any among you strays from the truth and one turns him back, 20 let him know that he who turns a sinner from the error of his way will save his soul from death and will cover a multitude of sins.”
If we can engage in Biblical Conflict Resolution, we must.
It’s not okay to ignore sin. It’s not okay to let your kid work through it on their own. It’s not okay to pretend like it didn’t happen. It’s not okay to throw out worldly slogans and platitudes like “it’s okay” or “boys will be boys” or “let them cry it out.” Those are all avoidance techniques, and God commands us to confront — to do it the right way — but to confront nonetheless.
And — just in case you’re not convinced: I Thessalonians 5:14, “We urge you, brethren, admonish the unruly.”
II Thessalonians 3:14-15, “If anyone does not obey our instruction in this letter, take special note of that person and do not associate with him, so that he will be put to shame. 15 Yet do not regard him as an enemy, but admonish him as a brother.”
I Timothy 5:20, “Those who continue in sin, rebuke in the presence of all, so that the rest also will be fearful of sinning.”
I think you get the idea.
B. Resolve the Conflict in a Timely Manner (immediately if possible)
This point was originally “Resolve the Conflict Immediately.” And we’re going to see that the expectation is that we address the issue as soon as possible, but I want to leave room open for you getting your heart right.
Take whatever time necessary to be truly thankful for the situation, deal with your own Fleshly failures, and focus on the correct enemy.
But don’t drag your feet so you take too much time and end up avoiding it or forgetting. That’s not helpful for anyone.
Immediacy is best, but only if it glorifies God.
Do you remember what Jesus said in Matthew 5:23-24? “If you are presenting your offering at the altar, and there remember that your brother has something against you, 24 leave your offering there before the altar and go; first be reconciled to your brother, and then come and present your offering.”
God says that if you have sinned, there is nothing more important — including worshipping God — than being reconciled.
And Ephesians 4:26 tells us to “Be angry, and yet do not sin; do not let the sun go down on your anger, 27 and do not give the devil an opportunity.”
We discuss what this means in “Is it Okay to Get Mad?” Suffice it to say that even godly anger is not sustainable. There are biblical principles that limit how long we’re to be angry. I hope that episode helps you understand them.
Okay, so those are the first two points. They’re mostly preliminary: get your mind right and make the time.
But this third point is the first confrontation, and you should all know what it is.
Take our previous studies, take everything you know about the Spiritual Weapon, the Communication House, peace, the Parents 5 Jobs . . . and even the name of this ministry.
3. We will never resolve conflict to God’s glory if we don’t speak Truth.
I don’t need to spend much time on this considering what we’ve discussed from day one on this show and in much greater detail over the past 6 episodes.
The first part of the spiritual weapon listed in Ephesians 6 is Truth.
II Corinthians 10:3-6 explains how this spiritual war of the mind is a war against what is true about God.
Romans 1 details the fall of men who reject God’s Truth.
Jesus says that He is the Truth.
Our theme verse, Ephesians 4:15 says, “Speaking the truth in love, we are to grow up in all aspects into Him who is the head, even Christ.”
And II Timothy 3:16 is just one of many verses that explain that God’s Word is the totality of the Truth we need for life and godliness on this earth (II Peter 1:3)
Biblical Conflict Resolution is not about making someone agree with me. It’s about all of us agreeing with God.
One of the universal truths about any kind of conflict is that no one person is 100% right while the other is 100% wrong. It happens from time to time. I’ve seen it, but generally both people involved are partially right and partially wrong.
It’s impossible for people in that position to come to any agreement on those terms. Neither one will want to accept where the other is clearly wrong.
But, with God’s absolute Truth as the goal, we’re both called to bend and move and change to align ourselves with Him. Conflict Resolution is simply two or more people discovering what God has to say and encouraging each other to do that.
That’s the only way a true, non-compromising resolution and reconciliation can be achieved.
I hope you’re encouraged. I hope you’re seeing that though this may be the beginning of a long journey for you and your family, it will be worth it.
The Spiritual War is waging, you’re can’t control that. But you can be used by God to help your family have victory in their battle.
Please share this episode on your favorite social media outlets. Conflict Resolution is parenting 101, and we all need to do it better.
Don’t forget about Counselor@TruthLoveParent.com. We’re here to help, and we promise to use God’s Truth to help you and your family be reconciled to each other and to Him.
And remember, if we want our children to grow up into Christ, we must parent in truth and love.
To that end, join us next time as we look at the final 3 stages of Biblical Conflict Resolution.
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