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There Is a Better Way to Deal with Family Conflict

No one can escape conflict no matter how hard they try. It makes us who we are and partly explains why we are the way we are. Just like pain, conflict is necessary to grow.

One of the biggest lies to believe says it’s possible to live without conflicts. Sincerely, as much as I’d like to believe it myself, it is not true. Conflicts are products of our differences and uniqueness, so to deny this out of fear of conflict is to live in denial of who we truly are. This in itself is a ticking time bomb.

Paul wrote,

“Let each of you look not only to his own interests, but also to the interests of others.”

Philippians 2:4

and

“For there must be factions among you in order that those who are genuine among you may be recognized.”

1 Corinthians 11:19

Family Conflicts in the Bible

Issues, such as family conflicts, are as old as humanity itself. Think about Cain and Abel, the first two siblings from the first family on earth. Consider how far that conflict went and how it ended—Cain killed his brother Abel.

How about the conflict in the home of the father of the faith, Abraham? Think about the separation between Abraham and his nephew, Lot, or when Sarah wanted Hagar and Ishmael sent away against Abraham’s will.

In the New Testament, look at the family of our Lord Jesus Himself. John 7:5 tells us, 

“For even his brothers did not believe in him.”

John 7:5

Possibly, there were those close to him that even considered Him an embarrassment.

Jesus made it clear that offenses would always happen in people’s lives. In fact, receiving Jesus and changing one’s life would be the reason for some of the conflicts some homes would go through.

“They will be divided, father against son and son against father, mother against daughter and daughter against her mother, mother-in-law against her daughter-in-law and daughter-in-law against her mother-in-law.”

Luke 12:53

However, conflicts are not meant to cause havoc in homes and families. Conflicts are not meant to break homes, as we sometimes see them do. They are not meant to destroy us inside out. We can have conflicts and still bounce back stronger together.

How Does the Bible Tell Us to Deal with Family Conflict? 

1. Move to resolve it as soon as possible.

“If your brother sins against you, go and tell him his fault, between you and him alone. If he listens to you, you have gained your brother.”

Matthew 18:15

2. Communicate, listen objectively, and don’t jump to conclusions. 

“Know this, my beloved brethren. Let every man be quick to hear, slow to speak, slow to anger.” 

James 1:19

 3. Be willing to place value over ego, and choose peace.

“A soft answer turns away wrath, but a harsh word stirs up anger.”

Proverbs 15:1

 4. Pray over your family and the issue.

“Therefore confess your sins to one another, and pray for one another, that you may be healed. The prayer of a righteous man has great power in its effects.”

James 5:16

What Happens When We Deal with Conflicts in Healthier Ways?

1. We develop a better understanding of each other’s differences.

2. We build a stronger bond not so easily broken.

3. We establish an atmosphere not laced with toxicity.

4. We can live as an example of a godly family.

5. We keep the evil one from his agenda of breaking our home.

6. We save our family and our children from the damages that unresolved conflicts can cause.

It is true that conflicts carry the potential to tear us apart, and they can be very hurtful when they occur coming from people we love and care about. However, with wisdom and proper understanding, and the help of the Holy Spirit, we can quench them before they destroy our relationships. 

You do not want to deny yourself the great blessing of knowing that you did the right thing to keep your family together according to the will of God.

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