Support us on Paypal
Contact Us
Watch 2022-2023 online sermons » Dr. Ed Young » Dr. Ed Young - Resolving Conflict

Dr. Ed Young - Resolving Conflict

  • Watch
  • Audio
  • Donate
  • Go to Store
    Dr. Ed Young - Resolving Conflict
TOPICS: Marriage, Conflicts

How many of you have had some kind of conflict in your marriage within the last decade, that's 10 years? Would you lift your hand and hold it up? Lift your hand if you're married, if you've had a conflict, lift it up, in the last decade. Hold it up. Hold it up. Everybody. In the last decade. All right, leave your hand up. If you've had a conflict in the last year keep your hand up. Those of you who lowered your hand, I'll deal with lying later. The bottom line is there is conflict in relationships. There is trouble. There is, we call it sometimes "fighting". Twentieth anniversary coming up for this couple and she thinks she'll hint to him what she'd like for her 20th anniversary. And she said, "I want something shiny that'll go from 0 to 180 in 3 seconds".

He thought about it and gave her some bathroom scales. That's when the trouble started. Another couple, he went with her to her 10th high school reunion. They were seated together at a table, and close by was another man at a table by himself, obviously drunk, obviously drinking. And the man said to his wife, "You keep looking over at him. Do you know him"? She said, "Oh, yes. That was my high school sweetheart". And she said, "I am told that after we broke up, he has been drinking constantly ever since". And her husband said, "My, it's unusual for someone to celebrate that long". That's when the trouble started. So we look back on marriage, and there's conflicts. There's fighting. There's disagreement. There's tension. There's trouble.

So we need to go back once again and look at the basic, fundamental definition of marriage. Genesis chapter 2. We've been over it. Listen again. God gave us marriage. He said we're to leave, cleave, one flesh, naked, no shame, that's it. Basic, fundamental picture, description, of marriage. The operative phrase in there is "one flesh". That divine math, 1 plus 1 equals 1, 1 flesh. And we go to the Bible. We see this thing of oneness is found all the way through. In John chapter 17 Jesus, just hours before the cross, he prays for all of us. Did you know there was a time in the Bible that God prayed for you and prayed for me? He prayed for us. And a part of his prayer is found in John 17, verse 21: "That they," that's all of us, "may be one; even as you, the Father, are in me and I in you, that they also may be in us, so that the world may believe that you sent me".

In other words, Jesus prayed as he is one with the Father, and we who are in Christ are one with him, that we may be one with the Father, the Father may be one with us, and we may be one with Jesus. It's all about three becoming one. It happens in the Trinity. God the Father, God the Son, God the Holy Spirit, three become one. It is all about oneness. So our Christian experience, our salvation in Christ, is parallel to marriage. It's the symbol. It's the illustration that is used for marriage, that they might be one. We see Paul expands on this in Ephesians chapter number 4. Tremendous expansion, he talks about oneness. Look how many times.

In Ephesians 4, look at verse 2. It says: "Showing tolerance for one another in love, being diligent to preserve the unity," that's oneness, "of the Spirit in the bond of peace. There is one body, one Spirit, just as also you were called in one hope of your calling; one Lord, one faith, one baptism, one God," look at verse 7: "But in each one of us grace". He talks about unity in verse 3. He talks about it in verse 12: "For the equipping of the saints for the work of service, to building up to the body; until we all attain to the unity," that is oneness. You have 12 different references in a handful of verses to, "One, one, one, one, one". One flesh. One in God the Father, God the Holy Spirit. One in the sense of all of our basic understanding of theology and doctrine. One, one, one. And then Paul gives us exactly what we need in life but especially in the intimacy of marriage and the covenant there.

Look at verse 15: "But speaking the truth in love". A lot of us are real good at speaking the truth. "Well, I'm gonna tell ya the truth". Hold on. A lot of us are good at love, "Oh, I wouldn't cross anybody, upset anybody," is just going to be so sweet, everything. And we're good at love. But the genius of marriage, and the genius of communication is being able to speak the truth in love. That's the challenge we have. Is it not? Jesus said there in John 14: "I am the way,'" and his way is the way of love, "I am the truth, and I'm the life". So we have love plus truth equals life. And we're talking about communication. And then in this very passage, Paul talks about how we live the Christian life. He talks about this way and this truth and this life. And he has two interesting little phrases. He says, "You've gotta take off the old, and you have to put on the new".

And that's what we're about, folks. We're always takin' off the old person, the old self, the old ideas, the old agenda, the old prejudices, the old pride, and we're putting on all the new. And that's putting on Christ. Take off the old. Put on the new. And then he gives us, as we'll see at the end of our study, two tremendous principles that are so vital and effective in marriage so two can really become one. When Jo Beth and I got married, I know, "Two are going to become one". And I was excited about it. But I thought it would be like E-D-W-I-N plus a little bit of J. She thought it would become J-O-B-E-T-H with a little bit of E. Yeah, she did. Not consciously. We didn't figure it out. But that's how we think. But it has become instead J-O-E-D, see? We got an equal part of this thing.

How do two things mold together? How does that happen? You could do it by freezing. Frozen, frozen, frozen, we come together. That's one way, isn't it? Well, that sure is cold. You could freeze things together. That's not marriage. You can take two personalities. You can melt them and they become one, and you can't tell one from the other. That's not two becoming one. That's not the way we're taught in marriage. You don't lose your identity, lose your personality. Two become one. Well, what happens? Marriage is an amalgamation. Know that word? It means "this one becomes this one, but this one keeps all the characteristics and this one keeps all the characteristics".

In marriage you need to have the feminine quality there. In marriage you need to have the masculine quality there. That's amalgamation. That's God's plan, two becoming one. But in the process today, let me say that a lot of marriages here are in what I call an S-O-S situation. Save our ship? No, save our marriage. And you've come to the point in your marriage you said, "Look, I can't go on any longer". You're thinking about divorce. And you're looking at all the ramifications of divorce. And you're in a S-O-S situation. Some marriages start like that in a bizarre way just almost immediately after you get married. Did you hear about the guy who got a job? He was so thrilled to get this new job. He told his wife to set the alarm to make sure he'd get up early and be there way ahead of time.

First day at work, new job. But she forgot to set the alarm. So they slept in an hour or two after he was supposed to be there. He awakened. He went ballistic. "You didn't set the alarm". And man, they get a knock-down, drag-out. In the process, they get so angry he reaches over and gets a pistol, and shoots her in the arm. I couldn't make this up. And he is walking out, and she gets his shotgun and shoots him in the other arm, in his arm. They call 911. The police come. The ambulance come. They take 'em to the emergency room. And they're handcuffed together. Oh, yeah. And one is workin' on his arm. One is workin' on her arm. And he says, "Baby, I'm sorry I shot you. I love you". And she says, "Baby, I'm sorry I shot you. I love you".

Now, boy, there is a country western song in the making. I think it would go somethin' like: "I shot you 'cause you didn't tick tock". And the female will say: "I shot you 'cause I love you a lot". This is our world. And sometimes, our marriage gets in a S-O-S situation. Let me give you some wise, godly counsel, okay? If your marriage is an S-O-S situation, whatever the reason, the shooting hasn't erupted yet, but you're there, divorce, I wanna ask you a question.

Is your marriage worth 30 minutes a day for 6 days? Would you be willing to give 30 minutes a day for 6 days, hoping there's some way for your marriage? Would you do that? Is it worth that? Okay. If it is, let me give you some clear instructions. It wouldn't hurt to write it down, but I don't wanna rush ya. Very practical instructions. Get two chairs. Find a room that's quiet, 30 minutes. Cut off everything else. Face one another. Get a clock that ticks, hopefully, where you can hear it. And each one of you have a Bible in your hand, okay? You're gonna spend 30 minutes there face to face for 6 days. That's all. Divide that 30 minutes into 6 segments. The first 5 minutes the husband and the wife thinks about what it's going to be like without that person.

Now, some of you say, "Oh, it's gonna be great". But think about relationships you've had with other couples that will be severed. You can bet on that. Think about all the ramifications of that person being totally, completely out of your life, which they never will be, by the way, even though you're divorced. But just think about that, okay? Think about the future totally without that person, 5 minutes. Nobody says a word. You're just facing each other. The second 5 minutes, you look inside your life. And see, "Have I brought anything to this conflict that we've reached this point of extremity"? Ask the question. This is the scariest question anybody can ask. "What is it like being married to me"?

Stay there for a while, ladies and gentlemen. Let the Holy Spirit meander around in your life for a while. And you'll begin to get some things that will maybe be shocking, realizations you never thought about. What's it like? Look inside second 5 minutes. Third 5 minutes, think about the children. And usually in a divorce you say, "Well, the children will be better off when, you know, there's not so much fighting". That may be true once in a while. But most of the time, that is not true. Think about those children, the pain of this situation for the rest of their life. So first of all, you look ahead without that person. You look within. You look at the children. Then the last 15 minutes, you begin to get active in this thing.

First of all, you look down and let 1 of you, remember, you're gonna do this for 6 days, read out loud 1 Corinthians chapter 13, 4 through 7: "Love is patient, love is kind and is not jealous; love does not brag and is not arrogant, does not act unbecomingly; it does not seek its own, is not provoked, does not take into account a wrong suffered, does not rejoice in unrighteousness, but rejoices with the truth;" fears most things? Bears most things? No, "Bears all things," believes some things? No, "Believes all things," hopes, oh, most of the things? No, "Hopes all things," endures, well, all, but... no, "endures all things".

So you'll read that, alternating for those 6 days, aloud, aloud. And then you look at the past. And then very succinctly let the husband say some moments they had together that was moments of great intimacy. Maybe walking on the beach. Maybe when a child was born. Maybe, I don't know. Just let one of them share those intimate moments or great memories. And let the other one intimate moments or great memories. Just 5 minutes, 5 minutes. And then we've looked in every direction but up. And in the last 5-minute segment look up. And just pray to God. You say, "Well, I don't pray out loud". I know, you guys. Just pray, "God, here I am," da-da. And just open your heart and your life.

Pray to God. And let the wife pray to God. Thirty minutes, six days, divided up into six five-minute sections. And it's a matter of how you look. Look ahead. Look within. Look at the children. Look down at the Word of God. You look back on great moments. And then you look up in prayer together. Now, if after 6 days there is still a divide that you cannot get across, seek godly, biblical counseling. But there's another kinda marriage here. There's a so-so marriage, you know? "How's your marriage"? "Well, I'm just existing. I'm holding on. We have some tough times, but you know, there's nothing exciting about it. There's nothing creative about it. There's not a lot of fun. I'm just sort of existing. I'm hanging on until, until, until, until".

Is your marriage so-so? If it is, wouldn't it be fabulous if you got to the point that you would go and say, or I would go and say, "I want some wisdom"? "I want some wisdom about my marriage. Where in the world could I find somebody who has this kind of wisdom"? Read the Book of Proverbs. Solomon was given diving wisdom, and he has, guess what, written it down for us. And it's not tough to understand. Let me give ya a little wisdom from Proverbs if your marriage is so-so. Look at it. "Watch the path of your feet and all your ways will be established," Proverbs 4:26, see? Oh, it's, you've gotta first of all decide, "Where am I"?

You know, get a location. Understand yourself. You can't change your mate. You've tried that a long time. It doesn't work, does it? But you can see where you are. That's where you start. Look at the next thing you find in Proverbs: "A brother offended is harder to be won than a strong city, and contentions are like the bars of a citadel". When you have animosity between you and your mate or a member of your family particularly, how hard it is to re-establish that. It's like trying to get into a city that's fortified with high walls. It is so, so difficult. We have to understand that.

Look at the next word from Proverbs. It's very, very clear for us. "He who troubles his own house will inherit the wind, and the foolish will be the servant to the wisehearted". "He who troubles his own house will inherit the wind". Listen, who should you spend more time with, more patience with? Who should you love more, give more leeway? Who should you encourage more? Who should you be a fan of? Who should you cheer for? Who should you try to build everything in that life more than any other person on the planet? And some people give all of this to others, but never to the husband or to the wife. What we've done, ladies and gentlemen, in marriage, we have cultivated the tree of marriage. And we've fertilized it. It has grown. And the tree begins to be fruitful.

Then in a rash moment we take an axe and cut down our own tree. And this proverb says we will inherit the wind. What does that mean? Well, it means somebody has died and they've left the last will and testament, and the executor is reading it, and you are there, and I am there, and we're so excited to see what we're going to get. And so the executer say, "To Homer Edwin Young, I bequest wind". "Wind? Is that all I got? Wind"? What is wind? Nothing. We have taken our own homes and sabotaged them. And we've inherited wind. And said, "That's people that are stupid, not people that are wise". Cut down your own tree? Inheriting wind?

Let me tell ya the secret of all of this quickly. It's very important. It's found there in Ephesians 4. It says: "Don't let the sun go down on your anger, on your wrath". What does that mean? It means you stay up late a lot of nights until you get your hearts together with your mate. Doesn't mean you may agree on things. There's some things Jo Beth and I will never agree on. But we stayed up late a lot of times until we got our hearts together. "Don't let the sun go down on your wrath," because it festers. And a hurt heart becomes a bruised heart, a cold heart, a hard heart, and can end up being an apathetic heart.

And that's the deadliest picture of all, when the husband or wife says, "I just don't care. I'm through. I don't care". "Don't let the sun go down on your wrath". The last verse here is so important. It says, "Be ye kind," I'm on marriage, one to another, "tenderhearted," one to another. "Be ye kind, be you tenderhearted, forgiving one another, even as God for Christ's sake hath forgiven you". In summary, let me give you the operative word for communication and for a successful marriage. And it is the word "humility".

James 4:6 says: "God opposes the proud". How 'bout that? If I'm prideful in my marriage, I won't go and humble myself, God opposes me. Anybody think you're gonna beat God? "If God is for you, who can be against you"? If God is against you, who can be for you? Would you tell me that? "God opposes the proud," but look, "he gives grace to the humble".

Let me tell ya, husband, wives, let me give you 12 words that I guarantee you will revolutionize your marriage, guaranteed. Here they are: "I was wrong". Would everybody say that with me?... Some lady back here, she couldn't do that. Let's all, all say that again. "I was wrong". Okay. Important part if we're going to communicate and have humility. Next phrase: "I am sorry". You have to be really sorry. Number three: "Please forgive me". Let me try that again. Maybe I'm going too fast for some. "Please forgive me"... "I love you". And I use those 12 words many times in marriages, but I've added 3 more: "I need you". Would you say that?
Are you Human?:*