Cities tolerate crazy people, Companies don’t. – Geoffrey West
Most people have at least one crazy person in their lives. It can be just about anyone. It can be someone in one of our relationships, but it could be your spouse. “The longer we are married, the crazier he or she seems to get until we put a plaque on our wall that says ‘But as for me and my crazy household, we will serve the LORD.’”
We hear things like: “home is where my crazy husband lives.” Or “families are a like sundae, they have a few nuts like my wife.” Or “weirdness doesn’t run in my family, it gallops.” And “I don’t have a favorite child, they all annoy me equally.” Then there is the “I check the kids into Kids programs at Northstar. Too bad I can’t check my husband into one as well.” And finally, “but remember when we get to church, or as far as anyone knows, we are a normal family.”
Ah, the wonder of marriage. The dirty socks on the floor. Being late. The way he chews. Putting his feet up on the furniture. Honey, it was on sale. Finishing her sentences. He sits on the couch watching sports and pretends he’s listening to you by saying “uh huh” every once in a while. Crying and then the occasional wailing. The wet towel left on the bathroom floor. The snoring. Constant criticism.
Like the relentless drip of a leaky faucet, those small, more typical than crazy things erode the goodwill that underlies all relationships and in its place conflict grows like crazy. Gradually, you begin looking for evidence that your spouse is a little wacky—and of course you find it. Irritations are inevitable in relationships. It’s just not possible to find another human being whose every quirk, habit, and preference aligns perfectly with yours. We each have differing values and ways of looking at the world, and we want different things from each other. You don’t just live with your spouse in your home, you also have to live with them in your head. It is a matter of perspective. The same can be true of other relationships as well.
It was actor Chris Pine who said, “The only thing you sometimes have control over is perspective. You don’t have control over your situation. But you have a choice about how you view it.” That makes sense to me. It requires some thought and asking the question: Do you you need to change your perspective on conflict? The answer is yes if we don’t factor God into the equation.
When we are involved in conflict, we must decide whether or not we will trust God. If we do not trust God, we will inevitably place our trust in ourself or someone else, which ultimately leads to the conflict deepening and remaining unresolved. On the other hand, if we believe that God is sovereign and that He will never let anything into our life unless it can be used for good (Romans 8:28), we will see conflicts not as accidents, but as assignments and opportunities.
This kind of trust glorifies God and inspires the faithfulness needed for effective resolution of relational conflicts. When we invest time in our relationship with God, He will pour out His love on us and at the same time gently convicting us that we need to change and that Jesus is our life-changer. John 16:8-11 says, “When he comes, he will prove the world to be in the wrong about sin and righteousness and judgment: about sin, because people do not believe in me; about righteousness, because I am going to the Father, where you can see me no longer; and about judgment, because the prince of this world now stands condemned.”
This week, pull the focus off of the conflict itself and develop God’s view. It will make sense of all the crazy around you.
1. Do you experience conflict from little crazy things?
2. Do you trust God or yourself in the midst of crazy moments?
3. What is the first step you can take to begin trusting God in the midst of conflict?
4. Pray and ask God to lean on Him in every conflict.