Reflection: Knowing how to confront things is key and when it comes to family conflict, it’s rarely that one party is 100% right and the other is 100% wrong. How much of the conflict am I prepared to own before I accuse the other? What if rather than accuse, I take responsibility for my contribution to the conflict? What if I consider the other person’s perspective before mine and negotiate a solution from that place?
I’ve found that statements like ‘you always’ and ‘you never’ are rarely helpful and rarely actually true. Instead, it’s better to talk about my own thoughts and feelings, to keep it brief, and not demand an immediate response.
If I’m on the receiving end of loving correction, it’s best if I adopt a posture of quietness and stillness… as hopefully I would before God, but have rarely managed as well in my human relationships. I should let the other person speak until they finish, and rather than react it would be good to take some time out so that I can respond in a much better way after taking time to process the feedback honestly.
Giving and receiving feedback well is hard and best done with a very real understanding of the other person being made equally in the image of God, and respecting that they are of infinite value and worth. I don’t mean to sound sanctimonious when I say that… I really do think it makes a difference to our interactions.
Question: Do you need to practice phrases like ‘that makes sense”, “I can see that”, and “I’m sorry”? (I know I do!)
Prayer: Dear Lord, would you help me to be a ‘responder’ before I am a ‘reactor’ please? May I truly recognise that all those I am relationship with are equally made in your image and may I afford them all the value and worth that this demands. Amen.