Resolving conflicts in a respectful manner builds on Christian principles as well. As Christians, we are called to “be quick to listen, slow to speak, slow to become angry” (James 1:19). This directly applies to conflict resolution within our relationships! Moreover, the Bible also states that we can experience anger, but it does not mean that we should allow this anger to disrespect or devalue our partner: “be angry, but do not sin” (Eph 4:26). Finally, the Scripture also states that we are to address conflict in a timely manner: “do not let the sun go down on your anger” (Eph 4:26).
If faith is important to you, then consider how resolving conflicts and showing grace to your partner falls in line with your religious beliefs. In sum, grace is a gift that is given without merit. In other words, when we show grace to someone, we choose to be loving and forgiving towards them, even if we don’t feel that the other person deserves it.
Extending grace to your partner allows you to develop your ability to be like Christ, purely gracious and merciful. When we display grace to the loved one, we are not trying to fix them, but we wait for God to work in us and in our partner. Christ still loves us even though we continue to fall into sin our entire lives.
So, knowing that, can you challenge yourself to show grace to your partner even though you may not always feel that he or she deserves it? If you feel that this step can be difficult for you, remember the time when someone else extended grace to you. You may not have deserved it, but you were given grace anyway. What was it like for you? What did you feel like when this happened? Why do you think it’s important to extend grace to your partner in this relationship? Reflecting on these questions can make it easier for you to extend grace to your loved one even in difficult times, when you may be arguing or disagreeing with each other.