Therefore be imitators of God as dear children. And walk in love, as Christ also has loved us and given Himself for us, an offering and a sacrifice to God for a sweet-smelling aroma. Ephesians 5:1-2.
Guest Blog by Ash Narayan, Author of Loving Through Conflict
Following the example of God in all areas of life is a recipe for success. It is especially important with respect to how we behave in a conflict where the flesh can dominate our thinking and actions. Ephesians 5:2 makes clear that Christians imitate God when they walk in His love. Imitators, as used here, means likeness and similarity. We must depend on God in all our actions and not rely on our independent success. Our close relationship with God should be both the reason for our imitating Him and the motive that prompts us. Believers have been adopted into God’s family and should exhibit the family resemblance. As God’s dearly loved children, we live our lives out of the love we have already experienced from the Father. Our love is to imitate God’s love.
Loving Through Conflict
By Ash Narayan
Politics, social justice, the COVID-19 pandemic, church ministry, and marriages are just a small sample of the myriad of issues causing division across the world today. Never before are Christians more divided on these issues and others. In addition, an emerging trend that has created tension and division among Christians is centered on ideology. Christianity’s fundamental beliefs and truths are no longer commonly accepted. Movements such as social justice and moral relativism dominate academia and the teaching and culture of the younger generation. These progressive movements are the cause of substantial conflict among Christians who steadfastly proclaim their love for the same God. While conflicts are inevitable and have existed since the Fall, what is troubling is how Christians are managing conflicts.
Conflicts, if left unresolved, rob us of the joy that healthy relationships bring. While conflict resolution is a laudable goal, many conflicts will be left unresolved. Accordingly, we need to address a different reality. As Christians, we need to learn to live well with each other in and through our conflicts. Jesus modeled essential principles such as compassion, kindness, empathy, humility, gentleness, and patience, all of which help us face conflict.
More importantly, Jesus is the conduit of God’s overflowing love. Love is relationship glue. When Christians love each other well with commitment and perseverance, they can avoid many of the conflicts illustrated. When any relationship experiences conflict, love can preserve, redefine, and strengthen the relationship, even if the underlying issue that caused the conflict is not resolved. God is all about relationships and wants to teach you how to be Loving Through Conflict.
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