Guest Blog by Ash Narayan, Author of Loving Through Conflict
Nothing feels worse than after you have had an argument or disagreement with a family member, friend, or even a co-worker. Your mind races through a plethora of emotions including, but not limited to, anger (how could the other person treat you that way), self-righteousness (you believe you were correct or justified in your position), regret (you may have said something you would like to take back), and sadness (you hurt and know the other person may hurt as well). As a Christian, you may also feel like your behavior has disappointed and grieved God.
In His creative design, God gave us free will, and in doing so, there was an expectation that we would be in conflict. Although He made us in His image, He created each of us to be unique. Of the seven billion people on earth, no two people even have the same fingerprints. This uniqueness naturally results in differences in opinions, purposes, goals, and desires, often leading to conflict. However, a biblical view of conflict creates both a pathway to resolution and the preservation of relationships. God is not surprised, dismayed, or overwhelmed by conflict as we often are. While God cares about our opinions, purposes, goals, and desires, He cares about us even more, both as individuals and together in community. Thus, the conflict becomes another means for Him to demonstrate His love for us and the love for each other and provides an opportunity for us to glorify Him.
The next time you have an argument or disagreement, remember that God is not surprised. He is going to use this as an opportunity to love you and give you the chance to show love to others. Embrace this opportunity, and your emotions will change from anger, self-righteousness, regret, and sadness to joy, compassion, remorse, and peace. God will show you the way to love through conflict.
Loving Through Conflict
“There are some books you read for pure joy and relaxation and then there are books that become a resource even after you have read it. After 48 years in ministry as a pastor, I have set Ash Narayan’s book Loving Through Conflict in the resource section of my library to pull out and encourage others to read. This book expresses beautifully biblical principles for conflict resolution that lead a person in a process to bring peace in any relationship. Most of the individuals and couples I have worked with are in my office because they didn’t possess a conflict resolution process and when conflicts go unresolved, they rob people of the healthy relationships God desires them to have. I am grateful that Ash wrote this book and I am also grateful he models these principles in his own private life.”
Eric Heard: Pastoral Ministries, Mariners Church
“In the world today, culture sews seeds of dissent and division with conflict as the inevitable fruit. While society may view conflict as an adversarial win-lose scenario, as Christians, we are called to take a different posture when approaching conflicts occurring within the body of Christ. A posture that prioritizes the preservation of relationships.
In Loving Through Conflict, Ash Narayan insightfully expounds upon this concept with a gentle, direct, and practical approach. From dissecting the nature of conflict under a biblical lens, to identifying foundational relational principles, Narayan shepherds the reader through various examples of conflict that may seem all too familiar.
Additionally, the material provides tools to navigate conflicts in a way that honors God. Loving Through Conflict has given me a new lens through which to view conflict as an opportunity to follow in Lord Jesus’ footsteps. Utilizing this book as a study guide in a Men’s life group has provided opportunity for revelational discussion, and enabled Men to approach dissonance in their relationships with a new, more potent vigor; One that demonstrates humility, forgiveness and enables reconciliation.:
Matthew Smith: Co-Leader Anchored Ministry
“My life group was studying the book, Loving Through Conflict, when I ran into yet another conflict with one of my children. Thanks to the book and the ensuing discussions, I was able to use the principles in the book to help address the crisis. The Lord clearly brought back to me the things I had learned and as I intentionally listened to my child the entire situation changed. It was the answer to 46 years of prayer. I am so grateful for Loving Through Conflict and the discussions that resulted. It has changed my relationship with my child and set about restoring the breach.”
Judi Westberg: Irvine, CA
I hope today’s blog has encouraged you. Make sure you sign up to receive blogs posted every week. At TransformingFamilies.org, our resources are designed to guide you through the restoration process of developing your heart, mind, and strength, enabling you to become the man or woman God created you to be.
I also provide one-on-one coaching; if you want to improve your relationships, let’s connect through e-mail at ‘email@example.com’. My hope for you is that through these blogs, references, and resources, God will transform you from being bruised or broken to an abundantly blessed child of God.