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.
About the Author
Ash Narayan, JD, MA, earned his BS in Accounting from Valparaiso University, his JD from Loyola Law School of Los Angeles, and his MA in Theology from Concordia University. Pursuing his passion for education, he rededicated himself to Jesus and began studying God’s Word and followed God’s calling to help the poor and marginalized become self-sufficient. Applying his legal and business skills,
Ash cofounded the Gethsemane Project to partner with churches throughout the world in developing sustainable ministries. Over the past fifteen years, they have successfully built sustainable orphanages, schools, and children’s homes in Mexico, Uganda, Sri Lanka, and Haiti as well as a sustainable ranch and school in Cambodia for victims of human trafficking.
After a long business career, Ash transitioned into full-time ministry, coaching men and couples to help them grow healthy Christian relationships. He facilitated workshops and retreats with the nationally acclaimed Relationship Lifeline program and has successfully co-led the Anchored ministry at his home church, Mariner Church in Irvine, California.
Ash works closely with Transforming Families Global Initiative, a ministry that educates, equips, engages, and encourages men and women, enabling them to discover, develop, and deepen healthy, authentic God-given intimacy within all their relationships. Ash and the founder of Transforming Families, Dr. Randell Turner, have coauthored two books, Transformational Life and Relationship Foundations.
Ash has attended Mariners for over twenty-three years where he has served in numerous leadership roles. He and his wife, Amy, have been married for twenty-four years, and they have two sons (and two dogs).