Dr. Draper Rogers: Conflict in Marriage

What is conflict?  Conflict is defined and described in many ways, a fight, a battle, a war, competitive or opposing ideas or interests, or an opposition of persons or forces.

When I reflect on the thought of conflict, my mind goes to basketball.

Photo courtesy of Dr. Draper Rogers.

When I was growing up, I was a huge Michael Jordan fan.  I was a fan in his early days with the Chicago Bulls.  Growing up, I was not too fond of the Detroit Pistons because they always beat the Bulls when they played.  I remember the games of them beating up on Jordan.  Recently, I learned that the way the Pistons beat up on Jordan was part of their strategy.  They called the strategy the Jordan rules.  The Jordan rules or rule was straightforward.  Whenever Jordan touched the ball and drove into the lane, the Pistons would foul him hard to put him on the floor.  The rules worked!  The Pistons beat the Bulls numerous times using those rules.

It is safe to say that Michael Jordan experienced conflict when he played against the Detroit Pistons.

What did Jordan do?  Did he tuck his tail and run?  No, he decided that he needed to get stronger.  He dedicated himself to getting stronger to withstand the hard fouls coming his way when he played the Pistons.

In marriage, you will have conflict.  Some of it will serve to better you if you allow it to.  Please understand that I am not talking about abuse.  What I am referring to when I say conflict is disagreements between a husband and a wife.  Conflict can either strain your marriage or strengthen your marriage.  Conflict strains a marriage when not handled properly.

However, when couples decide to face conflict head-on, they, in turn, strengthen their marriage.  It is through conflict that a couple grows together, and their love for one another deepens.  A mature couple understands they seek a win-win solution that satisfies both spouses in conflict.  The key to successfully navigating the conflict in marriage is for a couple to remember that they are to put the needs of their spouse ahead of their own (Philippians 2:4.)

My takeaway from learning about the Jordan rules and how Jordan and the Bulls decided to overcome them is that they did not let conflict stop them from achieving what they wanted.

What about you?

In your quest to have a Christ-exalting marriage, you will have conflict with your spouse.  Will you give up and quit, or will you see it as an opportunity to grow, learn, and mature into the man or woman God wants you to be?

Dr. Draper Rogers is Pastor of Young Families at Gardendale First Baptist Church and a contributor to The North Jefferson Herald.