Archive for April 22, 2016

Pastor Kong’s and Pastor Sun’s Sermon 17, April, 2016 Relationship Builders Part 3

Marriage is a complicated relationship between 2 people.
There are disagreements, preferences and conflicts.
After all, 2 people cannot agree all the time.
Some conflicts are minor irritants. Other conflicts can be overwhelming.

2 types of conflicts: those can be resolved and those cannot be resolved.

1. Perpetual and unsolvable conflict

Argument over same issues again and again.
For example,  the way to rise children, the frequency of sexual intimacy and when to have kids.
Pastor Kong and Sun themselves have constant arguments over ministry.
Pastor Kong wanted to emphasize mission a lot more.
Pastor Sun wanted to emphasize the spiritual growth of the home base (that is CHC)

We do not have to resolve all perpetual problems for marriage to thrive.
In fact, if we can have a sense humor, we can handle this perpetual conflict.

But, when do we really need to deal with unsolvable conflict?

1. We feel rejected by our partner
2. We condemn each other during conversations.
3. We are unwilling to compromise.
4. We disengage from each other emotionally.

How do we deal with unsolvable conflict? Pastor Kong and Sun will cover it in the next weekend’s sermon.

2. Solvable problems

This is less heart wrenching.
Hence, we need to solve it head on.

Sometimes, solvable problems escalate to become perpetual problems.
This is due to perpetual problem: big underlying issue of hidden, deeper issues in disputes.

Solvable problems involve no hidden, deeper issue in disputes.
We can solve solvable problems: we need to handle them with good manners and respect.
There must no shouting match.
Very often, we handle friends and acquaintances with manners and respect.
However, we often don’t handle spouses with the same manners and respect.

John 13:34, Rm 5:5, 1 Cor 13:4-5
We are already equipped for this.
The Holy Spirit pours God’s love to us and helps us to love others.

Often in the heat of the argument, we use hurtful words to our spouses.
We also often remember spouses’ past mistake.
This will just make solvable conflict worse

Eph 4:31
Clamor = yelling, screaming, shouting.
To God, yelling is as bad as bitterness.
When we are angry, we often do not give spouse a chance to speak.

Proverb 13:3
A quick interruption can ruin everything

Col 4:6
As Christians, we must always communicate in love even when the spouse does not deserve it.

4 things that almost guarantees a divorce:

1. Criticism
Especially when we want to get to the bottom of the issue

2. Contempt
Disrespectful of each other.

3. Defensiveness

4. Stone walling
Switched off, refusing to confront the issues.
Emotional distance will widen. Spouses live separate lives.
Most couples divorce when they give up on friendship which is the bedrock of marriage.

5 steps to solve solvable conflict:

1. We should soften our start up
Proverb 15:1
Most discussions end on the same note as they begin with.
We do not attack the person.
Harsh start up: gradual build up of complaints or frustrations (that have been ignored). How to have soft start up?

– Be gentle. Calm down. God’s gentleness gives us rest. Our gentleness gives our spouse rest. Don’t discuss it until we calm down.
– Don’t use sweeping statements such as: never, always, everyday, everyone.
– Complain but don’t blame. Focus on the problem, not on the person.
– Be appreciative. Say: “Thank you” “I appreciate”
– Start with “I” and not “You”. “You” is a attack word.
– Don’t store things up. Don’t take too long to revisit the issue. Deal with it asap. If we store things up too long, they will resurface in an ugly way. We can be angry and not sin.

2. We make effective repair attempts.

Emotional “brakes” to prevent discussion from worsening.
When the argument is heated,  we need to apply the brake before the argument escalates into world war 3.
We listen to the words, not just the tone.
Following are the words which function as emotional brake.

Calming down
– This is important to me. Can you try to understand?
– Please help me to understand.
Feeling hurt
– Dear, I am getting scared.
– Did I do something wrong?
– Please don’t lecture me.
Feeling sorry
– I can see my part in all this
– My reactions were too extreme. Sorry.
Getting convinced
– I never thought of things that way.
– I see what you are talking about.
Urgently stopping
– I might be wrong here

3. Keep calm

When our heart beats too fast, we can’t think clearly.
We then should calm down.

4. Compromise

We need to compromise. It is giving up a certain individual right for the bigger picture of happy marriage.

Happy Marriage = husband’s happiness + wife’s happiness

Compromise is possible if we have done the previous 3 steps.
To compromise, we need to keep open mind to consider spouse’s point of view.
Compromise only works in positive environment. It does not work in yelling environment.

5. Become tolerant of each other’s faults

We need to be willing to accept spouse’s idiosyncrasies just like spouses accept ours.

To be loving Christians, it does not mean we become spineless and become door mats.
Love means we do not have to be right all the time.

Posted April 22, 2016 by Jefri Yue Fei 吴岳飞 in Kong Hee, Sermon, Sun Ho