A Speck, A Plank And Fighting Our Way To Great Relationships

by Yvonne Chase on August 7, 2017

Speck In Your Brother’s Eye
How do you fight? Do you fight or do you act as if all is well? Do you carry a big broom to sweep everything under the rug or do you confront issues as they arise? Are you picking out the speck in your brother’s eye before you look at the plank in your own eye?

Ridiculous Statement
As I write this post, I’m reminded of a seminar I attended where the lead facilitator talked about her marriage. She said, “In twenty-five years of marriage, my husband and I have only had one fight.” Everyone gave a standing ovation and claps to this ridiculous statement as if it is the standard and measure of a great relationship, meanwhile, I sat there wondering if she and her husband live under the same roof. 

Deep Denial
She continued on with another ridiculous statement along the lines of there’s no need to fight in any relationship and then she went on and on about how great their marriage is. Rubbish! Your marriage/relationship is not great if there’s no conflict. One of you is lying and both of you are living in deep denial. I don’t believe we wake up ready to fight, however, because we are all flawed human beings, fighting with each other is what happens on our best day. 

Baggage In Tow
Two people from two different walks of life living under the same roof with all of their faculties in tact and baggage in tow will fight. Don’t let anyone ever tell you differently. How ridiculous to even believe otherwise. Yet there are people ending great relationships and marriages every day. They believe the lie from the devil that if there is conflict, something is wrong with the relationship, therefore, it needs to end. Utterly ridiculous!

Presence Of Conflict
Now, if you’re fighting every day, something is definitely wrong and you need to get help, however, the presence of conflict itself does not mean end the relationship/marriage. On the reunion show of Married At First Sight, Sheila and Nate talked about getting a handle on the way they fight. If you watched the season, you know they need a lot of help. They both agree their marriage is doomed if they don’t change how they fight. Watch the video below and we’ll talk after…

Fighting Each Other
You think their marriage is doomed if they keep this up? One of the biggest mistakes we make when fighting in any relationship is fighting each other instead of fighting for the relationship. We’re in combat mode. Max Lucado says, “Conflict is inevitable, combat is optional.” When we fight each other, we attack, disrespect, and hurt feelings in a way that take a long time to get over. We get vicious, nasty and down right ugly. 

Speck Of Sawdust
I’m currently reading a book by noted Christian authors Dr. Greg and Erin Smalley. Greg is the Vice President of Family Ministries at Focus on the Family. In this role, Greg helps prepare individuals for marriage and parenthood, strengthen existing marriages and families, and provides support for couples and parents in crisis. They pulled a verse straight out of the Bible that will help us handle conflict in a healthy way:



You Hypocrite
Aren’t we all quick to point our finger at the other person when conflict arises? Verses 4 and 5 of that chapter continue on with:

How can you say to your brother, ‘Let me take the speck out of your eye,’ when all the time there is a plank in your own eye? You hypocrite, first take the plank out of your own eye, and then you will see clearly to remove the speck from your brother’s eye.

Respond Instead Of Reacting
Somehow, we can diagnose the faults of others to the letter yet we can’t see or we refuse to see ourselves. Before we focus on the other person, we need to look at the person in the mirror. Then and only then can we respond instead of reacting. Much of the conflict that happens in relationships is there because we react. When we take the time to respond, we deal with the plank in our own eyes. The plank could be:

  • Our emotions (fear, anger, sadness, disgust, shame and the list goes on and on.)
  • The buttons that were pushed (feeling unloved, disrespect, rejected, failed, controlled, abandoned, inadequate, not good enough, worthless, judged, invalidated, misunderstood, powerless, inadequate and the list goes on and on.)
  • Old wounds that were opened as a result of the baggage each of us carries.

Don’t See Clearly
Once we remove the plank from our own eye, we can now see clearly and understand what’s really going on. I’m sure we can all agree that we do a lot more harm than good when we don’t see clearly. 

Illuminate Our Own Faults
Let me close with this, we all have conflicts in our lives whether single or married. As singles, we have time on our side to get it right. Let’s ask Jesus to illuminate our own faults and then ask for His help to fix them. If we deal with ourselves now and get a handle on how to handle conflict in a healthy way, perhaps we will be easier to deal with when we enter romantic relationships.

Something to think about…

What say you? How do you handle conflict? 

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{ 12 comments… read them below or add one }

Marva | SunSparkleShine August 7, 2017

Thanks for touching on this touchy topic, Yvonne. Marriage is certainly worth fighting for and conflict is just one of those things we get to deal with together. Learning to address conflict in a healthy way will help us in any relationship.
Marva | SunSparkleShine recently posted…Letting Go | Finding the Strength you Need to FlyMy Profile


Yvonne Chase August 9, 2017


I think there’s a call on my life to touch on touchy topics. We can all do a better job of learning to address conflict and resolve it in a healthy way. Our relationships will thank us for it…
Yvonne Chase recently posted…Peter Wants A Wife And Rachel Needed A Proposal From AnybodyMy Profile


Becky Hastings August 9, 2017

I love that Max Lucado quote. Perfect for every true relationship.
Becky Hastings recently posted…Did You Miss the Boat?My Profile


Yvonne Chase August 10, 2017


100% perfect! Oh if we would just remember it….
Yvonne Chase recently posted…Peter Wants A Wife And Rachel Needed A Proposal From AnybodyMy Profile


Neca | The GreatBIGLife August 9, 2017

Hi Yvonne,

Yes and Yes! When teaching and counseling I would always say that conflict is natural, normal and necessary because the purpose of it is to draw us closer together. Thanks for sharing your thoughts!
Neca | The GreatBIGLife recently posted…How to Keep Emotions from Controlling Your LifeMy Profile


Yvonne Chase August 10, 2017


That’s great to hear. People need to know that conflict is inevitable in marriage. I remember when I sat in premarital class, our counselor said to us, it’s not so much about the conflict but how you both choose to handle it. Wise words…
And yes, the purpose of it is to draw us closer together even though we can’t see that in the midst…
Yvonne Chase recently posted…I Didn’t Mean To Marry My Parent But It Looks Like I DidMy Profile


Maree Dee August 10, 2017

I agree we all have conflict. It is normal and healthy. I worry more when someone says they have “no” conflict. How we respond to conflict is key. Thank you for your honest words of wisdom.
Maree Dee recently posted…What’s the Value in a Blog Link-up?My Profile


Yvonne Chase August 10, 2017

@Maree Dee,

Me too! I definitely when I hear others say they have no conflict and I run from men/potential mates who don’t expect conflict. To me, that’s a huge sign of immaturity.
Yvonne Chase recently posted…Hardness Of Heart, Decision Day, And Married At First SightMy Profile


Char August 10, 2017

Yay! I love your heart to share encouragement to those of us who don’t have a perfectly peaceful marriage. It seems to me conflict spurs action which can lead to growth. We’ve had lots of growth. Love the Smalley’s – his dad, Gary Smalley, was my hero and I read all his parenting and marriage books. Thanks Yvonne – for linking up on my site!
Char recently posted…An Open Letter About GriefMy Profile


Yvonne Chase August 10, 2017


If we view conflict from the right lens, it definitely can spur actions that can lead to growth. Their marriage books are really great. Love them!
Yvonne Chase recently posted…The Most Important Issue In Living Single And Marriage Is…My Profile


Emily Wood August 11, 2017

Love this quote:
“One of the biggest mistakes we make when fighting in any relationship is fighting each other instead of fighting for the relationship.”
To do this we must let go of our own pride so we value our marriage more than “winning” or “being right. Thank you for this post!


Yvonne Chase August 11, 2017


You’re so right. Holding on to our pride takes us down the path of “being right” and “winning” instead of doing what’s best for the relationship.
Yvonne Chase recently posted…Book Review: The Wellness RevelationMy Profile


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