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In trying to resolve conflict we usually take easy ways out.

First, we avoid it. Running from it, pouting about it, and pretending it's not really happening seem initially more inviting than actually facing the conflict.

If avoidance doesn't work we try intimidation. We threaten, cry, create power blocks, and quote Scripture .

Sometimes we can't successfully intimidate, so we manipulate. This involves enticement, bribery, and withholding everything from sex to personal influence.

Our final solution is usually deflection. Instead of focusing on the real issue, we deflect off it to issues that are safer, more urgent, and more comfortable.

None of these work.

We should, instead, try to first establish a solid foundation for conflict resolution in each situation. Ask these questions: "Why do we need to resolve this? Do our mutual best interests require that we resolve this? Is resolving this a part of our Christian commitment, or a part of our marriage vows?" "I vowed in our marriage to love and ...

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