Ecclesiastes 3:1 “To every thing there is a season, and a time to every purpose under the heaven:
2 A time to be born, and a time to die; a time to plant, and a time to pluck up that which is planted;
3 A time to kill, and a time to heal; a time to break down, and a time to build up;
4 A time to weep, and a time to laugh; a time to mourn, and a time to dance;
5 A time to cast away stones, and a time to gather stones together; a time to embrace, and a time to refrain from embracing;
6 A time to get, and a time to lose; a time to keep, and a time to cast away;
7 A time to rend, and a time to sew; a time to keep silence, and a time to speak;
8 A time to love, and a time to hate; a time of war, and a time of peace.”
In a previous article (“Don’t Avoid It”), I mentioned Amy’s wisdom in dealing with conflict that arose in our early years of marriage and my foolish avoidance of the same. An issue arose, though: Amy and I were at two extremes of dealing with conflicts. Amy naturally wanted to spend every waking moment dealing with every conflict that came up. I wanted to spend every waking moment avoiding any conflict that came up! 🙂 By God’s grace and through His Word, we were able to see that God always has a biblical balance to life.
Now, when I mention balance, I definitely am not referring to compromise or what are commonly called “gray areas”. As is very clear throughout scripture, there is God and Satan, good and evil (Eccl. 12:14), right and wrong, black and white, hot and cold. Allowing sin to creep into your life, your home, or your church is not balance. Lukewarmness is absolutely not accepted by our God (Rev. 3:16). Any “balance” that doesn’t come from God’s Word is not true balance; it is a “false balance”.
Proverbs 11:1 “A false balance is abomination to the LORD: but a just weight is his delight.”
Scales determine how much produce, etc… weighs and costs. Less technical scales use certain predetermined weights on one side of a scale to determine the weight of whatever product is on the other side of the scale. However, if a shopkeeper were to use “a false balance”, it would obviously skew the scale costing the customer more for the product.
Only God’s Word can perfectly and correctly balance your life and your home. Any “weight” we use (opinions, peer pressure, feelings) that does not come specifically from God’s Word can be skewed and as such are false balances.
Proverbs 16:11 “A just weight and balance are the LORD’S: all the weights of the bag are his work.”
Only “His/the Lord’s work” and God’s Word is a just weight.
With this in mind (God’s Word is a just weight; anything else is a false balance), let’s return to balancing conflict. From God’s Word (our text, Eccl. 3:1-8), we receive our “just weight” to determine the proper balance for dealing with conflict. From Eccl. 3, you can see that there are times for mourning and times for laughter; times to plant and times to pluck; times to build and times to break down; times of war and times of peace. You see, it is definitely important that you deal with any conflict in your marriage, but you must “balance” those heavier discussions with lighter times of fun and laughter.
Husbands/wives, if all of your time together is “war”, your good and proper desire to fix your marriage will wind up destroying your marriage. At the same time, if you spend your entire marriage avoiding conflict to “keep the peace”, an ugly war will break out destroying your home. Balance your times together with laughter and serious discussion.
Parent, if you spend every waking moment disciplining your children(“plucking up”; “breaking down”; “casting away”) without balancing your time with fun and memorable moments (“planting”; “building”; “embracing”), you will lose the very children you want to save. The Lord has guided this father to spend every day and even every correction balancing seriousness and silliness. The result has yielded a crop of children who abound with laughter, love, and obedience!
That is how to biblically balance conflict!