Retaliation vs. Reconciliation In Relationships

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As I've been reading through Fierce Marriage (get it here), written by Ryan and Selena Fredrick, it got me thinking about communication between couples (although it's true of any real relationship, as well). They talk about having a direct connection to each other's heart, which can be good or bad depending on where our own heart is at. Most (if not all) communication problems start out as heart problems. What the Fredrick's got me thinking about is how we communicate when we are in conflict (which will eventually happen in any relationship). When we are in real conflict with someone our communication falls into 1 of 2 basic categories: retaliation or reconciliation.

Here's what they say are the big differences:

Retaliation:

"... is never productive." (pg. 126)

"... is always selfish ..." (pg. 126)

Reconciliation:

"... is a steady marker of covenant love." (pg. 126)

"Reconciliation is intimate." (pg. 126)

When communication breaks down in any relationship, especially between husband and wife, the goal should be to restore the relationship through repentance and forgiveness in order to be in a better place to deal with the problem.

So, what are you seeking to accomplish with the way you communicate? Are you seeking to simply win the argument by any means necessary; or are you seeking to find understanding and common ground that can be built upon? Are you seeking to dominate or elevate? Are you taking responsibility for misspoken words and offering forgiveness for those words that hurt you?

Best Quotes from: From Weakness to Strength by Scott Sauls

Book Review: 5 Habits of a Healthy Marriage by Ryan Fredrick