One can only imagine the conversation between our first parents immediately following their expulsion from the Garden of Eden. Adam had already blamed Eve. Do you think she took that lying down? Perhaps Adam and Eve had received the correction of God and were humbled in the process. But we know for certain that it didn’t take long for communications to break down and for conflicts to ensue. The murder of Abel by Cain, his older brother, removes all doubt.
As children of Adam and Eve we fall into conflict with each other naturally. But as Christians, we have been given a new identity in Christ and as such we must learn to speak, to forgive, and to love one another in a whole new way.
The principle commands of the Bible are to love God and to love your neighbor as yourself. The love that we are commanded to give is a love that is quick to listen and quick to forgive.
Love is patient and kind; love does not envy or boast; it is not arrogant or rude. It does not insist on its own way; it is not irritable or resentful; it does not rejoice at wrongdoing, but rejoices with the truth. Love bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things (1 Cor. 13:4-7).
Such love does not grow naturally out of the human heart. It must take root by means of discipline and hard work. Whether in relationships between husbands and wives, between parents and children, or in any other setting, we must labor hard to develop new patterns of speech. We must engage ourselves to be quick to forgive one another. We must put the other first and put ourselves last. As we do—as we develop Christian communication and godly conflict resolution—we will enter into new and blessed relationships that the fallen children of Adam can only dream of.
It will be difficult. But by the grace of the Triune God, we can learn to communicate and resolve conflict well. The resources offered below will challenge you and will guide you in the way you must go.