I think one of the greatest events of a family’s day is when Mom or Dad calls out, “Time for dinner!” Why? Because dinner together is great for conflict resolution. Why again? It is all about the blood sugar.
Ok. Let’s back up. Marriage makes for conflict. And marriage needs tools to resolve conflict amicably. So think about conflict resolution using the letters HALT and S.
H - Hungry
Don’t have a conflict when hungry. The wisdom of “time for dinner” as a priority brings the family together to talk things out. Food also makes us happy because our blood sugar is stabilized and problems are just not as big. So eat and talk.
A - Angry
Don’t fight angry. Take a moment to say, “I need a moment to prepare my thoughts.” Process what are the facts and what are the emotions. What is the result you would like to see? When you do get together, maybe go for a walk. Start with humor to lower the intensity. “How ‘bout them Cowboys?” is sometimes good. Be sure to pray. God is the great Referee.
Don’t fight lonely. Try to restore the relationship first with a great question. “How are you? How was your day? Talk to me goose?” (a movie reference). Say, “You are not alone. I married you!”
T - Tired
Don’t fight tired. Perspectives change when you are exhausted. Do not make major decisions. Schedule a time to talk after some rest and without interruptions from children. Coffee date?
Sure. Talking is better when rested.
and S - Sex
Sex is a great stress reliever and unifier. Of course starting conflict resolution with HALT may lead to S. Or S may lead to lowering the crisis level so a couple can talk using HALT. To paraphrase 1 Cor. 7: 3-5 “Thou SHALT be intimate” is scriptural but is not always in that order. When to be intimate is the individual couple’s decision.
So married couples, remember conflict is normal. Hopefully HALT and S may help you process with a clear mind, become a closer family and be more dependent on God.