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.


L- Lonely

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.



Posted by Steve Sague with


John 3:1-21


How many of us know someone who is _that close_ to being part of God’s kingdom — and yet isn’t there yet? In today’s NT reading, we are introduced to someone who fits this description: a very moral Pharisee named Nicodemus. Nicodemus is a prominent teacher of the Mosaic Law and a member of the Sanhedrin. He understands that Jesus has been sent from God, and recognizes the miracles that Jesus is performing are from God.


So what is Nicodemus missing? Belief. That word is repeated 7 times in this passage—and is a major theme in the book of John—so it’s worth unpacking what John means. 


Belief is not an affirmation that Jesus is a cool guy that can do some miracles, nor an acknowledgement that Jesus was sent from God; Nicodemus already understands these things. No, belief is a _trust_ in the person and work of Jesus. A trust that His redemptive work on the cross is necessary and sufficient to give us eternal life (v.14-16). It’s accepting the free gift of eternal life for ourselves.


We’ll see Nicodemus later in John’s gospel, helping to bury Jesus after the crucifixion (John 19:38-40). Did he end up understanding and accepting God’s salvation? Possibly. But what about you? If you haven’t accepted God’s free gift yet, what are you waiting for?



Posted by Erik Brommers with

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