Your Marriage Can Be Saved #20: How to Care-front When in Conflict

(Munson Park) 

David Augsburger, in his excellent little book Caring Enough to Confront, teaches us how to effectively communicate in marriage and relationships when we are in conflict. He sees four communication options in conflict and finds them all lacking even though they are much used.

He gives us a fifth option, using Ephesians 4:15, which says: “therefore speak the truth in love; so shall we fully grow up into Christ.” Here we are told, in communication, to be both truthful and loving or, in Augsburger’s words, both confronting and caring. Practically, here’s what this means.

Work at communicating  both caring and confronting in the middle of marital or relational conflict. The table below shows the attitudes to have and hold to.

CARING

CONFRONTING

I care about our

relationship

I feel deeply about

the issue at stake

I want to hear

your view

I want to clearly

express mine

I want to respect

your insights

I want respect

for mine

I trust you to be

able to handle my

honest feelings

I want you to

trust me with yours

I promise to stay

with the discussion

until we reach an

understanding

I want you to keep

working with me

until we’ve reached

An understanding

I will not trick,

pressure, manipulate,

or distort the

differences

I want your

unpressured, clear,

honest view of our

differences

I give you my loving,

honest respect

I want your

caring-confronting

response

 For more explanation Augsburger’s book can be purchased on amazon.com for about $10 – a great investment! Why not get the book and read it with your significant other? Discuss, learn, grow.

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