What would humility actually look like within our conflicts?
Dr. Greg and Erin Smalley are marriage and family experts, but that doesn’t mean there’s an absence of conflict in their own marriage! Greg shares his own epiphany in the aftermath of a recent fight with Erin – pride creates conflict.
Pride is a killer of intimacy because it assumes you are the better and right one in every conversation. Greg had wrestled with pride in his life, which showed up as long, drawn-out discussions until he wore down the other person and won the argument.
Greg asked Erin directly: what would my humility look and feel like in our future disagreements?
Humility looks like refocusing and giving your full attention. Erin used 1 Corinthians 13 as a barometer for her response.
“It was definitely obvious during the conversation that it didn’t matter what I said, because he was so shut down he really wasn’t hearing what I was saying.”
Humility in conflict means that each person is seeking to understand, listening with their full body, and assuming the best of intentions.
Instead of trying to change your stance, go to the Lord and asking Him to do a work in your heart. All of this ties back to James 4:10.
“Humble yourself before the Lord and He will lift you up in honor.”
The antidote for pride is humility. But how do we get there?
Ask God for His help. Ask Him to show you the other person’s perspective, and take a break if things get too heated.
Erin says this can be an important thing to remember in conflict.
“There’s something powerful about walking away [when] you’re so closed down. Yet [in walking away], be obedient and take the time to go spend some brief time with the Lord. Humble yourself before Him again, and that changes you.”
When we’re following Jesus, we have a partner in this process in the Holy Spirit. Erin explains.
“We have that opportunity because we have the Holy Spirit within us. That’s how we get humble. That’s how we show up so differently.”
Key Scriptures: James 4:10