In the intricate dance of human relationships, conflicts are inevitable. From minor disagreements to full-blown feuds, navigating these challenges is key to fostering emotionally healthy connections. Week 4 of our journey towards emotional well-being focuses on the art of fighting clean – a crucial skill for resolving conflicts constructively and nurturing thriving relationships.

Understanding Conflict

Conflict, in its various forms, spans a spectrum. From silent tension to explosive arguments, it’s essential to recognize that conflict, in itself, isn’t inherently negative. However, how we choose to engage with it can significantly impact the outcome. Dirty fighting tactics such as the silent treatment, blame-shifting, or name-calling only serve to deepen wounds and breed resentment.

Blessed are the peacemakers, for they will be called children of God.“

Matthew 5:9

Pursuing True Peace

Jesus, our ultimate example, didn’t shy away from conflict. He confronted injustices, challenged norms, and spoke truth to power. His actions teach us that true peace isn’t achieved by avoiding tension but by addressing it head-on. By disrupting false peace, we create space for authentic reconciliation and growth.

The Path to Clean Fighting

At the heart of clean fighting lies a commitment to the relationship. It’s about engaging in a respectful dialogue rather than resorting to destructive behaviors. Here’s a roadmap for navigating conflicts with grace and maturity:

1. Seek Permission: Approach the conversation respectfully, acknowledging the importance of the issue.

2. State the Problem: Clearly articulate the issue at hand, focusing on observable behaviors rather than assumptions.

3. Express Importance: Share why the issue matters to you, emphasizing the value of mutual respect and understanding.

4. Use “I” Statements: Own your feelings and experiences without placing blame on the other person.

5. Make a Request: Clearly communicate your needs or boundaries, offering a path forward for resolution.

6. Listen with Empathy: Allow space for the other person to share their perspective, demonstrating genuine care and understanding.

7. Negotiate and Agree: Collaborate on finding a solution that honors both parties’ needs and concerns.

8. Review and Reassess: Schedule a follow-up to evaluate the effectiveness of the agreement and make adjustments if necessary.


Contrary to popular belief, conflict isn’t a sign of a failing relationship but rather an opportunity for growth. Research suggests that the initial moments of a disagreement are crucial, often determining its trajectory. By approaching conflicts with humility, empathy, and a willingness to apologize and reset when needed, we can transform moments of tension into opportunities for deeper connection.

Matthew 18:15-17

”If your brother or sister sins, go and point out their fault, just between the two of you. If they listen to you, you have won them over. But if they will not listen, take one or two others along, so that ‘every matter may be established by the testimony of two or three witnesses.’ If they still refuse to listen, tell it to the church; and if they refuse to listen even to the church, treat them as you would a pagan or a tax collector.“

Take it to Jesus

Surrender your will

Seeking Guidance and Resolution

In cases where conflicts escalate or become entrenched, seeking outside support can be beneficial. Whether through pastoral counseling or mentorship, involving a neutral third party can provide fresh perspectives and facilitate resolution. Additionally, drawing from biblical wisdom, we’re encouraged to address conflicts directly and respectfully, following a process of escalation if necessary.

Embracing the Diversity of Relationships 

Some relationships are for seasons

Paul and Barnabas Disagreement (Acts 15:36-41):

Paul and Barnabas, who were close missionary partners, had a sharp disagreement over whether to take John Mark on their next journey. Despite the conflict, they each went their separate ways, continuing their respective ministries.

Some call for you to take the high road

Abraham and Lot (Genesis 13):

Abraham and Lot faced a conflict over grazing land for their flocks. Rather than allowing the dispute to escalate, Abraham graciously allowed Lot to choose the land he wanted, prioritizing peace over personal gain.

Some call for you to forgive even when there is no restoration

David and Saul (1 Samuel 18-24):

The relationship between David and King Saul is marked by conflict and jealousy. Saul became envious of David’s success, leading to numerous attempts on David’s life. However, David chose not to retaliate against Saul and demonstrated forgiveness

Listen to the full message