Family conflict resolution 101 from the Bible

Posted: April 10, 2015 in Thoughts on God

Benjamin Franklin is known for famously saying, “….but in this world nothing can be said to be certain, except death and taxes” and we could safely add to his quote, conflict.


As I look around today the one thing that seems certain is that the family unit we once knew has fallen apart. Gone are the days of the Leave it to Beaver family where everyone stuck up for each other. In many (certainly not all) families of today, we see a tendency of family members to be more concerned about their individual needs over the family as a whole. I can’t say what is causing this with all certainty,, but I feel that it can largely be attributed to a lack of God in the schools and as a focus on the family. When we see this individuality infiltrate our families, conflict is sure to happen.

Chances are you are either going through, or coming out of, conflict with a family member. While conflict is never fun, it can be a great opportunity for everyone involved to grow in their understanding of grace and truth. It’s a chance to grow stronger through reconciliation and humbling yourself enough to see the other person’s perspective. The Bible is full of conflict, (Cain and Abel), but it’s also full of conflict resolution.

I would like to remind everyone that it’s easy to turn your back on family while we are all here on this earth, but when they’re gone, you’ll never have a chance to reconcile with them. All those fights and arguments can never be taken back. So if you’re holding out waiting for the other person to apologize, remember that the moment may never come. Their lives could be taken before you had that chance to make up. Would your pride be able to comfort you then? Reach out to an estranged family member today. If your family is strong, then make it stronger. Encourage others to do the same. Life is much easier when you travel through it with others you love.

Below you will find some resources to help you handle conflict in a way that honors God and the person you are in conflict with.

8 Verses To Help You Handle Conflict Biblically

  1. James 4:1-3– “What causes quarrels and what causes fights among you? Is it not this, that your passions are at war within you. You desire and do not have, so you murder. You covet and cannot obtain, so you fight and quarrel. You do not have, because you do not ask. You ask and do not receive, because you ask wrongly, to spend it on your passions.”
  2. Matthew 15:18-19– “But what comes out of the mouth proceeds from the heart, and this defiles a person. For out of the heart come evil thoughts, murder, adultery, sexual immorality, theft, false witness, slander.”
  3. Matthew 7:5– “You hypocrite, first take the log out of your own eye, and then you will see clearly to take the speck out of your brother’s eye.”
  4. 1 Corinthians 10:31-11:1– “So, whether you eat or drink, or whatever you do, do all to the glory of God. Give no offense to Jews or to Greeks or to the church of God, just as I try to please everyone in everything I do, not seeking my own advantage, but that of many, that they may be saved. Be imitators of me, as I am of Christ.”
  5. 1 John 1:8– ” If we say we have no sin, we deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in us.”
  6. Proverbs 19:11– “Good sense makes one slow to anger, and it is his glory to overlook an offense.”
  7. Romans 12:20– “To the contrary, “if your enemy is hungry, feed him; if he is thirsty, give him something to drink; for by so doing you will heap burning coals on his head.”
  8. Matthew 16:19– “I will give you the keys of the kingdom of heaven, and whatever you bind on earth shall be bound in heaven, and whatever you loose on earth shall be loosed in heaven.”

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