SERIES: Smart Home
MESSAGE: Patching Holes in the Smart Home
SPEAKER: Skip Heitzig
SCRIPTURE: Song_of_Solomon 5-6

MESSAGE SUMMARY
Most marriages are marked by periodic skirmishes, but did you know that disagreements can actually strengthen your marriage instead of weakening it? A lot will depend on how you patch the holes left by a disagreement. Conflict resolution is an essential skill that will minimize permanent relational damage. Let’s take a look at Solomon’s marriage to his Shulamite bride, the first fight they had, and their final reconciliation.

STUDY GUIDE
Connect Recap Notes: December 2, 2018
Speaker: Skip Heitzig
Teaching: "Patching Holes in the Smart Home"
Text: Song of Solomon 5-6

Path:

Most marriages are marked by periodic skirmishes, but did you know that disagreements can actually strengthen your marriage instead of weakening it? A lot will depend on how you patch the holes left by a disagreement. Conflict resolution is an essential skill that will minimize permanent relational damage. Let's take a look at Solomon's marriage to his Shulamite bride, the first fight they had, and their final reconciliation.

  1. Conflict Is Normal (5:1-6)
  2. Collaboration Must Be Careful (5:7-9)
  3. Conciliation Is Essential (6:3-4)
Points

Conflict Is Normal Collaboration Must Be Careful Conciliation Is EssentialPractice

Connect Up: Satan hates marriage. Why? Because God created it and it furthers His agenda in the world (see Genesis 2-3). How does marriage help promote God's principles? Discuss these ideas from Genesis 2-3: spiritual and physical union, procreation, stewardship, help, and service. Look up 1 Corinthians 13. How does love help shape God's agenda in the world through marriage? (Key descriptors: longsuffering, kind, not envious, doesn't parade itself or behave rudely, is not puffed up, etc.) How does marriage help reflect our union with God?

Connect In: Pastor Skip recommends communication, collaboration, and conciliation when dealing with conflict. Share any other means you have used to reconcile with your spouse. Marriage Ministry recommends these ten steps:4Do you agree with this list? What more would you add?

Connect Out: How would advice from a counselor differ when directed toward a Christian couple verses a non-Christian couple? What might you change in your counsel of a non-believer? How does having the Holy Spirit living inside you affect the process of marriage communication, collaboration, and conciliation?


1 Diane Sollee, "Teaching Couples How to Fish," October, 2000, http://www.smartmarriages.com/fish.html, accessed 12/3/18.
2 Gary Smalley, "Anger in Marriage," http://globalchristiancenter.com/christianliving/marriage/33110-anger-in-marriage, accessed 12/3/18.
3 Kyle Benson, "The Magic Relationship Ratio, According to Science," October 4, 2017, https://www.gottman.com/blog/the-magic-relationship-ratio-according-science/, accessed 12/3/18.
4 Roy Milam, "Ten Steps to Restore Your Marriage," https://www.marriageministry.org/ten-steps-to-restore-your-marriage/, accessed 12/3/18.

DETAILED NOTES

"Patching Holes in the Smart Home"
Song of Solomon 5-6

  1. Introduction
    1. Two are better than one (see Ecclesiastes 4:9-10)
      1. This is obviously something that every couple who comes to the altar agrees with
      2. However, two are also more difficult than one
        1. Two opinions
        2. Two ways of doing things
      3. After marriage, life becomes more complicated, and that creates conflict
    2. Most couples enter into marriage with underdeveloped conflict resolution skills, and marriage is where you get either really good at conflict resolution or really bad at it
      1. If you're going to have a fight, fight to win the relationship, not the fight
      2. Fight for the marriage, not to win the argument
    3. The Song of Solomon was written by Solomon for his wife
      1. The original title—The Song of Songs—was superlative
      2. Solomon wrote 1,005 songs (see 1 Kings 4:32), but this was his best
    4. The Shulamite bride
      1. She was from a small village called Shulam, or Shunam
      2. Many scholars believe this was Solomon's first wife; if so, this is an example of God's original design (see Genesis 2:24)
  2. Conflict Is Normal (5:1-6)
    1. Solomon referred to his marriage as his garden—a delightful, peaceful place
      1. However, in chapter 5, we see the result of an unresolved conflict between Solomon and his bride
      2. Solomon made a sexual advance while things were still unresolved and made the situation worse
    2. Every couple goes through different stages of the relationship:
      1. First phase: attraction
      2. Second phase: infatuation
      3. Third phase: passion
      4. Fourth phase: accommodation
        1. This phase begins as reality starts to set in
        2. Compromise is a vital aspect of a growing relationship
    3. You can't merge two strong personalities without resulting conflict
      1. It's like the convergence of two independent currents
      2. Two people are merging their lives, and the accommodation required in that creates pressure
    4. Conflict is normal, and discord will come to every marriage, no matter how spiritual or idyllic the marriage is
      1. 25 percent of the Song of Solomon is about conflict and conflict resolution
      2. We have conflict because:
        1. We are human
        2. We are different—different backgrounds and different ways of doing things
  3. Collaboration Must Be Careful (5:7-9)
    1. Who you collaborate with to resolve conflict can become an issue
      1. The quickest way to turn your in-laws into outlaws is to involve them in your conflict
      2. When you involve your parents in your conflict, they will instinctively side with you
      3. The problem with involving your friends is they're only getting one side of the story
      4. In taking her conflict public, Solomon's wife was now misunderstood
    2. You have to be very careful about who you inform, involve in, or counsel with about your disagreement with your spouse
      1. Psalm 1:1
      2. Advice is like medicine—it has to be the right kind, and it has to come from the right source
      3. "He who builds according to every man's advice will have a crooked house" —Danish proverb
    3. We must never take a public, verbal swipe at our spouses
      1. These remarks will disparage your spouse
      2. These remarks will also damage your reputation
        1. If this is how you treat the person you should be valuing the most, how are you going to treat others?
        2. This makes others around you not want to get closer to you
  4. Conciliation Is Essential (6:3-4)
    1. Some type of reconciliation has to be reached; the direct communication that follows in chapter 6 indicates reconciliation
    2. The goal of a conflict is not to win the fight, but to win a friend
      1. It's not to fight with each other, but to fight for each other
      2. If one wins the argument, both lose; both have to win at the resolution in order to produce reconciliation
    3. Most couples do not fight until after they are married
      1. Everything is voluntary before you get married; everything afterward is compulsory
      2. When people date, they are often acting—putting their best foot forward
    4. The more quickly you resolve conflict, the better
      1. One of the most deadly enemies of marriage is unresolved anger
      2. "When we bury anger inside of us…it's always buried alive" —Gary Smalley
      3. If you let anger grow, you're giving Satan opportunity; if you give Satan a foothold, he will make it a stronghold
      4. Ephesians 4:26
  5. Conclusion
    1. When you're resolving issues with your spouse, your choice of words is crucial (see Proverbs 18:21)
    2. Researchers found one important predictor in determining which couples stay married for the long haul—a 5:1 ratio of positive to negative comments must be maintained
    3. It's possible to walk hand in hand without seeing eye to eye; but for that to happen, there has to be accommodation and resolution

 

Figures referenced: Gary Smalley

Cross references: Genesis 2:24; 1 Kings 4:32; Psalm 1:1; Proverbs 18:21; Ecclesiastes 4:9-10; Ephesians 4:26

Topic: conflict

Keywords: argument, collaboration, conflict, couples, fight, marriage, reconciliation, resolution, spouse


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