One of the common misconceptions about healthy relationships is that they are void of all conflict. And though minimizing conflict is an important aspect for an enduring marriage I can’t help but notice that we put most of our efforts into avoiding our problems altogether;(the ostrich effect- putting our head in the sand so as to avoid our problems in hopes that the conflict will just go away). This, sadly, is not conflict resolution. And when we put our efforts into avoiding negatives we rarely focus on doing anything positive.
In essence, most couples look more for the absence of conflict than the presence of intimacy in our relationships. But isn’t that just focusing on damage control; really just “playing not to lose” instead of “playing to win”? When a person or team “plays not to lose” they live in fear that the other person or team is going to score on them. What happens with this type of approach is that we become tentative, hesitant to move or respond; we focus more on what our opponent is going to do instead of doing the things that we know we should do. Often times in most scenarios when a team plays not to lose they actually almost always give up a big play due to their hesitancy and unwillingness to be proactive.
Isn’t also true that God has not given us a spirit of fear but of power and love and self-control (2 Timothy 1:7)? That power that God gives us to harness our fear, that love and self-control are all wonderful gifts that we should use to create more closeness with each other.