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51 of 51 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars What you do with conflict can change your life!, May 19, 2004
This review is from: Peacemaking for Families (Focus on the Family) (Paperback)
The goal of this book is to awaken the reader's perspective of conflict as an opportunity to glorify God by seeking understanding and forgiveness. Ken Sande provides excellent life stories to illustrate the real struggles we face in relationships. He then seeks the Biblical answer to resolving the breakdown in those relationships. Each part ends with an "As You Grow" section that helps to bring the study into your own life.
Part 1 reviews the common responses to conflict using the slippery slope of Peacmakers. He then shows that conflict can arise out of idols that we have established in our lives including an excellent examen of conscience that reveals that sin of idolatry. He then reviews the basic goals and pattern for resolving conflict.
Part 2 explores the four vital aspects of a peacemaking marriage. Confession removes our old hackneyed and easy ways we confess "I'm sorry" and replaces it with a thorough and God pleasing confession. Confrontation walks through the most avoided but needed part of relationships. The section on listening is excellent. Wise words shows how cautious we need to be as healers. Forgiveness is the heart of this book for me. It points out that forgiving is not a feeling it is a choice and requires us to make for promises - not to dwell on it, not to use it against them, not to talk with others, not to allow it to be a barrier. The Young Peacemakers says it - Good thought, hurt you not, gossip never, friends forever. In fact in forgiveness we replace those negative and forgiven hurts with positive ones. Negotiation occurs when substantive issues needs to be worked out in a setting that is safe and seeks compromise and satisfaction between spouses.
Part 3 begins to apply the principles laid out in the book. The first sections focuses on how to teach the principles to your children seeking teachable moments and leading by example. Chapter 9 and 10 gives life story examples of how conflict can be resolves with a child or an adult.
Part 4 gives some warning signs to look for to diagnose a troubled marriage. He then helps to understand the difficulties of both parties going to counseling and how to use negotiation to approach the obstacles to that end. I found this section very insightful and right on with me and the marriages I've seen. He then makes a plead to churches to be involved in a failing marriage, to use discipline when necessary. Finally the author closes with the preventative "insurance" policies to support a strong marriage.
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