What are some of the things that you disagree with your husband at this time of the year? How about your teenager? Your best friend? Maybe, one disagreement at Christmas a season of giving, is that husband and wives do not agree with the amount of money that is spent on gifts. One may disagree with your teenager on which party he or she attends or how late to stay out. Lastly one may disagree with your best friend because of jealousy that may sneak into a relationship causing one to harbor hurt feelings. My husband and I are on different ends of the spectrum when it comes to gift giving. Every year it is a struggle for me, I’ve got this generous heart in the first place and then I want to flourish my son’s families with gifts especially the granddaughters because of my love of dolls. So even if my husband and I did agree on the amount spent, I struggle with finding the right gift, who am I kidding, gifts! Can anyone else relate?
Conflict is defined as a serious disagreement or argument, typically a protracted one. The synonyms of conflict are a dispute, quarrel, squabble, disagreement, dissension, and clash. The first conflict we read Mary is a virgin espoused to Joseph as we read in Matthew 1:18, “before they came together, she was found with child of the Holy Spirit.” This was predicted in Isaiah 7:14, “Therefore, the Lord himself shall give you a sign, Behold, the virgin shall conceive, and bear a son, and shall call his name Immanuel.” Joseph’s conflicted as we read in Matthew 1:19, “Then Joseph, her husband, being a just man, and not willing to make her a public example was minded to put her away privately.” Can you imagine a young teenage girl, scared, having to tell Joseph she is pregnant, the story of the redemption of mankind, she carries the King of Kings? The Bible shares how conflicted Joseph is about Mary. If her story is not true this is the worst betrayal. How old is Joseph, we are not told, but he loves Mary and knows her offense means she could be stoned. He is thinking of just “putting her away” but while he thinks these things, an angel arrives with a special message in a dream in Matthew 1: 20-23.
Joseph takes Mary as his wife but we are reassured in Matthew 1: 25 that they did not consummate their marriage until after Jesus was born. Jesus was born in Bethlehem of Judea,
King Herod was none too happy when the wise men came seeking Jesus. They asked him, “Where is he that is born King of the Jews? For we have seen his star in the east, and are come to worship him.” Matthew 2:2. Herod mentioned here is known in history as Herod the Great. In verse three of Matthew, we read that King Herod is troubled, and all Jerusalem with him. He sent the wise men to find Jesus but when they did not return, in felt mocked as we see in verse sixteen and he slew all the children that were born in Bethlehem from two years and under. However, Joseph and Mary had fled to Egypt to avoid this serious conflict.
Conflict existed and still exists when it comes to Jesus. There is one conflict we all have to settle and that is who is Jesus to you? Is the King of Kings, Lord of Lords, is he your Savior? In Isaiah 9: 6 says, “For unto us a child is born, unto us a son is given, and the government shall be upon his shoulder, and his name shall be called Wonderful, Counselor, The Mighty God, The Everlasting Father, The Prince of Peace.
My husband and I have come to an agreement this year on what to spend for Christmas? I have one gift per child to pick out and all to send in the mail, I am not going to be with my grandchildren this year because of being here in Oklahoma settling the estate of my father. My plans to help with this struggle of not being with the grandchildren will be to spend some time with them on the telephone.
Father God, thank you for Jesus who is the reason for this season and who can settle all conflicts. Lord God, I pray for the person who is suffering the loss of a loved one, the pain is great Lord. Lord, I give this pain to you and the panic when I feel I can”t breathe because the loss of my dad hurts so much. Lord, the conflict is great in families and mine is not exempt, thank you that you give us peace when we are in agreement with our spouses. Lord, help me to not get carried away with the commercialism of Christmas. Help me to keep my eyes on you. I pray for the woman that is struggling with her children that this is a time of growing closer. Lord, I ask to grow closer to you. In Jesus name. Amen
What conflict do you need help or to resolve? How do you respond to this statement, “Conflicts are resolvable with forgiveness.” Christmas is a time to walk in forgiveness. Will you try this?