If you bite and devour each other, watch out or you will be destroyed by each other.
- Galatians 5:15
This week we'll be looking at conflict in relationships. Specifically, we'll be honing in on this one verse in Galatians ... 5:15. In this verse, the apostle Paul uses vivid language to draw our attention to what we're actually doing when we engage in unhealthy forms of relational conflict.
Pay attention to his word: "bite and devour." What does biting and devouring look like in relationships? Think contempt. Acerbic, critical, deconstructive language targeted to tear down rather than build up.
And although this pattern of communication can (and does) happen in just about any relationship, it seems more common in marriage than anywhere else. Close relationships created charged environments where contending factions fight fiercely. There's an almost Darwinian response to feeling threatened when the threat comes within your circle of safety. When someone's wrong, it feels like a lot's at stake.
Look around in your relationships. Is there a place where biting and devouring is happening? Would you like to do something about it?