I am certainly not a big boxing fan; although, I did watch several of the Rocky movies growing up. In any case, our relationships, or should I say, conflict resolution in our relationships has similarities to a boxing match.
There are five types of fighters, according to One Month to Live. The first is the “rope-a-dope” fighter. This individual will stay on the ropes and simply avoid conflict. Of course, there will be peace in the relationship, but it will only be shallow and not lasting.
The next type of fighter is the “knock-out artist”. This person wants to win at any cost. It is either their way or no way. This leads to the other person having no real say in the relationship and will usually just quit trying to resolve conflict.
The third type is the “take-the-fall” fighter. This person is always giving in to the other. He or she simply becomes the doormat in the relationship. This leads to bitterness on the part of this fighter and inflated pride on the other side.
The “one-two puncher” is the fourth type of fighter. In this relationship, it is give and take equally. Everyone wins and loses the same number of times. This is better than the other three mentioned so far. Because both partners are involved in the conflict resolution, staying in the ring, and both has a chance to win.
However, the best type would have to be the “sparring partners”. These individuals are there to help one another along, be a team player and committed to resolving the conflict together. The resolution is something that is best for both sides. Ultimately, the “sparring partners” determine that their relationship is more important than any conflict they may have.
Just like in a boxing match, ground rules need to be established together before there is any conflict. The individuals in the relationship must fight fair, stay in the ring and guard their mouths. The secret to conflict resolution is striving to be more like Jesus.
Questions to Consider:
- Think about the last conflict you were involved in. What type of fighter were you? Did you fight fair? Did you hold to the ground rules?
- Think of a relationship in your life that involves conflict that you would take the extra step for if you knew you only had one month to live?
- Spend time in prayer today asking God to meet your needs and then trusting Him to do just that.