Wednesday, 27 July 2011

Stop Fighting

A blog I read recently was entitled “How to Stop a Fight Before it Starts”. It certainly offered some practical advice. It suggested among other things that we should avoid triggers all together, i.e. those “hot button” topics, words, expressions or phrases that send our partner into orbit. And our partners in turn should avoid those topics that cause us to react as though we were three years old. The blog also suggested that we avoid name calling and judgmental words that we use to describe each other.

As far as these suggestions go they certainly could help you avoid some tense moments and irritable conversations. But let’s look at the topic of fights from a Christian perspective to see if we might adopt a somewhat different approach.

Prayer is one of the best antidotes to fighting that I know. A simple, “Father show me how I might glorify You in the midst of our disagreement” could work wonders. Praying together before you begin to talk about a sensitive topic will most likely yield better results.

In the book of James we are told that we quarrel because we don’t get our own way. So you may ask yourself, “what is it I expect to gain out of this discussion and why is it so important to me that my point of view prevails?” Self centeredness is the predominant cause of most arguments.

Next be willing to accept the fact that God brought you together as husband and wife. He will use the different perspectives that you each bring to a topic as sort of a teachable moment, a learning laboratory, if you will let Him. If we learn from one another we can grow.

Lastly staying away from a topic because it pushes your hot buttons may not be the best advice. Most likely if something triggers a negative reaction in you (or your spouse) it is a red flag that there is a heart issue that needs to be dealt with. Why do you get so irritated when your wife asks you to pick up your clothes? Why do you fly off the handle if your husband makes a comment about your propensity to run late? Behind most negative emotions are heart issues that need to be identified and taken to the Lord in prayer. Cleansing our heart is a much more effective long term approach than ignoring the problem.

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