Tuesday, 13 August 2013

When Two Elephants Fight

I heard an interesting quote on my commute this morning.  The speaker said, “When two elephants fight the only thing that gets trampled is the grass.” This was an analogy suggesting that when parents fight in front of their children, the real casualties are the children.

This can certainly be a true statement, particularly in an era and culture where “happiness is king” and a “no fault divorce” is the law of the land. Most children probably know someone whose parents are divorced.  Arguing in front of them weakens their sense of security, fearing that their mom and dad may separate.  It can create anxiety and guilt, the latter in the sense that somehow they are personally to blame for their parents unhappiness.  Perhaps one of the worst consequences is that what they see their parents do becomes their paradigm for marriage.  Even if they are troubled by what they witness they will very likely replicate what they see growing up.

Change your child’s paradigm.  Make times of disagreement teachable moments in the life of your child.  First of all they should see that there is a difference in the way a Christian mom and dad resolve disputes.  It will give evidence that having God at the center of your marriage has a practical application for every day living.  The purpose for marriage is to glorify God, if the way you resolve disagreements doesn’t bring Him honor it is time to change your approach.


·       Understand that you as parents are both sinners saved by grace.

·       Accept as fact that the reason you are most likely having a disagreement is because you are both self-centered.  James 4:1-2

·       Before you begin your discussion start with a prayer, asking God to give you each clarity of thought, wisdom, discernment and understanding.

·       Work to truly understand your partner’s point of view before you concern yourself with being understood by your partner.  This is represented by a calm sharing of ideas and opinions.

·       Once you can each articulate your partner’s point of view decide to look at alternatives for resolving the conflict that will ultimately glorify God.  Remember husbands are to love their wives as much as they love themselves and wives are to respect their husbands.

·       Agree to try your solution for 30-60 days and then come back and review the results.

In this way not only should you bring glory to God, hopefully develop a satisfactory solution to your disagreement BUT also teach your children a healthy approach to resolving disputes that incorporates God ‘s influence.


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