All We Do Is Fight!!! (How To Fight Fair) Part 3

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All We Do Is Fight!!! (How To Fight Fair) Part 3

James 4:1-3

“From whence come wars and fightings among you? come they not hence, even of your lusts that war in your members? Ye lust, and have not:ye kill, and desire to have, and cannot obtain:ye fight and war, yet ye have not, because ye ask not. Ye ask, and receive not, because ye ask amiss, that ye may consume it upon your lusts.”

Why do we fight? Why do we fight against each other? Webster’s dictionary defines fighting as “a battle or combat, any contest or struggle involving anger or any other adverse emotion.” By this definition, we see that fights are nothing more than disagreements that are fueled by anger or any other adverse emotion. Having said this, I don’t believe that it is so much the situation that causes fights as it is the emotional response elicited. This week we will go into detail on how to fight fair and win the fight by losing the fight. Join us as we learn how to fight fair.

11. Don’t Hit Below The Belt

Everyone has vulnerable areas. Don’t use your confidential knowledge of your partner’s weaknesses and sensitivities to hurt him/her. Using weaknesses to exploit your government for personal gain is called treason and comes with a very stiff penalty. So if you know that this is a crime for those that we aren’t related to, then how much worse is it to do to those with whom we have a relationship? 

This should NEVER come up in an argument unless you seek to cause irreparable damage to your relationship that will NEVER be forgotten. If you have to resort to these types of tactics, then you have an issue and NOT the other party. Immature people and military infantry will exploit weaknesses. This tells me that children and those that seek to harm others use this tactic. Which one are you?

12. Don’t Label

This is something that many couples do inadvertently. The do this with the idea that it will cause the other party to change their mind and miraculously see it their way. Here is what happens: 

Wife: “Honey can you take the trash out?”

Husband: “Yeah, I will take it out in a minute.”

Wife: “You said that 20 minutes ago.” 

Husband: “Why do you have to continue to be a nag?”

Wife: “Well I wouldn’t have to nag you if you weren’t so lazy!”

Did you all catch the labels? She was labeled as a nag which made her reciprocate and call him lazy. These labels aren’t accurate descriptions of the person receiving them. Labeling only creates tension and animosity. Instead of that situation above, the conversation should have gone something like this:

Wife: “Honey can you take the trash out?”

Husband: “Yeah, I will take it out in a minute.”

Wife: “I know that you’re busy and tired, but it would mean a lot to me if you could take out the trash at the next commercial.” 

Husband: “I’m sorry, I will take it out now.”

Instead of labeling another person, we should try being kind and seeing it from their point of view. I think that we label others because it removes eyes off of us so that we appear righteous. This is Pharisaical and will cause strife and feelings of dis-trust. 

13. Grant Equal Time

Most people don’t really consider this technique in fights due to raging emotions but it is essential to give the other party equal time. I once gave a couple some relationship counseling and because personal information was being shared, a fight ensued. Due to the nature of the fight and the content, the lady began to “machine gun” question the male. He did what anyone would do if getting fired at by a machine gun, he took cover and attempted to leave. I actually had to stop the lady from her actions so that the male could have equal time to communicate. By this time he was so rattled to speak because he felt as if anything he said would be used as ammunition to attack him. So I gave them 5 minutes of talk time each for each issue, for the next session. They were not allowed to speak during the other person’s time. This put boundaries on their communication time and also gave them the liberty to talk without being cut off. What we found was that most of the fights were about her attitude and the inability to allow him to communicate which led to other things that hurt the relationship. 

The bible tells us in Proverbs 18:13 “He that answereth a matter before he heareth it, it is folly and shame unto him.” This means that ladies, don’t cut off your family members before you’ve heard the story. Gentlemen, don’t assume that you know what your children will say before they open their mouths. You would want to be heard so stop talking, silence your mind and sincerely listen to them. 

14. Feedback & Clarification

If the fight is emotional and heated, slow it down by starting a “feedback loop.” One technique is to paraphrase back to your spouse what you’ve heard. For example, “Honey, what I hear you saying is that I’m boring you because I have no outside interest. Is that right?” The other then responds by either confirming the accuracy of your statement or clarifying it.

Too often we are so concerned about getting out what we have to say that we neglect to consider how the other person is hearing it or if they are understanding it. I encourage everyone to try this technique. 

15. Gain New Understanding

I have learned that fights come because something leads up to them. Also, each person has their own “fight style” which is the way that they start or get to a place where their fighting will include you. For instance: This one couple that I counseled had their own unique style of fighting positions. The husband would get quiet and do this thing with his thumbs. The wife would begin to get up and walk around while breathing heavily until she couldn’t take it anymore. They actually knew, what I call, “danger cues” for the other person but did nothing to diffuse the bomb. They just let it go off with no regard for others in the area. 

If you have been in a fight with someone and have learned things from that fight or have not done what you know is right to keep that fight from becoming a war, then you have sinned. The bible tells us in James 4:17 “Therefore to him that knoweth to do good, and doeth it not, to him it is sin.” I am familiar with the danger cues of my coworkers and my family members; so when I see the pressure gage approaching critical I intervene. I encourage everyone reading today to learn from your fights so that they can be prevented in the future. Gaining knowledge about the past will help our present and preserve our future. In tomorrow’s devotional we will discuss more ways to fight fair. Join us again as we address real life issues with biblical answers on Worship With Willie. 

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