All We Do Is Fight!!! (How To Fight Fair) Part 4
“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.
16. Implement Changes
“Follow anger with a fair, firm, clear request for a change or improvement in whatever brought on the fight. Each partner must be clear as to what he/she agrees to modify or improve. Be specific and realistic. For example, it would be agreed that whenever the husband seemed tense, the wife would encourage him to tell her about it, instead of their old pattern of both keeping silent.”
It is not enough to know what causes arguments but one has to change their behavior to avoid the arguments in the future. By arguments I am referring to fighting unfairly.
17. Develop (Well-Timed) Humor
Laughing at high stress situations can do a great deal to ease tension but if not placed at a time where both parties can recognize it as an ice breaker, it will do more harm than good. For example: “If a husband and wife are out in public with their children and the children all of a sudden say something that embarrassed them, this would be a good time to insert humor. Once the situation is resolved and not in crisis mode, laugh at it and move on. Laughter and happiness is healthy for you and biblical as well. The bible tells us in Proverbs 17:22 “A merry heart doeth good like a medicine: but a broken spirit drieth the bones.”
18. Praise In Public, Punish In Private
This is an issue that many pastoral counsellors see ever increasingly, especially with the popularity of social media. One party feels the need to vent about an argument in some shape, form or fashion via social media and now the world knows about an argument that was intended to remain in house. Or worse yet, close mutual friends are informed about the argument from one side and they begin to formulate biased opinions about their friend’s spouse.
The same goes along with children as well. Some parents ONLY punish their children in public when they act out. The issue with this is that those parents don’t punish in private. When a parent spends time ensuring that they punish in private and spend time praising their children in public, this will change their behavior. When a parent praises a child for exemplary behavior in public the child begins to like the parent because they, the parent, have recognized their actions. When a parent begins to punish in private, the child knows that their behavior will be corrected at a time where privacy is at a premium. Usually at home! Now, I will say that punishing does not always include corporal punishment and spankings. This could be remedial training and/or that awkward conversation about manners.
Both of these techniques should be employed when dealing with children. If you ONLY punish in private without praising in public the child will not honor you and will act out in order to get your attention. If you ONLY praise in public without punishing in private the child will play the game of doing what they can to get that praise but once they don’t get their way, they will act like a spoiled brat. Ultimately, because you have not shown them that they need to fear you, they will not respect you and see you as a resource that feeds them and gives them things. In this case, it is better to start sooner than later. With my children, as soon as they were in diapers and began to walk, I would begin to train them to follow instructions. We will talk more about child rearing more in the future.
19. Handling Anger In Front Of Children
This is something that I have tried to instill in my household. Your children have NOT asked to be brought into this world nor did they ask to be your children. That decision was between you, your spouse and God. If there are issues between you two, go in private and argue away from the children in the presence of God.
I grew up in a home where my siblings and I heard more fights than we did laughter. This really puts the children in an anxious state! It may be stressful for you and your spouse but it is way more stressful for those children. They might not tell you, but deep down inside they are shaking like a leaf on a tree. You are their parents and they deserve a home with love, joy and peace. It’s interesting that we demand that our children obey us and follow our wishes about social interactions but we continuously object to God’s. Maybe God should punish us like we punish our children if we enforce what we can’t keep ourselves.
20. Don’t Attempt To Resolve A Conflict When Mentally Impaired
I almost feel bad for saying this, but there are probably a few people reading these devotionals that still consume alcohol or even another type of mind altering substance. I am not God nor am I your judge; I will not even attempt to say anything about your habit or recreation. All I will say is that the bible is clear about this in Proverbs chapter 23:29-35; read for yourself about it’s dangerous effects. However, I don’t know where you are in your walk with the Lord and at what speed He is allowed to move you. All I know is that when you allow a mind altering substance to influence your decision making process, you will have incalculable consequences. Additionally, I would suggest that one not engage in an argument when prescription drugs have been consumed. Just because a doctor says that you can take them, doesn’t mean that the doctor is responsible for your actions. It’s a good idea to wait until you’re sober before you attempt to communicate about major life decisions or anything else.
As you can see, there are a few things that families should consider when dealing with each other. These few things are little peaces of advice to keep you and your family from engaging in unfair fights. In tomorrow’s devotional we will share the last few bits of wisdom to help keep you fighting fair. Join us again as we address real life issues with biblical answers on Worship With Willie.