The best way to clean up after an explosion is to prevent it from happening. It’s true in the physical world and in the home. If you can stop the bomb from exploding you will be in much better shape. Sometimes the best way to prevent a painful destructive argument is to prevent it from happening in the first place. This article offers a way to keep peace in the family.
No matter how strong the marriage, arguments happen. Each person has his and her own ideas, goals and plans. Invariably those plans will sometimes clash. How we handle those clashing moments is critical to the peace and tranquility of the family.
Young people often enter marriage thinking that love will conquer all. True love does. But it may take a while before we can fully reach that stage of a relationship. Love is not a feeling but decision. Specifically it is giving our best to an imperfect person even when that person does not give it back. It’s the kind of love that Christ has for all men.
There are times when we just don’t get a long. Prepare for those times and you will enjoy a better outcome.
Defuse the Argument
There are times when it is best to let things quieten down a bit and then resume a discussion instead of an argument. When tempers start to flare and voices begin to rise we no longer listen. We do not hear what is being said. Sometimes we are saying almost the same thing but our anger deafens their comments. By stepping back and cooling off we instantly improve communication.
Sometimes in our anger we say things we should not. A man and woman were once fighting with each other. The argument escalated until the man shouted, “You know all the times I said I was sorry and that you were right? I was lying!” It’s not surprising that this made his bed beside the family pet that night. James warned that an unruly tongue is tough to tame (James 3:5-12). Anyone who has lost his temper in a family fight knows how right he is. The secret here is simple: Shut up and step back.
There’s the old adage that it takes two to fight. Indeed it does. So the best option may be to walk away. Stop the fight. A brief pause of only an hour or two may be sufficient to keep a disagreement from blazing into an argument.
I’m a man and I like to fix things. I am not satisfied to let something go unattended when I think I can say the right thing or offer just the perfect logic to settle an argument. I don’t want to postpone my inevitable victory of wisdom! That’s a problem. It’s hard for me to walk away but that is exactly what I need to learn to do. Guys, think with me a minute. Your wife is really pretty smart – I mean she did marry you, right? So if she is smart we probably should listen to her more often. That means we need to stop talking and cool off. Then we can listen to her wisdom.
Jesus, Herod and Pilate
Have you ever noticed how little Jesus said when he was on trial before Pilate and Herod? The Gospel accounts are in Matthew 26:57 ff; Mark 14:53 ff; Luke 22:66 ff; John 18:19 ff. Jesus spoke very little considering his fate was before him. The things he said were short and to the point and without a hint of anger. At this most critical time in his life, Jesus was a picture of calmness.
We should try to emulate Jesus. Let others speak. Remain calm. Don’t fight. Losing your temper is a habit and may require some time to correct. But with work and plenty of prayer you can overcome your anger.