A Good Strategy for Arguments

My 10-year-old son & daughter came in the house bickering nonstop – each pleading their side and insisting how the other person was wrong.

I sat there listening to my kids argue back and forth pointing out each other’s faults (as a headache began). And, I thought…how easy it is to see the other person’s wrongdoing. As kids. As adults. And overlook our own.“

They’re in the wrong. Not us. It’s their fault.”

I had an idea. Before my headache grew, I stopped them, and said, “Instead of pointing fingers and telling me what your sibling did wrong, share with each other what you could have done differently.”

They got quiet quickly.

As they reflected, pride went out the door. And, humility came in quickly. The bickering stopped and they each apologized because they had open eyes to see their own shortcomings, without me being the referee.

And, then I thought, what if we, as adults, did that more often in our relationships. Instead of focusing on others’ shortcomings, we saw what WE could do differently.

Wouldn’t that be powerful?

And, isn’t that just what Jesus told us to do? To take the log out of our own eye before trying to take the speck out of our brother’s eye, to let go of pride, to grab a hold of humility, to confess our shortcomings and selfishness, to love others like He loves us?

Lord, when we are about to argue or in the midst of an argument, help us to pause and look inward. To stop the constant noticing of others’ wrongdoings, and to look instead at what we could do differently, to confess it, and to ask you to help us love better. Lord, help us love better. And, help us guide our children in loving well also. In Jesus’ Name, amen.

“If it is possible, as far as it depends on you, live at peace with everyone.” Romans 12:18

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