Saturday, November 1, 2008

Love Dare Day 13 --Love Fights Fair

The dare for day 13 was:

If a house is divided against itself, that house will not be able to stand..Mark 3:15

Talk with your children about establishing healthy rules of engagement. If your children are not ready for this then write out your own personal rules to "fight" by. Resolve to abide by them
when the next disagreement occurs.

This is what a disagreement in my house looks like. We will start with a simple statement--something that will upset the other person, other issues are then added into this statement that have absolutely nothing to do with the original disagreement. Before you know it, the whole structure of the conversation has escalated into all out war, and then we all collapse!!

What happens next?

This is what happens next--everyone involved goes away angry, distraught, sometimes crying (usually me!), and NOTHING has been resolved.

And then what happens the next time someone says something that irritates or upsets someone? This past issue that was not resolved is brought up again, and the same thing happens again.

We could go 'round and 'round like this--and each time the original issue (still not resolved) is added onto by the next issue, and the next issue, and the next issue--until we have a full out war going on--and still, NOTHING has been resolved.

This dare was somewhat difficult for me. My son is working extra hours this week, I haven't seen my oldest daughter since Wednesday night (although I have talked with her on the phone--progress, there), and the youngest lives in Texas.

So, I decided to just write my own "fight" rules, and abide my them.

Here are my rules for myself for fighting fairly:

  • I will stick to the issue at hand and not deviate and add in past issues that have nothing to do with what we are discussing. I need to remain "narrow" in whatever issue we are discussing...."Enter through the narrow gate. For wide is the gate and broad is the road that leads to destruction, and many enter through it"....Matthew 7:13
  • I will listen, truly listen to what the other person is saying to me. I will not jump ahead in my thoughts, thinking about how I want to answer this until they are finished talking and I have processed what they are saying. If I need time to think over what they have said, then I will ask for it.........."Everyone must be quick to listen, slow to speak and slow to anger".......James 1:19
  • I will not raise my voice and speak in anger. This only leads me to say things that I really don't mean, had no intention of saying. What does this result in? Hurt feelings all around, more anger building in each person involved, and more crying (again, usually me)......"A gentle answer turns away wrath, but a harsh word stirs up anger".....Proverbs 15:1
  • I will deal with my own issues as my own issues. If these issues don't belong in the problem being discussed, I will not bring them into it......"Why do you look at the speck that is in your brother's eye, but do not notice the log that is in your own eye?"....Matthew 7:3
  • I will not leave and shut myself away in my bedroom. This has become apparent in a previous day's dare that this is not only upsetting to my son, but also to my two daughters, bringing up past bad memories. If I need time to be alone and think, I will explain and ask for this......"Deeply moved at the sight of his brother, Joseph hurried out and looked for a place to weep. He went into his private room and wept there".....Genesis 43:30
  • When I am alone and thinking, I will pray for God's guidance rather than sitting there in sorrow and ruminating about things that have been said......."They went to a place called Gethsemane, and Jesus said to his disciples, 'Sit here while I pray'.".....Mark 14:32
  • I will speak to my children out of my love for them, only my love....."If I speak in the tongues of men and of angels, but have not love, I am only a resounding gong or a clanging cymbal".........1 Corinthians 13:1
  • I will not slam doors (a biggy for me!)......"At the breath of God they are destroyed; at the blast of his anger they perish"......Job 4:9
I have to add here, that I chose this verse regarding slamming of doors because when I do get angry and slam a door, any hopes of resolving anything are destroyed.

These are my rules for myself, and I will abide by them. By my abiding by these rules, my children will see that I have changed in the way I am approaching disagreements in our lives, and hopefully change the way they react.

At some time in the future I hope to sit down with each of them and set out their rules for fair fighting.

Now on to Day 14:

Love Takes Delight

Enjoy life with the children you love all the days of your fleeting life..... Ecclesiastes 9:9

And today's Dare:

Purposefully neglect an activity you would normally do so you can spend quality time with your children. Do something they would love to do or a project they'd really like to work on. Just be together.

Please stop by and visit Chelle'. She is hosting this dare and has many areas of the book mentioned as well as comments from the others who are participating.



Denise said...

May you, and your children be greatly blessed.

boutcrazy said...

Thanks for stopping by my blog today. You are so right...the dares change the person doing them, not necessarily who they are being done to. I've heard of a lot of people doing the dares as family and I just counceled someone doing it long distance on his ex-wife. I look forward to getting to know you.

I have the TSMS on my Refreshing blog. Stop by there for today's song.