Better a dry crust with peace and quiet han a house full of feasting, with strife. Proverbs 17:1 NIV
Did your parents argue in front of the children? Did one spouse remain quiet while the other ranted? Were comments thrown at each other that made the atmosphere thicker than ice? Was it a common occurrence that conversations would get heated up quickly? Was there an off ramp to the escalation of strife other than drinking, physical abuse, total intimidation or retreating into isolation?
I don’t want to bring up painful memories for you if they existed because of strife in the home. As children, most are unaware of the many pressures that parents were underneath at the time. There were pressures of not having enough money, dad being gone too much to help with raising the kids, managing time constraints, juggling the demands of children’s needs, or maintaining love and intimacy as a couple with everything else going on.
This is an over-simplification, but most strife originates from an incomplete thought that is vented improperly. The thought is not always untrue, just partially true from one’s perspective. “He’s late, because he doesn’t love me”. “She’s lazy, that’s why the meal is never ready on time.” The filling in of the purpose on intent of the situation is where the lie or untruth steps into the situation.
The improper venting is dialogue that is accusatory and judging from the beginning. Having incomplete thoughts we now judge the person with our statements. Strife ensues. “See, I knew you didn’t really care about me…because you would have…” “I know you don’t love me anymore, you chose work before the family.”
Helpful thoughts to circumvent strife
- Pray for God’s peace to settle over your heart and mind. Believe that His peace is tangible over your life.
- Pray throughout your home that it would be a place of refuge. Ask God to help you make it into a home of restoration and encouragement. Anoint the rooms inviting God’s Spirit to be welcome. Dad’s take the lead in praying over your home.
- Recognize the shared responsibility of conversations. A pattern develops in responses that can lead to acceleration of arguments. Look for the patterns, you will find yourself also making steps leading to the problem. Ask God for wisdom to change.
- Learn how to end strife by asking forgiveness properly. It’s not asking forgiveness to say, “It’s all my fought, I’m the problem.” Forgiveness accepts responsibility for a specific act or emotion. “I am sorry for raising my voice and using hurtful words toward you, will you forgive me.”
- Children need to see the proper way to navigate through strife. Let them experience what God’s forgiveness to you looks like as individuals and also as couples.
As you begin to end strife in your home, you will notice a shorter time span when forgiveness is applied.
May your home be filled with peace. May you have the courage, wisdom, and direction to be a peace agent in your home.
Blessings Love y’all