The Dangers of Exposing Children to Conflict

The Dangers of Exposing Children to ConflictI have chosen to refrain from arguing, disputing or the demonstration of conflict in the presence of my children. The primary reason why I have chosen this stance is as a result of the purposes which I have devoted my life to. My goal is to demonstrate to God, my children, friends, family and neighbors a lifestyle of Biblical womanhood.

As a woman attempting to live my life totally devoted to Christ, I endeavor daily to conform my ways to His ways. This endeavor includes shaping my own character according to the perfect will of God in order that I may demonstrate the very same character that I desire to instill in my children.

My goal regarding this post is to do what Paul says in Titus 2:1 “Speak thou the things which become sound doctrine.” I share my position regarding marital conflict not to condemn but to admonish wives to a holy standard.

Paul the Apostle lists for us the types of character that we should model to become qualified as women able to teach other women. The qualities that he speaks of are the qualities of wives who are modeling the character after that which is desirable to God. These are the qualities that I have accepted responsibility for teaching to the younger women. Paul states, that I must (like my husband) “ be sober, grave, temperate, sound in faith, in charity, in patience, meanwhile exhibiting behavior as demonstrating holiness….and a teacher of good things”.

Good things…like temperance, patience, humbleness and surrender. In all things I want to present myself as a pattern of good works: showing gravity (dignified behavior or lowness in pitch, as of sounds).

I want my children to observe me “demonstrating sound speech, which cannot be condemned; that he that is of the contrary part may be ashamed, having no evil thing to say of me.” My husband and I don’t always see eye to eye with one another’s opinions, but the one thing that we always agree on is the word of God. If we cannot disagree while still demonstrating the fruit of the Spirit which are love, joy, peace, longsuffering, gentleness, goodness, faith, meekness and temperance, (Galatians 5:21-23), then we are not living up to the standard that God has set for our lives.

What is it that hinders me from arguing with my husband in front of my children? It is the knowing that I have the power through Christ Jesus to live a life that is positioned above the standards of this world. I know that I can live a lifestyle that far exceeds the standards of this world, because I have accepted the belief that “I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me”. Because Christ is living and operating in me, I have been empowered to aggressively pursue the destruction of any character traits that are of a hindrance to my walk of faith. Col. 3:5

I have decided to take of wrath, malice, strife, contentions, pride, arrogance, and self righteousness and to put on “as the elect of God, holy and beloved, bowels of mercies, kindness, humbleness of mind, meekness and longsuffering”. So rather than arguing and debating over temporal things I’d much rather demonstrate to my children the character “forbearance of one another and the forgiving of one another”. And on the days when I fail to exhibit self control or attempt to hold a grudge against my husband God reminds me that, “If any man have a quarrel against any: even as Christ forgave you, so also do you forgive.”

Do you want to be perfect example of the Lord? If so, then the next time that you feel yourself getting frustrated or angry during a disagreement, conflict or argument then set your mind on the following scripture “Put on charity, which is the bond of perfectness and let the peace of God rule in your hearts, to which also ye are called in one body; and be thankful.”

So instead of focusing on teaching my children how to have civilized disputes I want to teach them to have the right thoughts in their minds and emotions in their hearts which will in turn motivate their character.

Finally, I would like to share the resource that helped me gain the self control and greatly reduce disagreements. Using that devotional and studying the character of  Godly women in the Bible, I was able to bring my self in line with God’s perfect will. Once my husband and I began to make discussing, studying and praying that God’s perfect vision for the family be made possible for us, we began to agree on more issues. Now whenever we don’t agree we look to God’s word and prayer to help us gain the resolution.

For more references see 1 Corinthians 1 and the verses listed below.

Genesis 13:8 So Abram said to Lot, “Let’s not have any quarreling between you and me, or between your herdsmen and mine, for we are brothers

Exodus 17:2 So they quarreled with Moses and said, “Give us water to drink.” Moses replied, “Why do you quarrel with me? Why do you put the LORD to the test?”

Exodus 17:7 And he called the place Massah and Meribah because the Israelites quarreled and because they tested the LORD saying, “Is the LORD among us or not?”

Are you are a wife or mom who is struggling in this area? You can learn more conflict resolution strategies in my posts How to Stop Being an Angry Wife and Mom. If you have questions or a comment you may leave for me in the comment section.

Comments

  1. Earthmommy says

    Hubby and I had a long talk the other evening about this very subject. We agreed that we need to set a better example for our children, not just in theis arena but in several others and have made a commitment to be kinder, more patient and more civil-tongued to each other always, and most certainly in the presence of our children.

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  2. Lawanda says

    That is one thing I can say about us, we rarely argue, in front of anyone or not. Kevin, my dh, just doesn’t argue. 🙂

    Although he sometimes considers discussions as arguments (if I disagree with him LOL) so that can be difficult… 🙂

    I think it is a superb goal to try to speak softly, so to speak. I love the bible references you give in Titus (I think it was) and Gal. and Eph.

    Good, good, good.

    I wanted to thank you for looking at my scrappy stuff! Someday I want to start back up again! 🙂

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