This week my eGroup is discussing communication and forgiveness. As I have been mentally preparing, an image has been replaying in my mind. The image of a fire.
Let’s say that fire represents an argument with your spouse. In this case, when faced with a disagreement, how do you normally respond? Do you throw water on the fire or gasoline?
Now, gasoline can be defined as anything that makes the argument bigger. So if your silence enrages your spouse, you have thrown gasoline, not water, even though you did not yell. Gasoline can be a look, it can be a single word, it can be reminder of a past mistake, and of course, it can be a verbal or physical explosion.
Water diffuses a fire. Throwing water could come in the form of an apology, or a confession, or an act of kindness, or the act of overlooking an offense (see this post).
My 7 year old, Elijah, brought home a paper from school the other day with this verse written on it…
Proverbs 17:14, It is hard to stop a quarrel once it starts so don’t let one begin.
I saved the paper and planned to hang it up in my boy’s bedroom. But it never made it past my bedroom. I think the Lord wanted me to see it.
What if not letting an argument begin begins with me? What if it begins with an act that is so counterintuitive for me that I have to pray my way through it?
As I work my way through this concept, I know it begins with prayer, and with letting the Holy Spirit work in me and on me before He can work through me. And I know that small steps in the right direction are huge steps in my relationships.