Fighting Fair

Rev. Deb Koster

December 22, 2006

It's sad, but true. We sometimes fight with the ones we love. It is hard to live in community as we are all broken people. We are imperfect reflecting the brokenness of our fallen world. Imperfect people screw up and get angry with one another. As every newlywed couple learns sooner or later, no matter how much we love each other, we will have a conflict with those close to us.

So it's not a matter of if we fight, but when we fight.

When I was growing up, fighting was bad. Anger was a no-no. We didn't see occasional anger as a natural part of being together, so we didn't always say what we meant, and we weren't always honest with each other. We were too scared of having a fight.

And the result of avoiding one another is not peace, but distance. You can either face the conflict together and get through it together, or you can retreat from it and stay apart. Retreat enough times, and you'll wonder why you bother trying to be together.

So, we should expect to fight with our loved ones from time to time. It can even be a sign of a healthy relationship if it's handled well. The real key is not if, or when, but how. The way we fight determines if we build or destroy our relationship.

We have some guidelines we call the TEN RULES FOR FAIR FIGHTING. Stay tuned for some tips next time at Family Fire!

About the author — Rev. Deb Koster

Deb Koster is a producer, writer, and speaker for Family Fire. She is also an Innkeeper at The Parsonage Inn in Grand Rapids, MI where she leads marriage retreat on weekends. After over 20 years as a Registered Nurse, she completed a Master of Divinity degree and was ordained as a pastor in the Christian Reformed Church. Deb and her husband Steven enjoy doing ministry together and they are the parents of three awesome young adults.

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