Rules for Fair Fighting: Rule #6

Rev. Deb Koster

September 6, 2018

FAIR FIGHTING RULE #6: Take the Volume Down 

When we’re angry, we use angry voices. Maintaining a calm presence in the midst of conflict is challenging. It is far easier to escalate arguments, increase the volume, and sharpen the intensity of emotion. When pressured, a natural response to get defensive--we are self-protective creatures! And as a child of God, you deserve to be heard! But escalating anger can become a destructive cycle. It takes an intentional effort to redirect the cycle toward peace. Who has the courage to be the hero and take the steps toward peace? 

PROVERBS 15:1 — A gentle answer turns away wrath, but a harsh word stirs up anger. 

We should work to lower the volume toward a solution, not escalate the problem. Seek to be the cooler head and make efforts to cool down the conflict. Remember the goal is to honor your marriage, not win a victory. When we can step outside of the emotion of the moment and look at the situation from another’s point of view, we begin the journey of empathy. Only then will we approach reconciliation, which is so much sweeter than winning an argument. 

PROVERBS 15:18 — A hot-tempered man stirs up dissension, but a patient man calms a quarrel. 

Sometimes we just need to hit the pause button on an argument. If things are too hot, it’s okay to say, “Let’s break for five minutes and try again.” Stopping for a breath and trying to listen instead of responding with more anger are important skills to learn. Are you able to take the high road and become the hero in your relationship?

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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