Although most of us start our marriage and family with the adage that we won’t be the family that fights, face it – every family fights.
I love the honest conversation about parenting with grace and truth we started a few days ago. But one of the things that dialogue revealed thus far is that the tension between grace and truth provokes conflict between spouses, which in the end, isn’t healthy for the kids either.
So here’s a principle that I hope helps: when you fight – fight for the person you’re fighting with, not with the person you’re fighting with. There’s a world of difference between the two.
When you fight with someone:
- You want to win
- Walls are built up
- Relationships are jeopardized
When you fight for someone:
- You want them to win
- Walls are torn down
- Relationships are prioritized
The claim for truth parents is that marrying grace and truth helps us fight for our kids and for our spouses, not with our kids and with our spouses. It helps us communicate in way that gives the relationship value because we’re not concerned that we win or even that just the truth wins, we’re concerned that they win because the truth won.
Now the claim for grace parents: often, it’s actually worth fighting. Conflict avoidance is not automatically biblical. If it was, the Gospel makes no sense (I believe there is a cross involved). People who truly live in the grace of God also live in his truth, and to fight for someone is often the loving thing to do.
What aspect of fighting for your family challenges you? What makes you want to avoid a fight at all cost, or makes you too ready to have a fight?