Fighting Fair …

by Larry A. Attig, Pastor, Melbourne First Church of the Nazarene

February has multiple celebrations and every day has some national day of something. While most of us have never heard of the majority of those celebrations, we are familiar with Presidents’ Day, Lincoln & Washington’s Birthday, Groundhog Day, Ash Wednesday and Super Bowl Sunday. The only thing that may get more attention than the super bowl is Valentine’s Day. It’s probably good those two events don’t fall on the same day … Just sayin’.Naz church 1

Mother’s Day sells more cards, Halloween sells more candy, but Valentine’s trumps them all for the amount of red roses sold. While I haven’t (and really don’t care to) verify this, someone has suggested that if you totaled all the sales of cards, chocolate and flowers together that were sold for Valentine’s Day, it would be second only to Black Friday. It seems we give a lot of attention to telling someone we love them …

I’m learning after 40 plus years of ministry and marriage, that no amount of cards, chocolate or flowers are strong enough to build a relationship on. Maybe that’s why 1 out 2 marriages end in divorce. Let’s be honest, every relationship … Every marriage …has its moments of “discussion with emphasis”. How we we respond to those determines the strength and maybe even length of the relationship.

There are many components to a great marriage, but if there is one thing I wish I would have learned sooner, it was how to fight fair.

Basics of fighting fair:

*Face each other…

*Eye contact shows you are involved.
*Ignore distractions … Stay on subject, resolve the issue that started the discussion in the first place.

*Guard your tongue … Avoid name calling, keep your volume under control.

*Don’t bring up the past … Avoid phrases like “you never…” “You always…” Bringing up the past communicates you have not forgiven.

*Touch … Yes, this sounds cheesy… But try it, it’s harder than you think. Holding hands softens the heart, creates vulnerability, makes you more willing to be reasonable, to listen.

*Finish the Fight … Don’t quit with the issue unresolved. Unresolved conflict only creates bitterness and anger. Take a break if necessary, but come back and resolve the issue.

Don’t misunderstand me, it’s good to give your sweetheart a card, chocolate or flowers… Just love each other enough to fight fair.

If it is possible, as far as it depends on you, live at peace … Romans 12:18