We are still learning the ways of the Lord in how we are to relate to each other. The Lord speaks to one of us and that person shares with the rest of the family what He is showing them. Just last night our two oldest said that God revealed to them that we have been handling disagreements and conflict in a way that causes more strife instead of in a loving way that produces peace and closeness. So we repented of that as a family, and we will be watching our attitudes, intentions and motivations and make sure we do everything out of love.
We are in a constant battle against selfishness and pride. I want our family to be glorifying to God. I want us to walk closely with Him and keep Him first in all we do. I see that we are making progress. The older kids are developing their own relationships with God and making their faith firm and establishing what they believe in.
The younger kids are asking questions and learning to pray and trust God to answer their prayers.
But I want so much more for us spiritually. I want to have an atmosphere of prayer and worship in our home. I would like for us to be tuned into God all the time. We have so many distractions with TV’s, computers and video games. We really need to devote ourselves to prayer more than we do, especially with such pressing needs.
I received a gentle admonition about not spending enough time one on one with each of the children just talking with them and finding out what they are thinking and feeling. I was told that sometimes this is all it takes to correct problems before they become an issue that stirs up strife. I am taking this to heart and will try to visit with them more often throughout the day. We have noted a tendency that we all have to go our separate ways and do our own thing instead of doing things together as a family. It’s hard to change this habit, but we are going to work on it.
We know that strife is really destructive, so we are going to be more intentional about keeping it out of our home in the future.
The definition of strife from Dictionary.com is:
1. vigorous or bitter conflict, discord, or antagonism.
2. a quarrel, struggle, or clash
3. competition or rivalry
Synonyms are: 1. difference, disagreement, contrariety, opposition. 2. fight, conflict.
The Bible tells us: “For where envy and strife are, there is confusion and every evil work.” James 3:16
And in Philippians it says: “Let nothing be done through strife or vainglory; but in lowliness of mind let each esteem other better than themselves.” Phil. 2:3
Two resources that are helping me understand more about how to deal with disagreements and relationship problems are a book called Keep Your Love On by Danny Silk and Lifestyle of Learning Ministries with Marilyn Howshall at lolache.com.