Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Avoiding Arguments

I've been pretty sleep depraved lately as Sam is not yet sleeping through the night.  By 6am he is up for the rest of the morning and crying for his oatmeal; the three older kiddies wake up at 7am and life is just nonstop from that point on. 

During the day, Sam takes little catnaps and isn't down more than an hour and then he's back up again and crying to be held.  I try to sit him in his chair or lay him on a blanket, but it only works for a little while, not enough time to get more than a small amount of housework done.  And today I had an appointment outside the house I had to travel to with Sam - so that took another 90 minutes out of my day.

And before I know it, the kids are home, dinner needs to be cooked, HW needs to be done, and the laundry has sat in the dryer for the 2nd day in a row (ok, ok, it was actually sitting there all weekend and tomorrow is Wednesday…).   To boot, the kids are practically bouncing off the walls waiting to go out on our new Christmas Light Scavenger hunt… when daddy storms in the house yelling about the car doors… and my heart just sinks.  Once again I left the side doors (both doors this time) wide open after I came home from picking up the kids from school… and today it was raining.


I wanted to argue back and yell about MY day and how tired I was and just dig my heels in and fire back!  But I don't, that's the old me and, thanks be to God, I'm not that person anymore.  So what do I do?

1)    First I just close my mouth.  I know I should probably pray first, but if I don't physically close my mouth in order to stop myself from reacting, then I can't get anything else done.  

Proverbs 10:19 "Too much talk leads to sin. Be sensible and keep your mouth shut."

2)     Pray!  Just  a quick prayer asking God to help me do the right thing and not feed the fire in anyway. 
Psalm 34:17 "The LORD hears his people when they call to him for help. He rescues them from all their troubles."

3)    Give hubby space.  When my husband gets upset, he wants to be left alone.  He doesn't want to "talk" about his feelings or try to make nice… no, he needs to stew a little and be left alone.  So if he's downstairs, I will go up to our bedroom and relax with Sam or read my Bible.   
Proverbs 25:24 "It's better to live alone in the corner of an attic than with a quarrelsome wife in a lovely home."

4)    Get busy and continue to pray!! Sometimes when I'm also upset (like I was today) I actually have to get busy! If I sit still, my mind will just stew in my anger and though I'm not yelling at my husband in life, I'm yelling at him in my head - which is just as bad.  So I will get to cleaning (or something else physical) and pray for myself for just a minute, then I move on and pray for others. I find that concentrating on praying for the lives of others helps to put everything in perspective for my own life.   
Ecclesiastes 5:20 "God keeps such people so busy enjoying life that they take no time to brood over the past."
 Psalm 104:34 "May all my thoughts be pleasing to him, for I rejoice in the LORD."
Ephesians 6:18 "Pray in the Spirit at all times and on every occasion. Stay alert and be persistent in your prayers for all believers everywhere."

These steps have really helped me on so many occasions when my first reaction is just to start an argument (which was the person I used to be!).  Granted, I'm not perfect and I will have my moments where I will open my mouth and argue - but those moments are getting farther and farther apart and I'm learning to recognize them quickly  now and quickly repent.

And please don't think that I think wives should be scared little mice, too afraid to speak!  The Proverbs 31 wife is anything but a scare little mice! She is a strong, industrious woman who isn't afraid to speak - but when she does speak "her words are wise" (Prov. 31:26)
God has definitely brought me a long way from where I used to be, but I know He has a more humble person that He wants me to be - more like Jesus was.  And I know that this is all part of making me more like Jesus.  My  heavenly Father is just purging the old me and purifying the new (Psalm 66:10).  So I am grateful that God gives me these opportunities to show myself worthy.  Father God, please help me to be what is beautiful in your eyes, to clothe myself "with the beauty that comes from within, the unfading beauty of a gentle and quiet spirit, which is so precious to God." (1 Peter 3:4)

In Christ,


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