1. To Love is to Forfeit your Right
to say all that comes to mind in the heat of the moment...
more on that in a moment
2. I Respect him
even when I don't agree or like what he said or did
especially publicly and in front of the kids
3. I don't Undermine his Authority
even when he's not doing 'Parenting' my way
4. I'm not hesitant to Show him Affection
and YES, in front of the kids...
"You are both so mean to each other."
We were stunned into silence, saddened by the fact that our toxic communication had been making him sick all along.
So we began to stop fighting around him. We'd be into it, and he would enter the room and we'd soften our words, our tone, our volume. He lived with us, so this deliberate stalemate when he was around, really put a damper on our fighting. And then over time, through innovations in language and posture of tone and volume...we stopped fighting all together.
Don't get me wrong. We still disagree; as adamantly as before, but we set out to (no matter how mad or upset we get) to stick to this:
Even if it's true; Even if it's your "Right" to say it
Because words are Powerful and even more so,
the WAY you deliver them
There are UNLIMITED WAYS to say the same thing
Many of which may be mean and hurtful
Some of which will be factual, yet kind (and therefore loving)
"You never..." & "You always..."
Are very toxic when used negatively
If your argument feels like a pitch made by a car salesman
...relying on EMOTION and URGENCY, just don't.
Most Infrastructural Arguments are better had as Conversations
...After the emotions have simmered down
Unless it's a life or death situation, put away your words until you can filter what you say, through the desire to
Do No Harm
Call a Truce & Revisit Once 'Kindness tastes Possible'
Facts about actions, circumstances, and feelings
Will still hold true outside of the 'heat of the moment'
To Love is to Give
When we manage to do this... to filter our words and communication through kindness; to build each other up and to verbally and physically love each other; we show our kids through example that to love is to give an unearned gift. To love, to truly love, the way love was designed, is to extend grace in every possible way that makes up for how far from perfect we are.
1 Corinthians 13:4-7