RELATIONSHIPS: Getting along is not natural

Getting along is not natural; it is supernatural. It will require godly parental involvement and judgment.

Last week, we began to discuss relationships in our homes. We saw that conflicts need our involvement. As parents, we have to stop what we are doing in order to bring help and healing into the relational conflicts that occur in the course of daily living.

So what do we actually do? How do you stop two fighting children who really are angry and hurt?

Here’s what we learned along the way.

First, go to the place of quarreling. As a parent you carry God’s authority into the situation. Your presence may be needed to stop the escalating behaviors.

Secondly, find out what happened by hearing both sides. Allow each one to tell his full story with the other one listening. This keeps the story honest. Clarify the facts as much as possible.

Acknowledge their feelings: anger, hurt, frustration. Ask, “How did you feel when ___________________?”

Uncover their actions and responses. “So, what did you do?”

Help them evaluate their responses before God. “Was it OK that you _____________?” What does the Lord say about this? (At this point, you are appealing to truth from previous Bible study times. You are attempting to draw out what they know and apply it to this situation.)

Resolution: let the one who did the wrong ask forgiveness.  In many cases, they will both be wrong. Forgiveness must be asked on each side. One will ask, “Will you forgive me for _____?” Then wait for the response: “Yes, I forgive you.”

Have them pray for each other. James 5: 16  “Therefore confess your sins to each other and pray for each other so that you may be healed.”

Many times this is enough, but other times, you may need to follow up with discipline so that the resolution is just. Things should be made right. You may also want to follow up with a Bible study at a later time when tempers have cooled and emotions are calmed.
As they grow older, they will use these tools in resolving their conflicts with one another and with others.

Psalm 133:1 in the Message expresses our goal:
“How wonderful, how beautiful, when brothers and sisters get along!”