When I was growing up, I never saw my parents get into a fight. They would (and still do) argue from time to time, but I have never seen them get into a big fight. I remember some of my friends talking about how badly their parents would fight…or their parents not speaking to each other; however, I guess I never really comprehended it. When I was a senior high school, I went to visit some family for several days. While I was there, their mom and stepdad got into a huge fight. I remember sitting at the kitchen counter eating my sandwich and when they started screaming at each other my food literally fell out of my mouth. I was completely floored at the way they were yelling and the awful phrases they were tossing at each other. I looked over at my cousin, and he just rolled his eyes. I must have had a look of complete shock on my face because he picked up everyone’s plates and led us outside. I guess they were acclimated to the fighting; it just took me by surprise.
There are two resolutions that come from this story. First is the actual situation of the fight. Later on that day, their mom told me that they had been fighting for weeks…that it had started because they couldn’t decide where to put the microwave since they were renovating the kitchen. They couldn’t decide if it should go below the counter or above the oven. How could a disagreement about something so minor become such a massive problem? There are times when we all disagree with someone…whether we like (or even love) the person we are disagreeing with doesn’t matter. You may even seriously dislike the person in your situation, but it does not mean that you become more of the problem. The disagreement is enough of a problem in itself. We all know when something starts to escalate. When it starts to escalate is when we really need to step back. It doesn’t need to get completely out of control. One small spark of an argument can build into an explosion as big as Hiroshima if we are not careful. It becomes a huge problem when something is blown so far out of proportion that you can’t even remember what the problem was in the first place. It’s not really practical to say “avoid any disagreement or argument”. It’s actually okay to disagree with someone, just remember to keep the situation under control to minimize the aftermath.
The second point of my story was to remind everyone how they speak to each other. Everyone deserves a little respect. You don’t have to like someone to treat them respectively. Your friends, your loved ones, your coworkers, and your customers deserve to be treated like human beings. The way these adults were treating each other was incomprehensible. Screaming insults at someone you are supposed to love is not honoring or respecting them. As Christians, we should love everyone. There are people in my life who I may simply not like. Not liking someone is not an excuse to treat someone disrespectfully. I can still love everyone as a child of God and treat everyone with the same level of respect that I deserve. We all deserve to be respected and honored by each other because we are children of God.
Learning to lessen the challenge of an argument is the best way we can respect each other. It all ties in together. When we respect each other, we will be less inclined to fight with one another. We all let situations get out of control sometimes…the trick is learning to recognize that you let it get out of control. Apologizing to someone shows that you still respect them. Honor all of God’s children…respect everyone around you.