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When feathers hit the fan Январь 28, 2010

Posted by Herbert Mtowo in Today's Devotional.

By Herbert Mtowo,
When the feathers hit the fan
Does this story sound familiar to you?
Jordan groaned inwardly as he picked up the toothpaste tube and replaced the cap that had been left off AGAIN! ARHH! Will that woman ever stop doing that?
It was a constant pain in his side, and something his wife Anne kept doing to him.
She knew that he could not bear the sight of
• bottle tops being left off
• doors left hanging open
• left-over food rotting in the fridge
and ESPECIALLY — the cap being left off the toothpaste!
After a vigorous and angry brushing of his teeth, he stomped into the bedroom, like an animal heading for its prey. “Anne”, he shouted. “When are you going to learn to put the cap back on the toothpaste when you are finished with it?” Anne, in the meanwhile had made discovery of her own. In her attempts at keeping the room clean, she had once again found a pair of dirty socks lying on the floor, which should have been put in the washing basket. She had lost count of the number of times she had pleaded, “Jordan honey, please will you not leave your socks lying on the floor like that” So when Jordan came surging into the room to say his piece, she was ready and waiting with a few words of her own.
It went something like this:
JORDAN : Anne you did it again — you left the cap off the toothpaste
ANNE: Yes and you did it again too — you left your socks on the floor
JORDAN: Don’t you know that the toothpaste will dry out if you keep doing that. We cannot afford to buy toothpaste every second day!
ANNE: Who cares about your stupid toothpaste! I am sick and tired of having to run around after you, picking up your socks all the time.
JORDAN: Well at least I don’t go leaving stuff to rot in the fridge all the time. Did you see all that green stuff growing on the plates there in the corner? It is disgusting, and it breeds germs.
ANNE: Listen I am not like your mother. She might have waited hand and foot on you and picked up all your clothes around you all your life. But you are not a child now. It is time you grow up!
JORDAN: Oh for Pete’s sake woman, when are you to learn to be a normal wife and stop getting on my case about nothing?
The circumstances might be different, but if you have ever lived for an extended period of time with someone, I am sure that you can relate to this story. It happens all the time in some homes! Bringing two or more people together who have grown up in different environments, it takes time for them to begin to click or become one. Yes, the bible says when two are married; they are one, one flesh. The becoming one is not an event, but the coming together lays the foundation for the process being one, to begin. The likes are different, the mannerisms also, and the fact that someone grew up thirty or twenty something years, along the way meets the love of their lives. It doesn’t mean that they will click there on, it takes time to gel. We bring with us the baggage from our upbringings.
What is the cause of this, and how can we stop it from taking place?
What has happened here is a natural result of responding to anger incorrectly? You see, sooner or later we will all become angry about something. And it is not the anger that is dangerous, but the way that we use it. I have written a lot about this in my articles on Hurts, Anger and Bitterness. But perhaps we all need to be reminded of the principles sometimes. Paul tells us in the following passage, how anger can lead to sinful responses:
Ephesians 4:31 Let all bitterness, and explosive anger, and boiling anger, and violent argument, and slander, be put away from you, with all malice:
You see it all comes under the subject of bitterness. When you respond incorrectly to anger you move from bitterness to hate. You might respond in two different ways to anger, but usually both of those are sinful. The one which I described above is a result of explosive anger. It leads to violent arguments. Boiling anger leads to another sinful response, but right now I want to show you how to deal with arguments in your marriage. The answer comes from a man who was an expert on marital arguments, since he was married to many different women.
Proverbs 15:1. A soft answer turns away wrath: but grievous words stir up anger.
This is the only way that you can diffuse a violent argument, or perhaps stop it from happening at all. Of course this is easy to see afterwards, but it not so easy to apply in practice. That is why you need to start working on it until it becomes a habit in your marriage. How do you respond when someone attacks you? Do you try to defend yourself by attacking back? In a marriage often the one partner tends to be more explosive than the other — particularly the partner who is more expressive. But we all explode at one time or another. What do you do when your partner gets angry or irritated and tries to correct you? Do you justify yourself, or take a look first at your own failures.
It’s good to have a look at this and see what Jesus recommended.
Matthew 7:3-5. And why do you look at the splinter that is in your brother’s eye, but do not consider the beam that is in your own eye? Or how can you say to your brother, Let me pull the splinter out of your eye; and, look, a beam [is] in your own eye? You hypocrite, first remove the beam out of your own eye; and then you will see clearly to remove the splinter out of your brother’s eye.
Putting together what both Jesus and Solomon said then, here is how you can overcome this problem and stop it from ruining your relationship/marriage:
a . Learn to see your own failure first — even if it seems much smaller than the failure of the other person.
b. Always answer softly and not aggressively.
If you can apply these two continually, then you will never have an argument in your relationship/marriage, even though you might at times have a strong disagreement.
Now here is the story above, rewritten to show what can happen if you learn to apply this principle.
JORDAN: Anne you did it again — you left the cap off the toothpaste
ANNE: Oh no! Did I do it again? I’m sorry Jordan; I really didn’t mean to do that.
JORDAN: Don’t you know that the toothpaste will dry out if you keep doing that. We cannot afford to buy toothpaste every second day!
ANNE: You are right. I must really learn to stop doing that. Thanks for pointing it out to me Jordan. Please will you remind me each time I do that, so I can learn to stop this bad habit?
JORDAN: Ah, that is ok Anne; it is no big deal really. But you know me — I just like things to be done right. Sometimes I just get too analytical about it.
ANNE: I understand honey. Oh, by the way here are the socks you wore yesterday; can you just drop them in the washing basket there for me? Thanks.
JORDAN: Err, gulp…
Why don’t you try it? I am sure it will help you and it will work for you. We are never meant to endure relationships, but to enjoy them. I would appreciate feedback from you and if you can organize seminars where you are to present these articles. To those who have been writing to us for feedbacks, comments and requests to make presentations’ and to write on particular topics you are very much appreciated. Be reminded that God’s number one institution on earth is the family and God values family



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