Real Men Lose Arguments

2 Oct

boys for socccerI love being the father of three boys.  I enjoy playing video games with them (I regularly destroy them in Super Smash – alright, I only sometimes win).  As a dad, I look forward to our next “Boyd boys” night when my wife needs a break, and I am left home alone with the boys.

However, I do not enjoy the sibling rivalry that happens between my sons – especially the older two (who are currently 8 and 10).  My sons are always in competition with each other.  They argue regularly, and always want to be the one who gets the final word.

Recently, we were playing a simple car game where whoever first knocks on the window after seeing a yellow car gets a point.  The winner is supposed to receive a hug from the losers.  A yellow car passed by us, and they began to argue about who knocked first.  It became so bad that even my three year old began to yell, “No, I got it first!”

Although we implemented the game in order to build family unity, it was currently tearing us apart.

I let the argument go for a few rounds, but soon I couldn’t handle it any longer.  “Why doesn’t one of you be a better man by being quiet?”  It was a great idea.  They thought about it, and then unfortunately decided no.

We sometimes believe that the one who argues last, argues best.  

As if saying the final words, makes one victorious and better.

I felt like a pretty great dad – spiritual and smart.  However sometimes seeing the truth in the lives of others is easier than applying it in our own lives.

Gagged manJust hours later, I got into a heated discussion with my wife, and guess what I mostly wanted – the final word.  The problem was that my wife also wanted it.  So the heated discussion formulated into a fight, and then into a brawl (A fight is a disagreement that is being dealt with in unhealthy ways.  A brawl is when all issues of your marriage and personal lives are used to solve the fight.)

So many times, our heated discussions are not about issues of moral right and wrong, and these discussions can be easily stopped if someone would decide that they do not need the final word.

Often, our agruements are no longer about the issue, but about domination and power.  Our desire to win causes us to say and do things that we know that we should not.  I hope that in the future, I will realize that my desire to have the final word is not healthy, and certainly is not godly.

Today, I hope that I will learn how not to have the final word.  I pray that I will be swift to hear, slow to speak, and slow to wrath.

For some reason, this is what I think a real man of God would do.

Dr. G. David Boyd is the happy father of three boys, and the husband of Rachel.  He is the Founder and Managing Director of EA Resources.

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