Gary's blog for couples and parents plus resources for individuals, leaders and churches.

Thursday, July 4, 2013

Avoiding Friendly Fire At Your House

War has many unpleasant outcomes - debilitating injuries, time away from home and challenging stresses and emotional issues long after time of service finishes.  And of course the worst result of all is death - the loss of a mother, daughter, son, father, brother or sister. Life is never the same after that.

However, there is one kind of death that makes the situation even harder to bear. Death or injury from friendly fire. Someone gets hurt or killed accidentally by the bullets or bombs of one of their own.  As I write this our country is celebrating our independence on the 4th of July but that independence came with great cost including some who were lost but were inadvertently taken away through the error of a fellow soldier or team.

Sadly, there are friendly fire results in many homes that are also tragic and could have been avoided as well. Children, spouses and parents can all be the recipients of explosions and other ammunition that gets shot into a home or family.  Let me talk about some that could actually be stopped or deflected if we will just stop and admit it is there.

Verbal assaults.  Name-calling, shouting, rage and put downs are common in many households.  People may not even think they were making a big deal or hurting someone else through their words but it happens all the time. Children begin to think they are bad all the time, spouses are told how stupid or dumb they are and just an angry tone of voice can be devastating.

Proverbs remind us that death and life are in the power of the tongue.

Unreasonable expectations. Some parents won't accept anything from their children less than their being number one, getting an "A" or winning. The implication even in their compliments is that the results should have been better. How do I know this is a problem in many families?  Because I talk almost every week to these kids who are now grown ups in my counseling office and they are still paying the price of their parents unfair desires for them.

Selfish decisions.  Many adults in the middle of an affair, a divorce, financial struggles and a host of other things make quick, inward focused decisions without considering who else in the family might be affected. I wrote recently of this in a post about divorce but it happens in myriad situations. Often couples are so mad at each other that they will yell, scream, deceive, conjur and manipulate to get their own way not realizing that several other sets of eyes are watching and hearts are breaking.

My hunch is that you can think of some more settings where friendly fire can take its toll.  Look at yourself and your situation and ask God to show you where those situations might be.  Or if the ones I've discussed here are true of you, decide today to make a change now.

The battle is tough enough without hurting those you love in the process.

Gary Sinclair Writer | Speaker | Leader

Gary is currently a consultant, teacher, speaker and chaplain providing resources for families, leaders and churches.

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