4 Ways to End Grumbling in Your Family
How can our children and spouses become blameless and innocent, above reproach and shining like lights in the darkness? Ancient wisdom tells us that we become blameless, innocent, and above reproach…shining like stars in the darkness when we “do all things without grumbling and disputing.” That would make for a tremendous home life, wouldn’t it? Ban grumbling and arguing in your family and home life becomes much more enjoyable. Imagine it: children completing chores without grumbling. Spouses talking through schedules and finances without argument. Siblings avoiding any arguments by generously giving “first dibs” on the shower or the “shotgun” seat in the car. We would definitely stand out like lights of peace and joy among the families of the world. So, what can one person do to create a family environment in which grumbling and disputing are on the decline? Here are a couple of ideas you can try.
1. Ban grumbling and needless arguing from your own life. The family environment begins with you; so start by banning grumbling and disputing from your lifestyle. Make it a point to replace grumbling with gratitude and arguing with the pursuit of peace. Instead of grumbling about that slow driver in front of you, thank God for the opportunity to relax and spend a little extra time conversing with your family. Instead of moaning about taking out the garbage, rejoice in the opportunity to serve your family. Instead of arguing to prove your point, honor your family enough to really listen and understand their point of view. As you model behaviors that supersede and replace grumbling and arguing, your family can follow suit. Lead by example.
2. Establish clear and consistent limits in your family. Consistent structure creates predictability in the family; and, predictability creates security. Family structure, including limits, boundaries, and rules, also provides a sense of safety. We feel safer and more secure when we know the rules. When we feel secure in a predictable environment, arguing decreases. Family members are more likely to live without argument within the structure of the safe, consistent limits, stated clearly, and enforced in love.
3. Listen to family members with a determination to understand their ideas and opinions. Not only do we listen to their ideas, we allow their ideas to influence us as well. Whether the idea comes from our spouse or our children, we listen to understand and determine how that idea might influence us. Doing so shows respect. It reveals that we value each family member and their ideas enough to take them serious…to let them actually have an impact on our daily life.
4. Practice gratitude. Learn to give thanks every day. Give thanks individually and give thanks as a family. When you feel like grumbling, look for something you can be grateful for in that situation…and give thanks. Voice your gratitude to your family members and enthusiastically listen to your family give thanks. Weave gratitude into the daily fabric of your life!
Four ways for you to model behavior that will put grumbling and arguing on the decline in your family. What are some ways you have discovered to help decrease grumbling and needless arguing in your family?