Submitted by Sylvia

        When I found this Bible Study years ago I saved it for further use and have shared it with many ladies groups. You will see that it is a little different from some “How to Argue Fair” studies because of the #7 Rule. I´m not gonna tell you what that is, just read on and you will see! Love you all! Sylvia
In marital relations and in physics, heat destroys.

“But foolish and unlearned questions avoid, knowing that they do gender strifes.” (2 Timothy 2:23)

“To speak evil of no man, to be no brawlers, but gentle, shewing all meekness unto all men.” Titus 3:2
But God knew that we would get into arguments because Christ recommends that when we have controversy, we should agree or make peace with our adversary as quickly as possible.

“Agree with thine adversary quickly, whiles thou art in the way with him;...” (Matthew 5:25a)

        Conflict should be dealt with openly. Suppression builds tension and resentment, elevating the intensity of the conflict. Arguments conducted fairly, clear the air and make room for growth. There is no growth while partners hold grudges and resentments. When you find yourself in an argument, how do you argue fairly?

1. CLARIFY THE ISSUE. Make sure you know what the issue is. Often arguments are solved before they start by being sure the people involved are not arguing about two different issues.

2. REPEAT THEIR WORDS. Check out your assumptions. Repeat, in different words but as precisely as possible, what your partner has just said to you. Sound simple? Try it – you might be surprised. Your partner will often exclaim, “That is not what I said.” When this happens, have your spouse say it again. This time, listen more carefully. Then, try repeating once more what you think was said. Many arguments are solved when one understands exactly what the other has said.

3. CHOOSE THE RIGHT TIME. Arguments that pop up at the wrong time (like 3 o’clock in the morning or in front of company or the children) are unwise to follow up. This is one time procrastination pays off. Learn to put a discussion or fuss off until there is no unnerving inconvenience nor an audience.

4. LOOK BEFORE YOU LEAP. Often, after an argument, we look back and see no real accomplishment. If the goal is not worth the risk, concede before you start. “The beginning of strife is as when one letteth out water: therefore leave off contention, before it be meddled with.” Proverbs 17:14

5. RESOLVE TO RESOLVE. “Sixty-eight percent of both husbands and wives say that disagreements are seldom resolved. Too often we start arguing about one issue and then get into a mud-throwing contest over ten side issues without resolving any one of them. If you have agreed on an issue which needs to be discussed, then stay on that one subject.

6. ATTACK THE PROBLEM, NOT THE PERSON. When arguments turn into mud-throwing contests, usually someone feels he is losing ground and resorts to a mud ball to equal things up. Mud-throwing contests are seldom equal. Someone puts a rock in his or her mud ball – and the marriage has had it. Mud slinging usually begins with a statement like: “What you are saying about me is no worse than when you ...” Here comes the mud! It’s usually unfair to dig up the past. Leave it buried.

7. HOLD HANDS. Silly, but it works. You will never know how hard it is to argue holding hands until you have tried it. This non-verbal communication (holding hands) says, “I love you and want to hold you.” It is impossible to verbally assault your mate while holding hands. You will either drop your hands and “reach for a mud ball,” or you will tone down your argument and resolve it. Try it – and don’t turn loose until the argument is resolved and you have prayed together.
Added note from Chris .. I have done this #7 with my children and OH it is wonderful .. have you ever tried to hold hands while making a bed or washing dishes? How about folding clothes? They always end up laughing and LOVING!

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