Can a blind man lead a blind man? Will they not both fall into a pit? Luke 6:39
In honor of my son, who read Day 20 and said, “Mom, you left out the part about how you made us do that thing”, here is my second strategy in quelling arguments between kids.
1) Take two contentious children in the midst of a tussle.
2) Have each of them stand on opposite ends of a living room or other large space.
3) Make them say Ephesians 4:32 in unison while looking at each other. (“We will be kind and compassionate to each other, forgiving each other, just as in Christ, God forgave us.”) Note: expect some rolling of the eyes and resistance. Hang tough.
4) Instruct them to take one large step toward each other and say it again.
5) Repeat steps 3 and 4 until the two squabblers are nose to nose.
6) Force them to end in a hug.
There is power in the spoken Word of God to dispel conflict. It’s also very hard for two children to stand nose to nose and not break into giggles. Do this enough times, and someday this could happen: “We better quit arguing or mom will make us do that thing.”
There may be a lesson here for adults as well. Two people in a heated debate are often blind to the other’s point of view. Before falling into the pit of strife and hostility, maybe someone should step in and make them look at each other in light of God’s forgiveness.
No guarantees, but it’s worth a try.