I cannot count the number of times I have wanted to engage in text message wars with my ex, but I know fighting out of anger rarely accomplishes anything except more anger. Instead I have taken to typing the message I’d like to send, mentally forwarding it to God with a “Do you know what I want to say to him Lord. He’s a…?” kind of statement, then I delete that message and then send a simple, “Thank you,” “Have a good night,” or “I’m sorry you see it that way” response.
Planning this type of response ahead of time does not allow my emotions to take over my intelligence but still gives me an outlet for my frustration. Fights are rarely possible when one contender refuses to join in the ruckus. This is part of the turning the other cheek or offering forgiveness 7 times 70 times as Jesus said.
To be honest, I also cannot shamefully deny there have been a number of times that I have retaliated with equally nasty texts, and I can tell you how humbling it is to apologize for them when I have. When I am simply letting anger get the better of me, God does not approve of my fighting. This is when I find myself apologizing and oh is that a hard pill to swallow!
On the other hand, there are times I know God wants me to fight.
I must fight for child support. My boys are God’s children even more than mine. God expects me to provide for them in the best way I can. That does not mean giving them every material good they ask for. It does mean teaching them about charity. No matter how much money I make, receiving child support allows me to give more to those in need. Even if I made a million dollars (I plan to someday!) I would still expect child support and would use a portion of that support to teach the boys how to help God’s hurting children all over the world. It would be wrong of me not to use what the law says I should receive for good. By allowing a parent to not pay child support, we allow money that could go to a needy charity to be spent in uncharitable pursuits. Not collecting when you are entitiled to also makes it more difficult for parents and children who really do need the support to collect since the noncustodial parent will hear stories of how people got away without paying support and think they can too. Additionally, the court system makes it extremely difficult for working parents to file for child support enforcement. We need to stand up to that and be courteous but vocal about that each time we appear in court.
I must fight for my safety and that of my children. If my well being is endangered, God expects me to value myself enough to do all I can to put a stop to it. God gave me my body, heart, and mind. I owe it to him to be sure they are treated well by others and by myself. To say children must be protected and valued should go without saying. Children, no matter what their age, are more valuable than any adult who patticipates in physical, mental, or sexual abuse of any kind. Children will look to you to see how they should act and how they should be treated. You cannot control your spouse or others so do not look to them to solve the problem. What kind of message do your actions give your children? It often takes only one parent to stop the cycle of abuse. Will you be the one?
I must fight to keep God’s Commandments. I must fight my husband when he does something to break those commandments, especially in front of the children. This means when he makes things more important than the Lord and breaks the first Commandment, I need to talk to the children about this on an age appropriate level. When he has the children sleep at his house with the other woman there, I have the responsibility to be sure they know this is wrong in the eyes of God. This does not mean putting down the other woman, but it does mean making sure the children know what they are doing is wrong. It is a fine line and the wording and frequency of discussions must depend on the age and level of understanding of the individual child.
I must fight to keep temptation from own my heart and mind. It would be very easy to turn to someone else (false god?), curse the Lord, covet the intact families and financial ease others have, and more, but now more than ever, it has become all important to provide a good role model for my boys by being extra careful to follow the right path even when I’d rather not.
When you are upholding the will of God, it is time to fight. It may not be easy or what you feel like doing, but if you are doing what is right, it is a good fight. Let go of those unworthy fights which only attempt to pull each of us down. Instead, lift your head high and know that no matter what ridicule, frustration, hurt, or anger you may experience it is always positive to fight the good fight.
The goal of this command is love, which comes from a pure heart and a good conscience and a sincere faith. Some have wandered away from these and turned to meaningless talk.
1 Timothy 1: 5-6