This morning we were talking about which truths we've been taught yet still don't live. The first thing that came to mind is, “There is still contention in our home.”
King Benjamin taught, “And ye will not suffer your children that they go hungry, or naked; neither will ye suffer that they transgress the laws of God, and fight and quarrel one with another, and serve the devil, who is the master of sin, or who is the evil spirit which hath been spoken of by our fathers, he being an enemy to all righteousness. But ye will teach them to walk in the ways of truth and soberness; ye will teach them to love one another, and to serve one another.” Mosiah 4:14-15
“No power or influence can or ought to be maintained by virtue of the priesthood, only by persuasion, by long-suffering, by gentleness and meekness, and by love unfeigned;” Doctrine and Covenants 121:41 We are to be long-suffering yet not suffer our children to fight and quarrel one with another. In other words, we are not to allow our children to fight and quarrel.
To solve the contention dilemma in our home, we needed the help of our family. We gathered the children to talk about solutions. Everyone had an opportunity to share their ideas while Dad took notes. We discovered three levels of commitment in our home.
At the lowest level, children often find themselves in the middle of a fight.
At the next level, children don't like contention and walk away from arguments and disputations.
At the highest level, children look to serve each other and improve each situation.
If everyone was at level two or three, contention would be eliminated; but we still have some in our family who choose to remain at level one.
In Mosiah 4:14-15, King Benjamin made the connection between walking in the ways of truth and soberness and eliminating contention. We have noticed much contention comes as a result of lazy and idle time. These are times when children look for ways to pick and tease. When children have a sober mind and a good focus, the home environment improves. Those with a sober mind reflect and ponder upon the consequences of their actions. As light and intelligence are gained, the desire to align life with truth increases.
We talked about what to do when a fight erupts. Most of us felt that running would be a healthy solution. Running laps would remove the child from the situation and give them an opportunity to get some fresh air, cool off, burn off some steam and energy, and have time to think about a better solution to their problems. All of us feel better when we exercise. We have a lot of runners in our family who run just because it makes them feel good.
One of our sons came up with the mantra, “Until you strengthen your mind, we will strengthen your body.” lol :-)
Family life is a work in progress.