Sometimes, words speak louder than actions. Calm words. “A calm reply turns away wrath, but a harsh word stirs up anger” (Proverbs 15:1).
Emotions and words can get so loud that it is difficult to hear what our beloved really wants to communicate. How easy it is to get caught up in a stormy sea of yelling, flaring emotions, and vehement arguments!
Anger vented at us might really be a cry for help in dealing with an intolerable situation that has nothing to do with us.
We can de-escalate the anger by slowing down just enough to say a quick, silent prayer to the Holy Spirit. “At that time you will be given what to say, for it is not you who speak, but it is the Spirit of your Father who speaks through you” (see Matthew 10:19-20). The power of a calmly spoken (or as close to that as we can get in the heat of the moment) question can get to the truth that heals far more successfully than any shouting matches.
Questions show that we care. Questions build a compassionate connection. Questions lead to talking about the problem instead of fighting about it.
- In the last argument that my beloved and I had, what question(s) could I have asked that might have given us something more helpful to talk about?
- The last time my beloved fought with me, what questions from him/her might have helped quicken the peace between us?
Strengthen your relationship:
Think of a conflict that has made you feel angry. Then write a short list of questions that, if your beloved had asked them, would have changed your mood. Next, pray together, asking the Holy Spirit to help you both listen with compassion, curiosity, and discovery. Then share your lists with each other. As you listen, say, “Aha!” (or an equivalent indication) whenever a question leads to a new revelation.
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© 2017 by Terry Modica of Good News Ministries