Sunday, March 21, 2010

Peaceful Families Can Happen: Overcoming Emotional & Physical Abuse

No More Emotional or Physical Abuse!

It was such an honor to be a guest on the inaugural Blog Talk radio program called Peaceful Families Hour on March 18th. Sabrina Evans Laurence, of Red Rose Ministry, worked diligently for a year to persuade the governor of her home state of Maryland to declare an official Peaceful Families Day. That very day, Governor Martin O' Malley handed down the proclamation. Laurence aspires to make this a national decree to help inspire families to turn away from physical and emotional abuse.

I shared about creating and modeling a peaceful family. Far from perfect, my family has fumbled through the years, maintaining peace only because God was leading the way. These are the top ten skills/lessons I'd like to hand down from experience:

· When you argue, learn to "fight fairly"...that means no name-calling, no accusing, no yelling. When things heat up, take a break and return to the discussion later.

· Determine and pinpoint the real issue and don't stray into other topics or older conflicts.

· Remember that winning the argument is less important that winning God's pleasure (be humble).

· Grace and forgiveness aren't optional (to give and to be received). When our loved ones mess up we need to immediately give them comfort. Natural consequences will still occur to teach a much better lesson than our anger.

· Respect is the centerpiece to keeping peace in a family. Earn it and give it liberally.

· Finding purpose as individuals leads to contentment. Contented people are easier to get along with, so pursue being one.

· Keep your eyes on the prize. Shared faith in Christ (by believing His promises, His ability to change things and by following the blueprint for peace layed out in the Bible) can be sustaining. Being on the same page where faith is concerned brings unity and ultimately peace.

· Set healthy boundaries with clear consequences...and follow through. Empty threats never work.

· Never let fear determine your actions or rule your life. When we operate out of fear, we make skewed choices. God didn't give us a spirit of fear but of faith. Make bold, fearless choices to maintain peace.

· HELP! Just like the old Beatles tune says, "Help me get my feet back on the ground." Sometimes we reach an impasse that seems insurmountable. Whether in a tumultuous, desperate family situation or a family that is on track but wants to continue building a model for peace, there are wonderful resources. I've listed some below.

Do you have a peaceful or abusive family story to share? Any tips you'd like to add? Share below.

Diane Markins

Suggested Resources for Maintaining a Peaceful Family

Websites and Supportive Organizations (Grace and Truth Relationships, marriage coaching & coach training)
-------------------------------------------------------------------------------- (Family Dynamics Institute)"> - Family in Crisis (Family Crisis Support Services)


Becoming One: Emotionally, Spiritually, Sexually by Joe Beam

Love and Respect
by Emerson Eggerichs and Fritz Ridenour

His Needs, Her Needs
by Willard F. Harley

Building the Christian Family You Never Had: A Practical Guide for Pioneer Parents by Mary E. DeMuth

Grace-Based Parenting by Tim Kimmel

Making Children Mind without Losing Yours by Kevin Leman

The New Dare to Discipline by James C. Dobson

John Trent's StrongFamilies


Sabrina Evans Laurence said...

Diane, what a wonderful blog post for all families to read! Its so informative and reminds us of how we must strive to love each other unconditionally every day. I love the ten skills/lessons you share with us as they specifically point out precise details about how to handle particular situations that often comes up in many of our households.

Emotional abuse is widespread as we know. It rips apart the very fabric/glue that holds our families together. Its degrading, mean, and unGodly like. If our families could learn to "fight fairly" more often, argue (as you said) with "no name-calling, no accusing, and no yelling" there would definitely be a better chance for more peace to be created in our homes on a consistent basis. One of the most important things you mentioned was keeping our "eyes on the prize", having "shared faith in Christ". I absolutely love that! Again, as we know Christ MUST be the focus and direction of our families in order for us to achieve any amount of real peace and happiness. We MUST follow the ways of Christ, be obedient to the Word of God, believe, trust and have faith as we walk in God's ways, not the world's, that He will guide us, provide for us and sustain us through out everything we encounter.

God so graciously gives us all free-will. He gives us the power of choice. My prayer is that all families around the world will exercise their free-will and CHOOSE peace over hostility.

Sister, you are such a blessing to this world! Your blog posts are so inspiring. From my heart to yours...thank you for allowing God to use you in such a mighty way! I am humbled by His grace and grateful for our connection.


Your Sister in Christ,

Diane Markins said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Diane Markins said...

Thanks for your kind words and the inspiration to write this post. It is an honor to join you in offering input into people's life for God.

There was a tech glitch and some subscribers received a garbled version of the post. Hope they'll visit the blog to read the whole thing.