Jon Limmer
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If it is possible, as far as it depends on you, live at peace with everyone.

Romans 12:18

As we talked about peace (shalom) on Sunday, we explored our role in bringing completeness, rightness, and wholeness into this world. As a tool to help us, we introduced the idea of Clean Fighting from the Emotionally Healthy Relationships course. The following is an excerpt from the EHR workbook (pages 132-134)

As promised . . . here is a summary of the steps to clean fighting. Doing it well takes practice and commitment. If you're interested in exploring this (and other helpful ideas) more fully, watch for our Emotionally Healthy Spirituality and Emotionally Healthy Discipleship courses coming in 2019.

Steps to a Clean Fight

  1. Ask Permission. State the problem. "I notice . . . "
    •  e.g., "Mom, I notice that ever since I have moved back home from college, you regularly give me advice."
  2. State why it is important to you. "I value . . . "
    • e.g., "I value having an adult to adult relationship with you, rather than an adult-to-child relationship." 
  3. Fill in the following sentence:  "When you . . . I feel . . ."
    • e.g., "When you give me unsolicited advice, I feel hurt because I think you don't think I'm responsible enough after having lived on my own for four years, graduated college, and now am working full-time."
  4. State your request clearly, respectfully, specifically
    • e.g., "I'd like to ask that you refrain from giving me advice unless I ask for it." 
  5. Listener: Consider the request. In a few sentences share your feelings and perspective."
    • e.g., "Wow, Jessie, I had no idea how my words were affecting you. But as a mom, I have concerns and I see I can be overprotective at times."
  6. Listener:  Say if you are willing to do all of it, some of it, or none of it.
    • e.g., "I am willing to stop giving you advice. But once again, I am your mother and I might slip. I would like to ask you to gently remind me when I'm crossing your boundaries."
  7. Speaker:  Agree to the request or offer an alternative.
    • e.g., "Mom, if you do slip and give me advice, how about if I signal you with the words compredé or gotcha to let you know you have crossed a boundary." 
  8. Listener Responds
    • e.g., "That's great, Jessie."
  9. Together, write your agreement and plan to review it in a few weeks.
  10. Review the agreement in two to four weeks. (Set a date and time to do so!)

At its heart, this process is about respecting the value of the other person and also about respecting their boundaries. Whether it is using this process, or in some other way, may God use us to be people who bring peace with us into our world!