I’m reading Peacemaking for Families: A Biblical Guide to Managing Conflict in Your Home by Ken Sande. That man is kicking rocks and taking names, mine in particular.
From page 117: Some of the desires that fuel our children’s conflicts are clearly sinful, like pride, selfishness, jealousy, greed, or sibling rivalry. However, many of their conflicts will be generated by good desires elevated to sinful demands. For example, there isi nothing inherently wrong with wanting to have a cookie or to watch a video or to spend more time with Dad or to excel in a school subject or sport. But if a child becomes resentful, sullen, or angry when not getting what he or she wants, it is evident that a wordly desire has taken control of his or her heart. In biblical terms, the desire has become a functional god or idol that is temporarily ruling that child’s life.
Thus conflict becomes an X-ray of our children’s hearts. When others stand in the way of their desires and they quarrel and fight, their sinful desires are exposed. This gives us as parents an excellent opportunity to help our children break free from worldy desires.
But instead of beating them down with condemnation, we should pray for them and use questions, instruction, and gentle confrontation to help them see that something other than God is controlling their hearts and lives. At the same time, we should remind them of the forgivenss and freedom that God offers them through the gospel (emphasis mine).
Dadgum. I’ve got a lot of learning to do.