Don’t Play With Matches!
As charcoal to embers and as wood to fire, so is a quarrelsome man for kindling strife. Proverbs 26:21 NIV
“I can’t find the thing,” I spat into the phone.
“Which thing?” my husband questioned me.
“The thing. The thing! The thing that tightens the car seat!” My patience thin, I shouted into the phone while my husband tried to explain how to install my daughter’s car seat.
I hunched in the back of the van, stepping on toys and castaway cereal, heat dripping down my face, trying for the life of me to find the magical tightening strap for baby Grace’s seat. The temperature outside was ninety-eight. I was sure it was ten degrees hotter in my vehicle.
Later that afternoon when my husband came home, an apology was necessary for my short temper and blistering tongue. “It’s okay,” he told me as he kissed my forehead, “I knew you were just hot.”
Heat is one of my trigger factors.
When tempers quickly flare in any relationship, trigger factors are often the reason. They are outside influences that can affect our temperament and lead to conflict. Trigger factors vary for each person. Mine are heat and clutter. One of my husband’s is hunger. If he is hungry, he will often snap at me for no good reason. He isn’t actually mad at me; he just has a hard time controlling his emotions on an empty stomach.
Think of a match. At first strike, it flares and fizzes, then settles down for a quiet but quick burn. You can do two things before you get scorched.
1. Drop the match and leave it alone; it will sputter out in a hurry. Or
2. Throw the match on something and start an even bigger fire.
When your spouse hits a trigger factor, it’s like those matches. You can drop the issue and choose to overlook some harsh words knowing you aren’t the true cause. Or you can start a rip-roaring fire by focusing on the quick flare.
Identify trigger factors for both you and your spouse. Next time you sense a fight coming on, look for those tricky little nuisances and make a choice. Drop it or start a fire.
this devotional was in my mail box this morning and I thought it was worth sharing...