Words of Hope: Minor Adjustments

Dad loved unity, and he didn’t like disagreement. He also was a fierce competitor. Our family could get into heated disputes around politics, news, or even card games. Dad worked on this aspect of his character intentionally throughout my life. When I was young, he could get intense over winning a game or an argument. I could, too, and sometimes we would get angry at each other. I would hang up on him sometimes if we got heated during a phone call. This was bad character on my part! HaHa

Our family had a rule never to let the sun go down on our anger. We always resolved our conflicts quickly. As we aged, we wanted to be calmer and not trigger each other. Dad and I made plans together. We committed to honor our relationship above wanting to win or be right. Dad asked me to adjust the way I spoke on the phone. I have a harsh start-up – I like to get right to the task instead of starting with something kind or loving. Dad asked me to work on this—to start the phone call with gratitude rather than immediately asking– are the girls ok? (He drove the girls to school for me often). I also asked Dad for a few adjustments. These small changes allowed up to enjoy friendship with each other even more. It’s amazing how a few small intentional changes make a big relational difference. Dad was a tremendous friend, a relational expert of the highest caliber, and he got there through wisdom, humility, and daily commitment to putting love first.

“A soft answer turns away wrath, but a harsh word stirs up anger.” – Proverbs 15: 1