How do you resolve problems with your partner, family members, friends and/or colleagues? Did either one of your parents teach you your conflict resolution ways? Is it working to build stronger relationships?
These are difficult questions, but from a quick perusal of the news: nine-year old boys slapping their intoxicated mothers, NFL stars punching their fiancees and bribing silence with wedding bells, women who undress and take pictures for attention, men locked in pornography–the list goes on, begs a look at our behaviours, and the idea of generational consequences.
The way we deal with situations is taught behaviour from mimicking those who took care of us as children. Few of us think about why we do what we do, or what our triggers for various responses and patterns are. It’s easier to be a zombie than to wake up and look with wide eyes the path we’re walking. But do we consider the effect on those who watch or come after us? If we picked our habits and behavioural traits from our parents or guardians, what makes us so sure we’re going to teach the children around us better? We won’t, unless we do the hard work within to clean up house.
Thank God He helps us with this task. God changes minds. It may be that fear holds us enslaved so that defeat is all we see, and negative consequences what is expected, but God changes minds. St Paul of Tarsus, sought out and killed Christians. God changed his mind. Jonah ran away from his mission to deliver judgment to Nineveh – God changed his mind. Before I was saved, I loved the world and all it had to offer – there was no limit to my appetites – God changed my mind. And He continues to do so to countless other people every second of the day.
The importance of a changed mind is a changed will, a redirection, and a new pursuit (take the good). It becomes easier to drop habits (leave the bad) we’ve picked up that don’t promote relationships, and we pursue the virtues that help us heal and keep relationships. It also becomes a necessity to weed out what isn’t working. When our minds are changed, we forget ourselves and think of those who come after us, including the ones around – watching. We realize that we are either one of two examples:
– someone to emulate
– someone to avoid.