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How to Slow Down all the Fussing in Your Home

It is natural to be selfish, defensive and full of pride. But it is supernatural to be mature, loving, patient and humble. Training, bit by bit, is the key to developing a child with a good attitude. Maturity takes years, but the fruit of your labor will be worth it.

Ever since Adam and Eve ate the apple, people have been discontent and fussed! As parents, we tend to be so irritated at the quarreling and immature fussing of our children. Yet, it is no more attractive in adults. I have been convicted over the years, that the first place of creating a peaceful environment in my home must start with me. I am responsible to God to seek to love and serve others because of His love for me.

Fussing comes from a heart issue–it has at its root the basis of all sin–selfishness and self-centeredness. The attitude behind all quarrels and contention says, “I want my way. I deserve to be the center of attention. I need to have all of my wishes and desires met and everyone else is wrong when they violate my needs and desires.”

However, another spiritual contention comes from pride–I know more than you, I am older than you and I can push you around and for adults, –my religious philosophy is doctrinally more correct than yours, my educational philosophy is better than yours, I am less bad than you or I am better than you and so on. Pride is also at the root of contention.

Fussing is at the root of divorce, family separations, church splits, sibling rivalry, and any kind of contention that separates people.

So How to Slow Down all the Fussing in Your Home?

I have always told my children that it is natural to be selfish, defensive, argumentative, full of pride, but it is supernatural to be mature, loving and patient, humble.

Training, bit by bit, is the key to a child developing an attitude of good will. Maturity takes years.

For many years, I wondered if I was making any progress at all. Yet now, my children love to be together and generally treat each other with respect. They have learned a pattern of how to give grace, ask for forgiveness and make up.

Our whole family memorized a verse that became our training verse for our children to become peacemakers when there was a conflict.

“Live in harmony with one another. Do not be proud, but be willing to associate with people of low position. Do not be conceited. Do not repay anyone evil for evil. Be careful to do what is right in the eyes of everybody. If it is possible, as far as it depends on you, be at peace with all men.”

Romans 12:16-18

A friend taught me about “the peace making couch.” When her children had an argument, they were required to sit together on a couch until they could work out their argument, ask for forgiveness and pray together. This left a pattern in their lives for the process of restoring relationships.

In our home we also would:

Stop when an argument broke out.

Talk to the children involved to find out the issue.

Ask them how the verse we memorized applied to the situation.

Ask them what God would want them to do.

Stay until the argument was stopped or ask the child who kept it going to leave the room until he could gain control of his spirit. Sometimes, if the child or children were especially harsh, I would have them write the verse out and then read it to me. Then I would ask them to tell me what God’s way for this situation would be.

Repetitive exercises have instilled these verses deep into the minds of my children, so that as adults they have a wise place to go when they are tempted to argue. Choosing to be an instrument of peace requires us to obey His word and His will and to make a choice to be peacemakers and life-givers. Maturity is a process of practicing obedience and choosing love while also knowing that it is the Holy Spirit who lives in us, to work out His good pleasure and holiness through us.

Training and practice helps cultivate a child who is mature, strong and understands how to live a life bringing the peace of God into all situations.


Sally Clarkson, I Take Joy

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  1. “I have always told my children that it is natural to be selfish, defensive, argumentative, full of pride, but it is supernatural to be mature, loving and patient, humble.”~~~I love this quote. It would be a wonderful ecard! Thanks for the post. Little posts are wonderful encouragement as a parent!

  2. My husband and I were having an awesome conversation tonight about our children, teaching them and enforcing loving correction – I read this earlier today and had to read it again aloud to him tonight. We try do a lot of stopping the argument and working through at a character level, but I love that you had a family verse to always refer back to. That is a fantastic idea that we are excited for the Spirit to use in our parenting!

  3. Thanks for this wonderful post! I learned about the peace making couch from the e-conference and it has brought so much peace to our home. It’s amazing how taking a moment to stop & think helps everyone, including the frazzled Momma! I’m always encouraged by your reminder that this takes time. I need to remember that over & over again! Thank you!

  4. Thank you. I love, love, love ideals but sometimes it’s a challenge to figure out how to implement them or take practical steps towards those goals. I’m going to write these verses out and our family is going to hide them in our hearts over the coming weeks!

  5. Thank you so much for this. I was so searching for a direction to help achieve a better home environment for our 4 kids. Thank you again for allowing God to use you for His service. May God bless you and your ministry.

  6. My kids have been at each others throats for a couple of weeks now, I hadn’t know how to fix it….Thank you for this post. It was an answer to prayer for me!

  7. I so needed this today! My children woke up arguing and I fell right into the trap of arguing back with them!

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  9. Yes!! I have wanted to know if I was doing the right thing in breaking up the fights in our house. The kids NEED to learn to live at peace with God, others, and themselves. A friend of mine lets her kids fight it out; “may the best one win” sort of attitude, but I never agreed with that because instead of teaching the kids to resolve their own issues, it teaches them that fighting is a solution. Thank you so much for this post! God bless you! 🙂

  10. Oh Sally, I dearly wish I had some way to personally thank you for all the ways you and your books have helped me be a better mother. I have seen the selfishness taking root in the hearts of my 6 and almost 3 yr old (& am constantly battling it in my own heart), but haven’t been able to deal with it effectively without losing my own emotions. Thank you, thank you, thank you for this practical explanation of how to handle in it in a grace-filled and heartfelt way, while pointing them back to the truth of God’s word.

    Thank you for all the ways you and your family have invested your lives in helping moms be the best they can be for the Kingdom. I am so thankful for you and your team!!

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