#1 Rule in Conflict

As most mornings, we were in a crazy rush trying to get everything together to leave for school. 

“Colby, get your shoes on.”  

“I can’t find them!” Colby said. 

If you have kids, you know that they are notorious for losing shoes because they never put them where they are supposed to go when they take them off. We were getting extremely close to running late for school after looking for shoes for 10 minutes or so. Finally, after searching the living room for the third time, we heard Colby yell, 

“Josie, my shoes were under your blanket! Urgh.” 

I (Daniel) asked, “Colby, are you actually blaming your sister for you losing your shoes?” 

 We all do that, don’t we? In aggravation, frustration, or simply not wanting to own our mess, we cast blame on the one closest to us. It happens in our marriages almost every day. We hold a bar of expectations so high for our spouse that they would have to be an Olympic pole vaulter to jump over it.

 I have found that there is one simple rule that can help any couple that is in conflict. I learned it in 8th grade on a student retreat. It’s called the 90/10 rule. Let’s pretend like 90% of the problem is your spouse’s fault and the other 10% is your fault. What portion of the issue can you actually solve? Can you solve your spouse’s 90%? No. In reality, the only thing you can solve is your 10%. I know what you’re thinking, “But if I can give him one more lecture, I know he will get it!” Or, “If I just escape to my “man cave” she’ll get the hint and stop nagging.” Nope. As a matter of fact, if you are trying to solve their 90%, that may be one reasons they aren’t trying to fix it. It’s called rebellion. When someone tries to control us, we rebel. 

 So, try spending your time fixing your 10%. Chances are, you’ll find out that your percentage of blame is much more higher than you think.  

 Why do you look at the speck of sawdust in your brother’s eye and pay no attention to the plank in your own eye?  How can you say to your brother, ‘Let me take the speck out of your eye,’ when all the time there is a plank in your own eye? You hypocrite, first take the plank out of your own eye, and then you will see clearly to remove the speck from your brother’s eye.” Matthew 7:3-5

Enjoying the Adventure,

Daniel & Bonnie

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