“Oh what a woman! She just makes my blood boil – and the last time I communicated with her was years ago!” It was just a small blurb on my Facebook page but it felt like the enemy had intruded into my bubble of a life. This blended family is hard enough trying to figure out how to parent your stepchildren, remove established boundaries between your kids, and his kids and help everyone grow in this new mix of a family. And then we add some verbal digs from an ex-wife!
My reaction to that tiny comment looked something like a rain dance in my kitchen. My hands were waving in the air and I was swaying my body and hopping from one foot to the other. Oh I’m sure it wasn’t a pretty sight. After I tired from my cardio clamor, I finally began to see things as I should, with humility. I learned through this experience that God would have me respond in three ways to help me not get burned: stop, drop and roll.
James 3:5-10 says, “The tongue is a small part of the body, but it makes great boasts. Consider what a great forest is set on fire by a small spark. The tongue also is a fire, a world of evil among the parts of the body. It corrupts the whole person, sets the whole course of his life on fire, and is itself set on fire by hell.” … “but no human being can tame the tongue. It is a restless evil, full of deadly poison. With it we bless our Lord and Father, and with it we curse people who are made in the likeness of God. From the same mouth come blessing and cursing. My brothers, these things ought not to be so.”
Whenever my mouth starts to engage before my brain can signal a warning, problems arise immediately. If I retaliate with my own verbal jabs, then a fight would be on. I don’t want to start a forest fire. Yes, the ex-wife started the fire, but it will not consume me if I don’t fire back. So remember to stop your mouth from being gasoline on a flame.
Secondly, I am reminded when you respond to others’ verbal jabs, you become as silly and foolish as they are. Proverbs 26:4 says, “Don’t answer a fool according to his foolishness or you’ll be like him yourself.” Drop. Drop the urge to participate in this fiasco, because that is what it will end up as. Your children are watching and listening; be the parent who protects more than provokes.
This leads to the third way to not be consumed by the ex-wife: roll it over! My husband was a very safe place for me to rant and rave. He allowed me the freedom for my anger and hurt. He also helped remind me of James 3, which brought me back to reality, who I am in Christ and how I am to respond to others. He then deleted her comment on my Facebook page and blocked her.
Yes, I had a perfect comeback to her comment. Yes, there was a part of me that wanted vindication. But I have a responsibility to react in a way that would honor my Father in heaven – my Creator. Decide now how you will respond when your confrontation happens and remember the tried and true fire safety rules: stop, drop and roll.
Blessings in Your Blending!