Drama: A state, situation, or series of events involving interesting or intense conflict of forces (Merriam-Webster).
I enjoy drama in film or literature, but I can do without it on a personal level. Though some thrive on it (reality TV?), drama does serious damage to unity.
And unity is something I pray for regularly. Strong ties of faith and family. Harmony. No drama.
I would love for my family to join together in an untangled line of orderly chain links, but the links chafe and the sparks fly.
Today I want to examine some ways drama seizes control.
Misunderstandings: Body language. Tone. Words. All are so easy to misconstrue. When the verbal waters get muddy, ask for clarification. Assume nothing. Reserve judgment and wait for the person to articulate what they mean. Patience goes a long way here. Let the other person explain himself. After all, he knows best what he means. We’re only guessing—and often we guess wrong. Proverbs 20:3 (NIV) says, “It is to a man’s honor to avoid strife, but every fool is quick to quarrel.”
Offense and Defense: Note the wisdom from Proverbs:
- “He who covers an offense promotes love.” (Proverbs 17:9a)
- “An offended brother is more unyielding than a fortified city” (Proverbs 18:18)
- “A man’s wisdom gives him patience; it is to his glory to overlook an offense.” (Proverbs 19:11)
While offense and defense make for a good football game, they make for lousy family dynamics. Defensiveness. Getting offended easily. Scripture gives them both a yellow flag. Give some grace instead. Has that person had a rough day? Week? Season? Are they tired? Hungry? A hug and a Snickers bar may serve the situation far better than a snappy comeback.
Old Days, Old Ways: David received this treatment from his older brothers, “When Eliab, David’s oldest brother, heard him speaking with the men, he burned with anger at him and asked, ‘Why have you come down here? And with whom did you leave those few sheep in the wilderness? I know how conceited you are and how wicked your heart is; you came down only to watch the battle.’ ‘Now what have I done?’ said David. ‘Can’t I even speak?’” (1 Samuel 17:28-29 NIV) Can you sense the sibling tension? People can change, so don’t assume old behavior is repeating. Give others—even those closest to you—the benefit of the doubt. I’m not the person I was ten, five, or even one year ago. I’m still working on stuff, but aren’t we all? Let’s think as highly of others as we want them to think of us.
Here’s a resource I gave my family under the guise of something fun and interesting, but with unity and harmony in mind. I’ve written on the Enneagram before. The Enneagram details nine personalities. Our family has every number except #4. We have two unmarried at this point, so we may get a Four yet. To discover our numbers, all of us read The Road Back to You by I. Cron and S. Stabile. The follow up book,The Path Between Us, examines how to get along with each other. When I need to talk to my youngest, I reread the chapter on Eights. Need insight on my daughters-in-law? The chapters on #6 and #7. My husband? The chapter on Twos.
I want our family to have a healthy unity. Links may create friction at time, but together we make a chain that will hold us steady in the storms of life and against the warfare of the enemy.
Drama, you have no status here. You’ve been dethroned.
Workout of the Week: Dethroning Drama
Memory Verse: “It is to a man’s honor to avoid strife, but every fool is quick to quarrel.” Proverbs 20:3
Meditation Passage: 1 Corinthians 13
Just Do It: Dethrone drama.