Fanning the Flames

Think back to the last time you had an argument with your spouse or one of your older children. The argument you’d consider a real humdinger as words flew out of your mouth, sarcasm cut like a knife, and pride oozed out of your pores. Sparks flew everywhere, igniting flames of frustration and anger.

Sometimes, the embers of those disagreements still burn long after you put out the fire. In fact, it’s possible with just one word you can fan the flames of those distant battles that should be vague memories and generate fresh scars from old wounds

I want to challenge you today to stop tending the fires and start putting them out for good. I should credit my wife, Jane, for this article because she’s much better than I am at not re-igniting fires. She’ll often remind me that I’m picking at scars that have already healed. I have to work hard at not fanning the flames of things that have already burned in my family’s past and produced charred results.

I strive, therefore, to be a person who continues to move forward, instead of being locked into the past. The key to breaking through those barriers is laying down my pride and standing up for my marriage and family. It means not always having to be right, even though you might actually be right. It requires holding on to forgiveness instead of grudges. It’s learning how to really forget arguments of the past and look toward a future of happier times.