How to handle controversy? If there was a perfect answer for this I guess there wouldn’t be any need to even ask the question. In my experience it comes down to the circumstances of the situation. We have been struggling to find the grace to deal with what started out as a misunderstanding and turned into attacks towards our family. I don’t know the answer but I do know how we have chosen to deal with it.
First, I’m angry. I’m human, a flaw I can’t help. If I feel I made a mistake or something I said was taken the wrong way, I’ll eat crow and make it right. (The Lord finds a way to humble me everyday and an apology is something I have no problem issuing when warranted). But when I am attacked, my first response is usually anger until I have a few moments (or days) to settle, collect my thoughts, and evaluate the situation.
Next, I try to empathize. How would I feel if the shoe was on the other foot? Can I explain away harsh and hurtful statements? Always consider the source, what’s their deal? If the attack is completely off base, it’s coming from a darker place and usually not caused by you.
Finally, the reaction. The way you ultimately choose to handle the situation. Could you fly off and go ape on someone blatantly trying to hurt you and members of your family, or do you rise above? If the statements are just that, statements, and not threats, you must choose which path you’ll take.
1) Go Momma Bear crazy on people and get everything out there, swinging wildly at the hurt others have caused. But when it comes to most situations, this is never the high road and usually puts you on the same level as the people causing you strife.
2) Take the high road. Choose to be a class act. Even though this is not as immediately gratifying as going nuts on someone, it will teach you how to allow grace to speak for you.
Actions speak louder than words, and in some cases my inaction. While upset and talking to Mother, (our affectionate nickname for my husband’s mom) she gave me this advice: “Pray about it and pray for them”. That advice washed over me with God’s grace calming me inside. If I give it up to God, pray about it, He will do the speaking for me. I can fight until I’m blue in the face but nothing will satisfy me as much as being filled with the overwhelming peace God can give.
If I am confident as my decisions as a wife and mother, giving all I have to see to the care and loving of my family, there isn’t any reason to say a word. I can honestly say I try really really hard everyday to be the best woman/wife/mother and role model for our young family. I live without regret, don’t get me wrong, I make mistakes…constantly, but I know that they only come from a pure place. And with that confidence, I can rest easy and let God do the speaking for me.
Dear Lord, please speak for me in situations where I need your voice. Please hold the hearts of those causing harm to others, warm them, bless them, and make them happy. Please help me love those who are able to hurt me and guide me to a path paved with your grace.