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Let Your Children See You Fight

I’ve heard many parents, and several parenting sites and articles exclaim that you should NEVER fight in front of your children.

Some say it causes emotional damage.

Some say it gives a feeling of insecurity.

But what about when they are grown? What lesson has been learned in the home about conflict?

I once talked with a young lady who was considering separating from her husband and even considering divorce.

She said she couldn’t take it.

She said she was tired of all the fighting.

She believed that it was unhealthy, and that arguments meant that the relationship was doomed, because her parents “never argued or fought.”

Is that true?

Is an argument grounds for pronouncing the marriage dead?

Had her parents really never fought?

No. Of course not.

Her parents had simply decided to “never let their kids see them fight.”

This may have been a well-intentioned attempt at guarding the kids’ emotional fortitude, but what they had really done was cripple the kids’ ability to handle conflict well, as they had never been exposed to it at home.

Their only encounter with conflict was a shocking, painful experience with the kids at school who, in an emotional outburst, handled it terribly and showed how arguments and conflicts mean the end of a relationship in most cases.

Proverbs 22:6 says that you are to train your children up in the way they should go

What all does that include?

Is that in money management? Absolutely.

Is that in responsibility and discipline? Of course.

In education? Yep.

What about in conflict resolution? What about how to handle when you disagree with someone? For certain, that would be included in training up your child.

The way you do that is to conflict. And then to resolve conflict. And all that through the filter of God’s word. And all in front of those you are training to handle conflict.

What you don’t want is for your son or daughter to grow up, get married and then when conflict begins, them to believe something is wrong with them or their marriage because married people aren’t supposed to fight.

Marriage is full of conflict, but moreover, full of opportunities to grow in resolving conflict.

Marriage is when two sinners - who are broken because of struggle and hurt and circumstance and misguided beliefs, who are struggling each day with themselves - now have been put in a house together to deal with another broken, hurting person with their own struggles!

And we think conflict means something is irreparable?!

Conflict means we have more growing to do.

So, do conflict.

Do it well.

Do it so your kids can see.

But don’t stop at conflict.

Let your children see you reconcile.

Let them see your dependence on Christ as the mediator, not only for your salvation, but also for your marriage.

In talking of the commands of God, Deuteronomy 11:19-20 says:

You shall teach them to your children…when you are walking, when you are sitting in your house, when you lie down and when you rise. You shall write them ion the doorposts of your house and at your gate.

God’s word commands us to reconcile with Him and with others, and even says that when you aren’t reconciled to your spouse, your prayers may be hindered (1 Peter 3:7).

What better way to teach this command to your children than to show them, in person what it looks like to reconcile?!


My name is Adam Casey. I am a counselor at a faith-based drug and alcohol rehabilitation program in North Alabama. Day after day, for hours at a time, I am sitting with men who have seen (and done) some terrible things. Through these counseling sessions, personal struggles, and teaching classes on how Christ is the answer to recovery and reconciliation, many revelatory epiphanies have emerged. All of which are what inspire this blog. I am fully aware of my depravity and certain ability for flaw so make sure to test everything you read here with the word of God. Also, feel free to  write and respond. I love your feedback.

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