Why my mom told me to hit my brother
By: Joe Nyquist
My mom had a bold parenting strategy while I was growing up. My older brother and I would be in a tussle that escalated until it got violent. She would separate us and force us to look each other in the eyes for a few seconds. She said, “This is your brother. You love him.” Then she would calmly say something shocking. “If you really want to hit him, go on. Hit him.”
In the dozens of times I was face to face with my brother like that, I never hit him, and he never hit me. Mom knew our love for each other would win, and she was teaching us that fighting about almost anything isn’t helpful–especially in the light of how much we love each other.
Even when we were fighting with each other, we didn’t really want to be. We just needed someone to point that out to us.
Have you ever had a silly conflict with someone and you really didn’t want to be in that conflict anymore, but they refused to admit they were wrong? What if it no longer matters if they admit they are wrong because you love them?
Whether it’s your spouse, your sibling, an old friend, or a co-worker, stop the fight. It’s not worth it. Pretend my mom is making you stop passive-aggressively escalating the situation, gossiping about them with others, or literally insulting or hurting them. Pretend my mom is making you look that person—a real human, a precious creation of our Lord—in the eye, and she would say, “This is your _______. You love him or her. Do you really want to spend today fighting?”
You don’t want to fight with them. The energy you’ve already spent on the conflict isn’t worth it. Just let it go. The world isn’t going to be a better place because you were right and they were wrong. The world will be a better place because you didn’t let a silly fight ruin a relationship for even another second. Let your love for that person win.