A Piece of St. Benedict's Rule
St. Benedict teaches in his Rule not to rudely argue with the Abbot in the monastery and not to argue at all outside the monastery.
Father Dwight Longenecker, in his book, Listen My Son, St. Benedict for Fathers, addresses these two principles. Looking at the second principle, he says we should teach our children not to argue with each other or with their parents outside of the home to show solidarity in the family. What a great understanding of "family" as well as self-discipline. The first principle, Fr. Longenecker points out, must be understood as St. Benedict meant it. He points out that arguing is not the problem, but arguing rudely. It is good to argue sometimes but it must be done respecting the dignity of those involved. He writes, "The usual reason that argument becomes either heated or icy is because a problem has been brewing for some time and no one has had the courage to bring it into the open. So the best way to keep argument manageable is to encourage constant and open communication. Both children and parents should be able to express their feelings honestly, but without losing control." Open, respectful communication helps a family draw closer as well as grow in their respect for one another.