Breaching the Dam

October 16th, 2013

Scripture: Read Proverbs 17:14
“Starting a quarrel is like breaching a dam; so drop the matter before a dispute breaks out.”

Explanation: Quarreling is contagious. One person starts and others join in. It rarely ends well. That’s why Solomon in all of his wisdom writes Proverbs 17:14.

You might read this story to your kids about a dam that collapsed in Colorado creating significant flooding.

Thursday, September 11, 2013 near Boulder, Colorado

In Larimer County, five small dams in the Big Elk Meadows area failed, trapping a family up a washed-out county road, said John Schulz, a spokesman for the Larimer County Sheriff’s Office. When a county emergency services worker hiked in to check on the family Thursday, he saw a wall of water smash through the home’s front door and flood the first floor. The family of three and their dog huddled on the second floor and waited to be rescued. The worker left a communications radio with the family to maintain contact.
As of Thursday afternoon, efforts to rescue the family had stalled.  County Road 47, off the highway between Lyons and Estes Park, is washed out, preventing vehicles from reaching them.

Surging stormwaters channeling out of northeast Denver neighborhoods caused the rupture of the Havana Ponds dam inside Rocky Mountain Arsenal National Wildlife Refuge, located just northeast of Denver. The dam broke around 10 a.m. as overflowing water ripped out several concrete slabs.

The currents carved an 8-foot-deep gully through the refuge and washed across roadways. Refuge managers raced to a series of other stormwater holding ponds and opened valves to relieve pressure.

By evening, the Irondale neighborhood at the northwest edge of the refuge was evacuated because the massive amounts of water retained on the refuge could no longer be contained by an earthen embankment distant from the Havana Ponds.

Discussion Question: How is breaching a dam like an argument or quarrel? What is the best way to protect your family from out of control quarreling?

Lesson Learned: Arguments in family life are like dams that have been breached. Emotions come rushing in and people get hurt and relationships get damaged.

Activity: The Oatmeal Dam
Here’s one time your family might enjoy playing with their food, and it’s even encouraged! Mix up a batch of oatmeal ahead of time and let it cool so that it’s quite firm. Plop a mound in the center of a large platter and have the kids use tablespoons to make it into a mountain. Create an impression in the top where you can put some milk or water.  Then, talk about how arguments weaken the dam. Let kids make small impressions on one side or another until some of the milk comes through. Once it starts to flow, can you get it to stop? Not too easily. The dam is breached and the liquid has a hard time staying in.

Debrief: Talk about strategies to keep the dam of arguments from breaching in your home.


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