Blessed are the peacemakers, for they shall be called the sons of God."
"He touched my side of the couch."
"She got a bigger piece of cake."
"It wasn't my fault. He started it."
Daily, mamas are trying to accomplish big tasks, inspiring their children to love and serve God. Momently, children seem waiting to thwart her best efforts with a fuss, a quarrel, a complaint.
Today's Way may be the most important way to your children and their relationships the rest of their lives.
Way 18 We choose to be peacemakers, even when we feel like arguing.
The cancer of sin is that all of us are selfish and self-centered. We see things from our perspective, we want the biggest piece of cake for ourselves! So, quarreling and selfishness are natural to our sinful personalities.
I always said to my children, "It is natural to be selfish. It is supernatural to be loving and forgiving."
All of us need to understand that peacemaking comes from God. Peacemaking flows out of allowing the Holy Spirit control the moment.
Peacemaking is more than just saying words of, "Well, I forgive you," but holding a grudge in your heart. Peacemaking is giving it up all together. Reaching out to the unlovely one in his or her moment of grumpiness. It is extending grace to one who has hurt you. Leaving the hurt, the injustice in the file drawer of heaven and choosing to act and live in your heart in a loving way.
Feelings usually follow faith. In other words, you don't have to feel peaceful to sow peace. Usually once I have sown peace and humbly chosen not to argue back, then the feelings of love and gratefulness to live in peace after I have made the decision to obey.
Our children need to know that peace-making is a form of spiritual muscle, the strength to lay our lives down is quite honorable and something to aspire to--but that it is not dependent on feelings, but on practicing being a peacemaker. Doing what is right produces the "fruit of righteousness."
Being a peacemaker brings great foundations of influence to you and your children, as ministry requires all sorts of peacemaking. It seems there are a lot of immature and sinful people in the world of ministry. But our responsibility is to become peacemakers, so that the unity of the body of Christ can be a reflection of the supernatural love of Christ amongst us.
As a young married woman, I would fight for my ways, my rights, my point, because I thought it was important. Yet, over the years, laying down my life and my point has become a way of life. Who cares who is right? Most of what we argue about is petty, not world changing.
But to truly understand Christ and his unselfish life we must understand His humility. Peacemaking comes from a humble heart. God's will for us to to conform to the image of Christ--we must be peacemakers and rid ourselves of selfish, self-serving anger and petty aggravation if our children are to learn the humility of laying down their own rights.
"Although he existed in the form of God, he did not regard equality with God a thing to be grasped, but emptied Himself, taking the form of a bondservant." Philippians 2:6-7
"Greater love has no one than this, that one lay down his life for his friends." John 15: 13
We cannot love the unlovely on our own. We must depend on the Holy Spirit to show us how, to fill us with His own love.
Memory verse: But the wisdom from above is first pure, then peaceable, gentle, reasonable, full of mercy and good fruits,unwavering, without hypocrisy. And the seed whose fruit is righteousness is sown in peace by those who make peace.
I love this verse. It gives us an action point--we sow peace! We make it our intention to plant it as a fundamental part of our lives, our conversations, our marriage, our parenting, our friendship.
How did God make peace with us? By laying down His life, even to death.
If you want your children to have friends, to work well with others, to have a good marriage, they must learn this important concept. It is the peacemakers who are blessed. Not those who can argue the best, or those who are always right, or the powerful--but the peacemakers shall be called sons of God.
When my children were harsh to one another or arguing, I would of course stop them right at that point, and work out their argument and make them apologize and pray and ask for forgiveness.
However, one of my friends added a practical application to this concept. She called it the peacemaking couch. She required her quarreling children to sit on a couch together. They were not allowed to get up from the couch until they had reached peace, talked it through, asked for forgiveness and prayed together. What a great pattern to learn for all relationships.
Just remember, even in your marriage, it is natural to argue, to demand your way, to foster criticism in your heart and thoughts. It is supernatural to make peace, to forgive, to take the initiative to end the separation. We cannot say we love Christ and practice anger.
Justice is such a strong part of my personality and so often, I feel deeply, "It's not fair!" in my heart. Yet, it is only in laying down our rights, becoming humble, that we reflect the heart of Jesus. And in obeying Him, His sacrifice becomes of greater value to us.
Peace be with you today! The Lord is near!
And stay tuned tomorrow! I have a surprise in light of the concept of mentoring--a fun announcement!