Good morning, Five Minute Families! Christians around the world just celebrated Easter. What a roller coaster of a week Jesus had leading up to His crucifixion and resurrection. That week began with the Triumphal Entry into Jerusalem. The quickest synopsis we can give is that Jesus brings peace between God and man. Since entering a town on a horse indicated you wanted war with the people, but entering on a donkey indicated you wanted peace, the donkey sent that message as Jesus’s purpose.
Let’s talk about peace or war in the family unit. A friend shared that after a recent argument with her husband, she felt convicted by the Holy Spirit to apologize; even though she really didn’t see what she had done wrong. She obeyed the prompting anyway. After she approached her husband and apologized, he immediately responded that she had done nothing wrong, the fault was his and that while he appreciated her heart in the matter, as soon as she apologized, he was convicted of her actual innocence in the argument.
Please note, she was not trying to manipulate her husband into accepting his guilt. She was obeying the Lord. She felt that if the Lord was telling her to say ‘I’m sorry’ that He would also reveal what part she had handled poorly. God had a different plan for her obedience. Her obedience brought reconciliation and peace back into their home. How do you approach your family members – with a peace mindset or a war mindset?
Let me give you another quick example. As I have mentioned before, one of our son and I butted heads often in his teen years. After so many miscommunications, disrespectful moments, and teen defiance, I began to enter every situation with him with a war mindset. That certainly seemed his mindset, and unfortunately, I met that mindset step for step. It was a recipe for further conflict and hurt. When I stopped taking his behavior personally, trusting God to work in his life while I obeyed the Lord in my parenting, the war began to die away. He still saw me as the enemy for a time, but with a mindset of peace, I could better see him from the Lord’s perspective and not my own hurts.
Note that peace can have different meanings in different contexts. As our pastor put it, peace can simply mean that we are not currently fighting OR a broken relationship has been restored.
So in Matthew 5:9 when God says, “Blessed are the peacemakers, for they will be called sons of God” which peace did he mean? Well, the term ‘peacemaker’ is used only once in the New Testament but the root of the word ‘peace’ is used 92 times in 86 verses. That root refers to the peace of joining – of setting together as one, again.
How can a five-minute family have a mindset of peace?
The best option to bring about peace is to prevent war in the first place. As a family, you need a plan for peace. That plan needs to include an attitude of gratitude, kindness, patience, courtesy, and humility. By choosing to invest everyone’s time and efforts on the fruit of the spirit, you can stay better united – more peaceful in the first place.
Annnnd, how do we have a mindset of peace in the midst of division?
Ask God to reveal to you the other family member’s hurt. Open yourself up to see your loved one as God sees them and that includes the hurt that YOU have inflicted on them.
Verbally remind your loved one, especially children, that you are on their side, that you want the best for them. Admit when you don’t know what the best should be yet or when you let your own pride or desires get in the way, but choose to have your loved one’s best interest in mind.
Sometimes, there are situations that we intentionally avoid because though they are in need of resolution, if our mindset is still one of war instead of peace, we must keep coming back to time of praying until the Lord tells us when to enter into a discussion that will lead to peace, not more hurt and war.
Remember, seek out your pastor, mentor, or counselor if you and your family are carrying around hurts that do not seem to be healing, or you have had a traumatic situation that could feed an environment full of hurt.
God wants unity, peace, and love to reign in our lives, and our peace mindset will make that more and more possible for our loved ones.
Have a great week and be blessed!