A peaceful home — what is that exactly? Does it mean that when we walk in our front door we’re greeted with calm voices, mood music, everything is in its proper place, and the wafting aroma from dinner already on the table? Is Peace something deeper but just as tangible?
When I was growing up I remember that there was something about walking through our front door that made me feel safe, glad to be home – peace.
Our family was just as busy as the neighbors and there were sometimes disagreements between parents and teenagers and financial stress just like everyone else – but somehow that peace was in our home.
Not everyone had the benefit of this experience. The good news is that now, as parents, you can decide what your home will be like for you and your children.
Jesus provided some insight about the source of peace. “I am leaving you with a gift–peace of mind and heart. And the peace I give is a gift the world cannot give.” (John 14:27 NLT)
As a mom, I wanted my family to experience the same kind of peace. What I learned was that my husband and I could set the tone for our home, and that we had the power to foster the kind of environment that we believed was best for our children.
Peace has to start with us. This prompts some important questions. How are we dealing with stress and conflict? Are we taking it to God in prayer and sharing with close, trusting friends, or are we in denial about these struggles, burying them in ourselves and then intentionally or unintentionally taking them out on our children?
Some simple rules that can be set in a home to help everyone be mindful of actions and words are very helpful.
- Always speak with respect rather than raising your voice to a family member.
- Always believe your family member has the best of intentions.
- Don’t go to bed angry with a family member – work it out (read about this in Ephesians 4:26-27).
- Say “thank you” and “please”.
- Say “I am sorry”.
- Practice forgiveness.
- Live out the definition of true love:
“Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It is not rude, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres.” (I Corinthians 13:4-7NIV)
These principles aren’t always easy, but they create a powerful family anchor. When practiced and lived out in daily life they can bring so much peace to a home that when a child walks through the door they will know they are home, that no matter what.