5 Keys to Keeping Peace in Your Home

Never be in a hurry; do everything quietly and in a calm spirit. Do not lose your inner peace for anything whatsoever, even if your whole world seems upset. ~ Saint Francis de Sales

Peace. Just saying the word brings a sense of calmness to the soul. Stretch it out … p-e-a-c-e. Peace be unto you. My peace I give unto you, Jesus said. Apparently, peace is a divine gift worth receiving.

Peace, however, is an often illusive ideal for families — something that everyone yearns for but has trouble keeping. Home should be the center of peace, tranquility and acceptance. In fact, the Bible instructs us to “seek peace and pursue it” (Ps. 34:14).

Peace in your home and family, however, starts with you. You must recognize that peace is an inside job. It’s a decision you make, not something you wait to feel. Brian Tracy, said, “Set peace of mind as your highest goal and organize your entire life around it.” You can learn to remain peaceful no matter what is happening in your life. Here are five mind-changing attitudes to help you ‘set’ your peace of mind.

  1. Stop trying to figure everything out. For to be carnally minded is death, but to be spiritually minded is life and peace (Rom. 8:6). To have peace, you first must understand and accept that you won’t have all the answers. Being spiritually minded means trusting God to work out the details. Don’t let yourself get overwhelmed. Stuff happens, but it’s almost always not as bad as your mind contemplates. Worry and anxiety happen when you spend today’s strength and energy trying to figure out tomorrow’s answers. All that does is sap your strength, so you won’t have the emotional and physical energy you need to deal with your now. Take therefore no thought for the morrow, for the morrow shall take thought for the things of itself (Matt. 6:34).
  1. Realize the things that upset YOU don’t necessarily upset those around you. Your spouse may be quite content to have newspapers scattered across the kitchen table, and socks on the floor. Your kids don’t mind that toys are everywhere, their faces are dirty or their rooms are a mess.

Find a compromise (co-promise) to de-stress your situations and restore peace. Shut the door to the messy room so you don’t have to see it. Ask everyone to spend just five minutes a day to de-clutter your living areas. If possible, do it together to build a sense of teamwork and cooperation. Finally, be ye all of one mind, having compassion one for another … be sympathetic, be courteous (I Peter 3:8).

  1. Pick your battles. Some things are just more important than others. If it bugs you that someone’s dirty socks or wet towels are strewn on the floor (we won’t say whose), pick them up yourself. Do what you need to do to maintain your own peace of mind instead of fighting or nagging to make someone else do what you want. Being angry or resentful hurts you more than it bothers them. Trying to change your world and everyone in it doesn’t work. Instead, relax. Be confident that He who hath begun a good work in you [and them!] will perform it until the Day of Jesus Christ (Phil. 1:6). God’s got your back!

Of course, responsibility and discipline are vital lessons and it’s important to train up a child in the way he should go (Prov. 22:6), but it helps to be flexible. My dad expected us kids to jump when he told us to do something, regardless of what we were doing at the time. As a result, my brothers defied him as often as they could – with disastrous results for everyone. I could never spank our daughter (I’d had enough of that in my childhood to last two lifetimes). Instead, find consequences that work for your situations.

  1. Don’t freak out. Most of your stressors are really just life’s persistent nuisances. Ask yourself, “Will it still matter next Tuesday?” In other words, how big a deal is it anyway? Is it life-threatening or just frustrating? Learn to categorize your complaints. Then, like any good planner, focus on the important issues and leave the lesser ones alone. Practice ‘planned neglect’ when you can. Give yourself permission to let some things slide by. Learn to say no and let go of some things that are no longer important (like your parents’ rules). Take Jeremiah’s advice to fear not thou, and be not dismayed … be in rest and at ease (v. 46:27).
  1. Don’t be a ‘martyr’. Does it feel like you’re “the only one who does anything around here”? That may be true – but then, you’re the only one who WANTS everything done. I carried that attitude for years until I finally realized that I was not ‘put upon’ or taken advantage of. I was actually doing all the ‘stuff’ because I felt better when I was done.

When Jesus showed up at Lazarus’ house, Martha had a hard time dealing with the chores associated with feeding and caring for the crowd. Jesus told her, “Thou art anxious and troubled about many things” (Luke 10:41). She expected Jesus to tell Mary help out, but He essentially told Martha that she needed to reset her own priorities.

If a particular issue is important to you or you want something done, recognize that you are doing it FOR YOURSESLF, not for anyone else. They don’t care as deeply about it as you do. In fact, they may not care at all. Give them the freedom to be who they are. Love {God’s love in us) does not insist on its own rights or its own way …Love never fails (I Cor. 13:4, 8 AMP).

Time is the most valuable asset you have, and it’s not a renewable resource. Don’t waste your emotional and physical energy on things that ultimately don’t matter. I’m not advocating a messy house, just a lived-in one full of peace and joy. Give your family the gift of your time and attention, not a list of chores accompanied with nagging and complaining. Sow peace, and you will receive more peace in your home.

Every letter from Paul to the churches (houses) of the family of God declared grace and peace, even when he was writing to correct or discipline them. For instance, to the Ephesians, he wrote May grace (God’s unmerited favor) and spiritual peace [which means peace with God and harmony, unity and undisturbedness] be yours from God our Father and from the Lord Jesus Christ (v. 1:2 AMP). Isn’t that what you want for your own family?

We all know there are two forces at work in the world – good and evil. It is up to you to stand against strife, find ways to overcome it and maintain the peace that God promised to His children. After all, He told you to stand fast therefore in the liberty wherewith Christ hath made us free (Gal. 5:1), even after you have tried everything else.

Make a quality decision to seek peace in every situation. Pray daily, just like Paul did, for God’s peace and harmony to surround you, your family members and loved ones. To have a peaceful home, start with a peaceful you.

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