Peace. It’s definitely a prized commodity these days.
I don’t know about you but with all the chaos happening on a daily basis in the world, my own peace and the peace of my family have become very valuable and something I guard. As a mom, one of my major concerns is how to teach my children to live in God’s peace and security in today’s ever-changing world.
Never before has it been so important to make our homes a place of refuge and a dwelling place for God’s presence, even in these “button-pushing” “kid-raising” years.
I learned something very vital from my mom growing up. We didn’t always live in the safest neighborhoods but we always lived in a very secure and peaceful house. Because she knew her authority IN CHRIST. Here’s what she taught me. The key is that YOU can set the atmosphere you want to have in your home. It’s like the thermostat in my car. Why is the temperature different inside and outside my car? Because when I get in, I get to set the atmosphere in the car using the thermostat. If I don’t set the thermostat, the temperature inside the car would eventually become the same as the temperature outside the car.
We get to be the thermostat in our life and in our home. We, as children of God, have the authority and the right to do this. We get to choose and set the atmosphere that we want to have. Because we can choose and create our atmosphere, it doesn’t matter what is around us, our atmosphere can stay unchanged.
So, a big part of my focus in raising my kids is to maintain (keep) peace in our home while our children are growing up. Just because God lives in us doesn’t mean peace is automatically going to happen for us. And here’s the next step. Teach our kids how to go out from us and set up their own place with an atmosphere of peace. The Hebrew word for peace is shalom. It means to be safe, whole, tranquil, sound, healthy and complete. Basically, it means to have nothing missing and nothing broken.
Ouch. We’ve got to take a serious personal inventory and ask, “Does this describe the atmosphere in our home today?”
First off, God desires that we, as His children, dwell in designated places/homes of peace. It’s all throughout His Word:
· Isaiah 32:17-18, “The work of righteousness will be peace, And the effect of righteousness, quietness and assurance forever. 18 My people will dwell in a peaceful habitation, In secure dwellings, and in quiet resting places.”
· Proverbs 3:33, “…the Lord blesses the home of the righteous.”
· 2 Samuel 7:10-11, “And I will appoint a place for my people in Israel and will plant them, so that they may dwell in their own place and be disturbed no more… I will give you rest from all your enemies. Moreover, the Lord declares to you that the Lord will make you a house.”
· 1 Samuel 25:6, “And thus you shall greet him: ‘Peace be to you, and peace be to your house, and peace be to all that you have.’”
· Luke 10:5, “Whatever house you enter, first say, ‘Peace be to this house!’”
Wow, PEACE be to this house! Nothing missing or broken in here! If this is God’s will and purpose for our homes, shouldn’t we be striving to make sure it’s happening?
1. One of the biggest killers of peace is strife. Matthew 12:25 “…every household divided against itself will not stand.” I’ve heard it like this: Strife is like dropping a rattlesnake in a baby’s crib. It’s a sure killer. Stop it immediately from operating in your home.
I’m just going to drop this right here. Shut off the shows that constantly show arguing and disrespect of adults, friends, males, etc. Our culture is pretty much teaching kids to disrespect everything possible right now. Don’t get mad at your kids for emulating garbage they see on tv when, as the parent, you’ve allowed it to play over and over in your home. It’s pretty crazy what Christians allow to be played and watched in their homes and then can’t figure out why there is junk going on.
We’ve got 3 kids. My son’s 5th grade teacher was astounded that my kids actually liked each other, waved at one another in the hallway and sought each other out at lunchtime to check on their siblings. She kept asking me how we had accomplished teaching our kids to love each other when they were around their friends and classmates. Then one day she started texting me pictures of them during quick moments at lunch talking together or in the hallway. It baffled her.
Honestly, I didn’t have an answer for her then. I was just grateful to hear they were acting right (being an honest mom here). But the Holy Spirit spoke to me later when I was asking Him about it. He said this, “Their relationships with one another are just a natural outflow of the harmony that you enforce in your home.”
I’m not gonna lie. It’s not easy as parents to keep the strife out. And it’s to-the-bone wearisome at times to keep going over the same verbiage about how we support each other, cover for each other, extend grace and forgiveness to each other and don’t argue about who is right with one another. You get the point.
But then come times like last year when covid and lockdowns hit and our home suddenly became a wonderful peaceful refuge, for not only our family, but a group of teens who met here on a weekly basis for a whole year. Many of whom were going through chaotic situations in their own homes and lives. Depression, isolation and feelings of rejection had hit hard for some of these girls. Time and again, girls walked in and commented on how peaceful it was in our home. The Holy Spirit was able to minister to their hearts during those sessions and they didn’t want to leave at the end of the night. I had to literally tell them to go home as I moved them out the door each week. Jesus’ supernatural peace was tangibly evident to these girls in our home. I’m so thankful.
2. If Jesus told his disciples to speak peace to a house (see above Luke 10:5) then we should be doing it to our homes. Walk around your house and declare it fruitful. Stop in your children’s bedrooms and declare that “the peace of God abounds in this room.” You might feel silly saying it out loud but do it anyway. You are charging the atmosphere with your words. Turn on Keith Moore’s Peace of God songs to play round the clock. Pray with your children over the neighborhood and home that there is nothing missing or broken here where we live. Prayer should be a key thing happening in our homes on a continual basis. Be proactive to invite His Peace in your home. One key thing we do before bed as a family is say the first part of the 91st Psalm out loud together:
We dwell in the secret place of the Most High.
We abide under the shadow of the Almighty.
We say of the Lord, you are our refuge, our fortress, our God.
In You we trust.
Here’s the bottom line. Regardless of what has been going on in your house up until this point, we all have the opportunity to rebuild the foundation under our spiritual feet.
Jesus tells the parable,
“Everyone then who hears these words of mine and does them will be like a wise man who built his house on the rock. And the rain fell, and the floods came, and the winds blew and beat on that house, but it did not fall, because it had been founded on the rock. And everyone who hears these words of mine and does not do them will be like a foolish man who built his house on the sand. And the rain fell, and the floods came, and the winds blew and beat against that house, and it fell, and great was the fall of it. (Matthew 7:24-27)
If you’ve been living on sand, start pouring God’s word into the foundation underneath you and your family. As strong and secure as most families seem, many of them are quietly crumbling from the inside out because they’ve neglected the words of Jesus in the Scripture. We unintentionally build homes on comfort, privacy, entertainment, etc. without making room for God to speak. Then when trials begin to rain down, or the floods of crises come, or the winds of life beat against us, our house falls apart. Build your home upon the Rock and watch it become an instrument of His Peace to all those around you.
Some other scriptures to check out:
Psalm 127:1, “Unless the Lord builds the house, the builders labor in vain.
Deuteronomy 6:5-7, “Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your strength…teach it to your children…talk about it when you sit at home…”
Proverbs 14:1, “The wise woman builds her house, but with her own hands the foolish one tears hers down.”