Better a dry crust eaten in peace than a house filled with feasting – and conflict.
Your family sits down for dinner. The mood is light and jovial. The kids have been taking care of their chores and homework while mom and dad were working together to get the meal on the table. Talk of the day’s activities fills the air along with a few jokes, memories, and plans for the upcoming weekend. With everyone at their place, out comes the meal: Kraft Macaroni and Cheese (from the box), applesauce, and water. Bon Appetit!
I think we would all agree with Solomon: It would be better to have a meal of saltines in a house filled with peace than a lavish steak dinner in a house filled with strife. Home many parents long for a peaceful home? How many parents want their kids to get along? How many kids want their parents to be measured and even-handed and fun? Of course, as long as sin is present there will be conflict, but love covers over a multitude of sins (1 Pet. 4:8) and every member of a family needs to make allowances for one another’s sin (Col. 3:13). Peace doesn’t just happen. It needs to be sought after and pursued (Psalm 34:14). Is peace a target in your home?
What causes tension, stress, and fighting in a home? James tells us quite simply – we don’t get what we want so we quarrel (Jas. 4:1-2). Scorners ruin a home, as do fools. An angry person ruins a home, as does a bitter one. Discontent and covetousness will undermine peace at every turn and make a peaceful home a near impossibility. What is the solution? The first step is to realize that we tend to hit what we aim at, so as a family you need to start to discuss Peace as a goal. Not simply a lack of major conflict…but peace that is loving, mutually edifying, and seeks the best interest of the group over the desire of the individual. The Apostle Paul summed it up perfectly in Colossians 3:12-14…
Since God chose you to be the holy people he loves, you must clothe yourselves with tenderhearted mercy, kindness, humility, gentleness, and patience. Make allowance for each other’s faults and forgive anyone who offends you. Remember, the Lord forgave you, so you must forgive others. Above all, clothe yourselves with love, which binds us all together in perfect harmony. And let the peace that comes from Christ rule in your hearts.