What would it be like if our children lived in peace with each other and we had a peaceful marriage? Let us take a moment to imagine that the people in our lives are serene, tranquil, calm, undisturbed, friendly, kind, and helpful. How does this make you feel? Does this make you feel relaxed? Does this describe how you relate to people? Consider, with me, three causes that deprive us of peace and how to restore peace.
Peace was the only Mother’s Day gift I would ask from my children, which never happened. The reason was because I never sowed peace into my children. Have you ever heard the saying, “you reap what you sow?” A farmer sows seed into the ground and depending on what the seed is that is, what the farmer will reap. So, if you don’t have peace in your family and marriage then maybe peace has not been sown. If there is strife in your life, consider where the source of strife is coming.
The first and main source of strife comes from past offenses stored in our memories and unforgiveness in our hearts. Because I was an angry person inside from the many painful memories of being abused, I could not live in peace with anyone, though I desperately wanted to. After God healed my painful memories, offenses, and unhealthy beliefs, I no longer was upset about everything all the time. I can now live in peace with those around me, including myself. Had I known about this when I was raising my children, I would have dealt with the strife differently. I would have located the offenses in their hearts from disappointment, instead of reacting in anger. To learn more, read the chapters of my book, listed in the right margin. Also read: The Link Between Disappointment, Resentment, and Self-control
The second source of strife comes from daily offenses that we react too. Just drive in the city, and you will have plenty of reason to be offended. Being around people offer many opportunities to be offended. These little offenses steal our peace, and the best solution is to take those thoughts captive by first, recognizing them, acknowledging them, and then taking hold of them. Next, ask God to remove those thoughts of offense, forgive if necessary, and then ask God to give you patience and love for those around you. Again, I elaborate more on this in my book on my website.
The third reason we lack peace can also be from the following peace robbers. In fact, these peace robbers greatly affected my health and your health. I share my testimony of how I transformed these peace robbers in my book found in my website.
- Tension: mental or nervous strain
- Fear of something bad happening:
- Dread: to fear greatly; be in extreme apprehension
- Fright: sudden fear or terror
- Nervousness: emotional tension; agitation
- Anxiety: distress or uneasiness of mind caused by fear of danger or misfortune
- Worry: to torment oneself with or suffer from disturbing thoughts; fret
- Anger: a strong feeling of displeasure and belligerence aroused by a wrong; wrath
- Terror: intense fear
For example, my husband took my two young sons (10 and 12) spelunking in an abandoned cave. I objected greatly but the boys wanted to go, and my husband was an experienced spelunker. Needless to say, I experienced all the above peace robbers. Thankfully, the Lord was watching over my children and husband as there were many dangers. My husband had fun but my children to this day never want to go spelunking again.
Not only do we need to pray and ask God to remove these peace robbers from us but also the associated unhealthy beliefs. The following are some examples of unhealthy beliefs that need transforming through prayer and truth:
- Something bad will happen.
- The future will be like the past.
- There is no peace for me.
- I don’t deserve peace.
- Why even try to get peace? It is useless to try.
- I lost any chance for peace when I lost _____.
- I caused ____ to lose peace.
- I am afraid I will never have peace.
- If I have peace, bad things will take it away.
- If I can just get more ____ I will have peace.
- My lack of peace is due to my lack of ____.
- Other people have taken my peace from me.
- If only others would leave me alone I would have peace.
- They don’t deserve peace.
The following truths can be used to transform the above unhealthy beliefs and any other unhealthy beliefs that God shows you when you ask.
- The peace of Christ rules in my heart, and I am thankful. 3:15
- I pursue peace and do what is good. 12:14; 1 Pet. 3:11
- I can be peaceable, gentle, showing every consideration for others. Titus 3:2
- When I make peace, I will be blessed and be called a child of God. 5:9
- The peace that comes from God is beyond understanding when I give my troubles to Him and thank Him. 4:6
- God fills me with all joy and peace as I believe and trust Him, and I will abound in hope by the power of the Holy Spirit. 15:13
- I will have great peace and will not stumble when I love God’s Word. 119:165
- I can be at peace with others. 9:50; Rom. 12:18; Heb. 12:14
- Peace comes when I trust Jesus, and I will not let my heart be troubled or anxious. John 14:27; John 16:33; Phil. 4:6, 7; 26:3