Summary: How to have peace in your home.
Peace I leave with you; my peace I give to you. I do not give to you as the world gives. Do not let your hearts be troubled, and do not let them be afraid. John 14:27 (NRSV)
There’s a great cartoon I once saw where the husband and wife are sitting in front of the marriage counselor. The wife is crying and the counselor asks – It all started when HE wanted to be in the wedding pictures?
Family turbulence is not new. The first recorded problem in the home-nest was Adam and Eve’s famous “blame game”. God said, “Adam; what have you done”? Adam replied, “She started it”. Eve defended, “The snake pushed me”! Adam and Eve’s children pushed the envelope further with Cain becoming the first murderer. Peace has been scarce ever since.
The Scriptures are full of explanation for why our homes are not a natural place of peace. Just a few:
Hatred Steals Peace (Genesis 27:41)
Esau hated his brother, Jacob. Jacob was the younger son and Daddy’s favorite. That was bad enough, but then Jacob manipulated Esau to steal his birthright as firstborn, and then conspired to steal his father’s blessing away from him. Esau hated his brother enough to kill him, but Jacob slipped out of town before he became another Able.
It’s hard to imagine hatred between Prince Charming and Sleeping Beauty on that wedding day when they are united. The band is playing; they dance the first dance, eyes and smiles fixed on each other and the spotlight is fixed on the beautiful couple with all the admiring friends and family looking-on. Yet the statistic shows that more than half of all couples getting married today will divorce within ten years.
Envy Steals Peace (Genesis 37:4)
Joseph was a really sensitive and smart kid who was also his father’s pet. His eleven older brothers couldn’t stand dad’s favoritism; they envied his position. But when Joseph told them he’d dreamed they were all going to bow down to him – THAT was too much. They wanted to kill him, but the oldest brother, Reuben convinced them to sell him to a caravan of slave traders.
Envy – in our marriage? Gentlemen, have you never seen that look of frustration on your bride’s face when you come home from your work and she beat you there only because she raced to pick up the baby at daycare, ran through the grocery store and started dinner while she changed the baby and walked the dog.
Or ladies – have you never seen that look on your husband’s face when he’s just arrived home – late again – and you just managed to sit down for three minutes after doing the superwoman work/child/house routine all day? The look says, And just exactly what did you do all day sitting around like this?
Both looks are envy; and it eats a marriage alive!
Laziness Steals Peace
18Through indolence the rafters sag, and through slackness the house leaks. Ecclesiastes 10:18 (NASB)
Marriage is one of those structures that demand a good foundation and building. But even the best built structures fall apart if they’re not maintained. Good maintenance is a crucial factor in any long or happy marriage.
As with most complicated relationships, problems or tasks there is an uncomplicated simple and wrong solution!
The solution that is uncomplicated, easy and most practiced today is to escape! It’s simple, quick and most times the worst possible solution for a marriage. If that marriage and family stuff is just too heavy – get out from underneath – leave.
Friends, once again I have to caution us all to remember that we are not here to judge anyone who has had to go through the dissolution of a marriage and family. Our purpose here is to support and strengthen, not point our fingers in judgment. For those who’ve tasted this bitter fruit of divorce, our friendship and listening ears must be open and caring. For those who are married or contemplating marriage our support is to caution, teach and uplift the Biblical principles of marriage.
Calling off the wedding vows is the escape clause. In reality it is the way many choose today to ease the pain. That there is pain in many relationships cannot be disputed. The counselors calendars are stuffed-full, standing-room only!
A movie I saw some years back was appropriately entitled “The War of the Roses” . Kathleen Turner and Michael Douglas played a married couple, Mr. and Mrs. Rose. Their whirlwind romance and climb up the social ladder was just as picturesque as the Prince Charming and Sleeping Beauty scenario.
Then reality came and they fought like two badgers with their tails tied together. Their struggle escalated into severe violence and they wind up causing each others’ deaths.