PARENTS — LET’S STRIVE TO GIVE OUR KIDS THE GIFT OF PEACE + 5 WAYS TO CULTIVATE PEACE FOR YOUR KIDS
Proverbs 17:1 says “Better is a dry morsel with quiet than a house full of feasting with strife.” That means it is better to live off plain bread and water and live in peace than to eat like a king and live in chaos and conflict.
It’s hard being a kid. Harder than it was for you and I. They need their home to be a shelter from the storms of life, a safe haven of peace.
You might be thinking, well my house would be a lot more peaceful if it weren’t for these crazy kids. And you might be right. But the adults can set the tone for peace.
Here’s 5 ways to cultivate peace for your kids:
1. Love your spouse — one of the best things you can give your kids is a good, peaceful relationship with their mom/dad. They sense when things aren’t right between mom and dad. They also sense when mom and dad love each other. Divorced? You can still do all that you can to get along with your ex for the sake of your kids and the glory of God. Romans 12:18 says “if possible, so far as it depends on you, live peaceably with all.” This verse definitely applies to seeking peace with our spouse/parent of our kids.
2. Discipline like a good referee — a good referee makes the rules and boundaries clear. When there’s an infraction, the penalty is assessed and they move on. Our kids are gonna push the limits and mess up. When they do, discipline them appropriately and move on. Holding mistakes over their heads comes from and unforgiving spirit and doesn’t foster peace. Ever.
3. Drop the sarcasm — Typically parents are better with words than kids. And if we are not careful we can begin to use them as a weapon. What ought to be a simple instance of correction turns into an occasion for condescending sarcasm. I’ve worked with students a long time and heard repeatedly that they don’t appreciate sarcasm. They likely wont be able to articulate how much it bothers them. So it just sits in them and robs them (and your home) of peace.
4. Be a thermostat for peace not a thermometer — a thermostat regulates temperature, a thermometer just measures it. Sometimes we as parents fall into the nasty habit of responding to our kids emotions rather than setting the tone for peace with our own outlook. Take time to pray “Lord make me a vessel of peace to my home.” Then strive to bring the peace.
5. Be at peace yourself — this is the most important one! We can’t give our kids what we don’t first possess ourselves. Peace within only comes from God. By faith in Jesus Christ we can know the Prince of Peace, live forgiven, and be at peace with God. But that relationship with God has to be cultivated. Stay in his Word. Pray. Worship. Stay in Christ-centered community. These things and others cultivate peace in us and allow us to impart peace to our kids.
No Jesus, no peace. Know Jesus, know peace.
Most parents will do just about anything for their kids, including make sacrifices to buy them anything they need. Peace is something money can’t buy and you can’t put a price tag on the value of a peaceful home for your kids. They don’t need the latest and greatest technology or toys, but they do need a home that is marked by PEACE that comes from God.