Jump on the Peace Train
Think of your marriage as a train. You excitedly rush to the train station to embark on the greatest journey of your life. You meet the love of your life at the station, grab his hand, and jump on the ‘marriage train’ together. You wave goodbye to your friends and family at the station and almost instantly fall into each other’s arms, experiencing bliss and joy and wonder in your cabin together. But life doesn’t exactly remain peaceful for long. Before you know it, you’re squabbling over something trivial… or not so trivial. Someone’s needs aren’t getting met. Someone’s feelings were stepped on. Someone’s heart was hurt. Someone else gets involved. You feel like you’re pushing uphill and he won’t concede or admit he’s wrong. You’re flying downhill, careening out of control. Uh oh! You crash! Yes, it’s bound to happen, and if you haven’t experienced it yet, you will. (And I’m not saying this to depress you newlyweds.) What now?
Even in the most loving relationships, there is bound to be disagreements and conflict. Having disagreements is a natural part of marriage. My mother-in-law has told me, “If you don’t argue, you don’t have a healthy marriage.” If you’re not experiencing conflict, something is wrong. But this doesn’t mean that if you’re arguing all the time that is healthy. Marriage is a delicate balance between peace and healthy conflict. Sometimes conflict is a good thing – it burns out the weeds of worry, laziness, anger, and discord. But conflict is never a God-thing. God is no longer in conflict with us because of the sacrifice His Son made on our behalf.
But never experiencing conflict in this life, in our relationships, in our marriage is unreasonable because while we are saved from our sins and made right before the Lord, we will still struggle against the desires of our flesh. No one is righteous without God. We all sin and fall short of His glory. But living a godly life means pursuing peace.
Over the next few weeks, I want to focus on listening peacefully and living peacefully. A peaceful heart in a marriage is essential. God calls us to be peacemakers, especially in our marriages. If we can’t resolve conflict Biblically in our marriages, then where can we?
Three things to remember:
We have the peace of God.
What does the Bible say about the peace of God? Isaiah 9:6 calls Jesus the Prince of Peace. In John 14:27, Jesus says that He has left His peace with us and that His peace is not of this world. Romans 16:20 assures us that the God of peace will crush Satan. 1 Corinthians 14:33 says that God is not a God of confusion, but of peace. Philippians 4:7 says that the peace of God “surpasses all understanding” and it guards our ” hearts and minds in Christ Jesus.” 1 Thessalonians 5:23 says that the God of peace sanctifies us.
The peace of God needs to rule in our hearts if we are to be at peace and seek peace with our husbands.
We have peace with God.
What does the Bible say about peace with God? Romans 5:1 says “since we have been justified through faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ.” Ephesians 2:13-16 says, “But now in Christ Jesus you who once were far off have been brought near by the blood of Christ. For He Himself is our peace, who has made us both one and has broken down in his flesh the dividing wall of hostility by abolishing the law of commandments expressed in ordinances, that He might create in Himself one new man in place of the two, so making peace, and might reconcile us both to God in one body through the cross, thereby killing the hostility.”
1 John 1:9 says, “If we confess our sins, He (God) is faithful and just and will forgive us our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness. ”
Because of what Christ has done for us, we have peace with God. We need to make our peace with God before we can be at peace with our husbands.
We can have peace with others.
What does the Bible say about peace with others? Psalm 34:14 says, “Turn away from evil and do good; seek peace and pursue it.” One of the fruits of the Spirit is peace. Paul urges us in Ephesians 4:1-3 to ” to walk in a manner worthy of the calling to which you have been called, with all humility and gentleness, with patience, bearing with one another in love, eager to maintain the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace.”
Hebrews 13:20-21 says, “Now may the God of peace, who through the blood of the eternal covenant brought back from the dead our Lord Jesus, that great Shepherd of the sheep, equip you with everything good for doing His will, and may He work in us what is pleasing to Him, through Jesus Christ, to whom be glory for ever and ever.”
We are to seek and pursue peace in our relationships, especially our marriage. As evidence of the work of the Spirit in our lives, we should exhibit the fruit of peace. We are called to walk worthy before the Lord, eager to maintain unity through peace. Because of Christ’s sacrifice on our behalf, we can be equipped with peace and please God.
What to Look Forward To
In the next 12 weeks, seek and pursue peace with me by delving into Scriptures together, praying daily for peace, and practicing peace in your marriage.
Look forward to…
April 2nd – When You’re Flying Downhill (Running Head-First into Discord)
April 9th – Don’t Toot your Own Horn (Putting off Self)
April 16th – Stop Worry in its Tracks (Letting Go of Worry)
April 23rd – Don’t Go ‘Round Temptation’s Bend (Avoiding Giving Into Temptation)
April 30th – Detach the Loose Caboose (Letting go of Anger)
May 7th – When You Come to a Crashing Halt (Letting Go of Hurt)
May 14th – There’s a Problem in the Engine Room (When You Don’t Have Enough Fuel to Fan the Flames of Love)
May 21st – When Unwanted Visitors Jump On (Dealing with Others’ Impact on Your Marriage)
May 28th – Pushing Uphill (When Peacemaking is One-Sided)
June 4th – Chugging Along (Resolving Arguments Peacefully)
June 11th – Getting on a New Track (Renewing Your Thought Life)
Take the Challenge –
Meditate on (and memorize if you so choose) 2 Timothy 2:22.”Flee the evil desires of youth and pursue righteousness, faith, love and peace, along with those who call on the Lord out of a pure heart.”
You may not be a youth, but we all fall into sin, regardless of age or marital status. If we are truly growing up in the Lord, we will put off childish ways and pursue godliness (righteousness, faith, love, and peace). Ask God to show you how to pursue righteousness, faith, love, and peace in your relationship with your spouse (or if you’re not married, in your relationships with others). I highly recommend keeping a journal of this week of how God reveals Himself to you daily, regarding this verse, and what lessons He speaks to your heart.
Take it a step further – pray this verse over your husband and marriage daily.
This Week’s Prayer
Women of Faith – This week, pray that you would experience the peace of God this week. Pray that you would eagerly seek to reconcile with God when you sin. Praise God for the peace you have with Him through Christ. Pray that you would seek peace in your relationships with others.
Married women – This week, pray first and foremost that God’s peace would cloak your marriage. Pray that you would reconcile before the Lord, resolving your sins with Him before pointing out the specks in your husband’s eyes. Pray that you would approach your husband peacefully when needing to resolve conflict. The seeds of contention are a brutal killer of marriage. Examine your heart. Do you feel peaceful toward your husband? Listen to your husband with a heart of peacefulness and unity, not defensiveness and dissension. Colossians 3:15 says, “Let the peace of Christ rule in your hearts, since as members of one body, you were called to peace.” This week lend a peaceful ear to your spouse.
Single ladies – This week, pray that you would be submissive to the Lord and listen to His will for your life with peace in your heart. Make an effort to actively love those around you by listening to them when they are speaking. Make an effort to actively rejoice with others when they are excitedly telling you something good that has happened to them or something they’ve learned. Make an effort to actively listen with an attitude of peace, rather than brewing and stewing when you’re angry or frustrated with someone.
Ladies in waiting – This week, pray that together, you and your significant other, would make a commitment now to begin actively seeking ways to Biblically reconcile when you experience conflict. Pray that God would remind you of the peace you have with Him, and that you would, in turn, pursue peace with each other. Pray that God would reveal to you anything that is keeping you from experiencing true peace in your hearts (either individually or together), and that you would seek reconciliation with God.
Women who are no longer married – This week, pray that God would give you peace that surpasses understanding. Pray that God would reveal any frustration, hatred, anger, or bitterness in your heart preventing you from truly experiencing the healing power of His peace. Pray that God’s peace would ultimately preside over all your relationships.