Monday, 17 November 2014

Subduing and making peace {More words of wisdom from Sally}

I'm still digging into Isaiah, and my heart is being so challenged and blessed.  Imagine my delight when it dovetailed, PERFECTLY, with another truth I took away from listening to Sally Clarkson, so recently.

Let me explain.

Today, my parenting got a finger pointed at it, again.

I know there are some families with quiet children, but our offspring are just not that.

I was talking to my Mum, recently, about Tabitha starting to show a determination in her personality.  She's certainly not quiet, and we were discussing who, out of all of them, IS quiet. The answer? None of them! Susie is, perhaps, the quietest, in some ways, but none of them are truly shy and retiring.

Funny that, given how shy and retiring the parents are..... *aherm*

Given that we have a large number of children in the house, people regularly comment on the fact it mustn't be quiet here.  You are SO right, if that's your suggestion.  It's only quiet once they are all tucked up in bed.  Even at that, we have sleep talkers and sleep walkers (which can be rather amusing, but that's a who other story...), which disturbs the peace on some nights.

The lack of quiet is often not simply "general noise of multiple people" in nature.  Lack of noise is not necessarily peace, after all.  It's just quiet, not true peace.

The lack of peace is arguing, complaining, and yelling.  Let's not even get started on the children....

Just keeping it real, friends.

I have times when I enter into arguments with the children (rarely, with my husband.... much less frequently than my shameful, early years of marriage), I complain about their behaviour, and wind up yelling at them.

Peace is NOT the watchword of this household, on a far too regular basis.

Enter Isaiah.

It only took three words to challenge me as a mother, yesterday.

"I make peace"
Isaiah 45:7

 Those words hit me as a challenge to my heart.  The Lord MAKES peace. It doesn't happen naturally in the hearts and lives of men and women.  Yet, the Lord can bring it in our lives.  His Word is filled with references to His peace.

It's something that comes from God, this experience of peace in our lives.

Enter the wise words from Sally.  When God created man and woman, He put them in the earth to SUBDUE it.  That means taking control, and making it fruitful and good. We can subdue in whatever situation God has put us in. God gave us the capacity to work in that situation HE has placed us in.

If you think back to Eve, her name meant "the mother of all living".  It was given to her to nurture and bring life.

  If we are mothers, then our family is the setting in which we need to subdue.  It's where WE need to take control and produce fruit, to God's glory.   As you probably know, if you have children, or you live in a family at all, peace doesn't happen by nature.  If we then want our family to be a place of peace, we need to MAKE it - we need to SUBDUE.   Children, especially, have hearts which are inclined towards being argumentative and noisy.  Some of that noise is just children being children, but when it starts to become a rabble, and sinful behaviour rearing its ugly head, it's OUR job to step in and make peace!

How can we do this?

First of all, our hearts need God's peace poured into them.  If we are agitated in spirit, or screaming inside our head (only to be heard by the animal world, obviously...) then we are NOT going to be able to help our children have peace.  We need to make sure that we are spending enough time with the Lord (yes, that old, broken record again, but it's the truth!).  That is the way we will have peace in our hearts.

Then, we need to KEEP our focus on the peace-giver, all day through.  If we can do that, then we will be spiritual swans - still busily working away "under the surface", when life happens, but with a calmness visible to everyone who looks at us.  Trust me, I am nowhere near being a "swan" - I have frequent, loud, "flapping" moments, instead. Those flappy moments are when I move my focus away from the one who brings peace, and instead focus on my circumstances. I forget to take a deep breath, control my emotions, and react with calm and control.  In the flappy moments I get impatient, yell and lose control of the situation. In those moments I am not subduing my own spirit, never mind anything else.  It's up to ME to make peace, by focussing on having a peace in my own heart and reactions.

We also need to remove the "tinder" from potential explosive, non-peaceful, situations in our home.  What tends to CAUSE the clamour?  Is it fighting over leisure time choices? Maybe they need to be removed until arguing doesn't happen. Is it impatient attitudes?  Teaching, and reinforcing, Biblical truths about attitude may need to happen.  Is there too much volume on the "talking" level, resulting in shouting, leading to angry reactions? Gentle instruction about using the right level of noise in speech and communication, perhaps needs to go on.

Then, we need to facilitate change.  We, like Eve, can be life-givers. It's within our power to bring peace, and take control in our family.

Sally told a wonderful story of their home in Austria.  They had opportunity to have a house up in the mountains.  So, they worked, and worked to turn the barren, rocky hillside, into a garden! They worked with their hands to plant grass seed, and plants, to make it a place of joy.  It was hard work, but they subdued the land.  They controlled their situation to make it into what they wanted it to be.

God's Word reminds us

“And let the peace of God rule in your hearts…”
Colossians 3:15 

Do you see the word "rule"? To rule means to be in control.  As we need God's peace ruling in our hearts - being the controlling factor in our lives - so we need to rule our homes by bringing peace.

Children cannot learn if we don't TEACH, though.  The default setting on children in "sin and strife".  It's our job to MAKE peace.  We need, by our words and deeds, to make our home a place of peace.

There are endless reasons for non-peaceful situations to arise.  As the one spending the time with the children, and in the home, we need to analyse what's going on, and go about making changes to bring peace.

It's not an easy task, but we are told, two times, in the Bible, to seek peace and pursue it.  Search it out, and chase after it!

The icing on the cake?

"Blessed are the peacemakers: for they shall be called the children of God." 
Matthew 5:9

Being a mother who makes peace in her family, identifies her as a child of God.  It's an evidence of our walk with the Lord, if we can bring peace into our homes. It's a blessing, to be a peacemaker!

I have a lot of improvement to make, on this one.  God's arrow has pierced, and now I need to work diligently to subdue my domain, making peace in the home.

1 comment :

  1. Beautiful! This has been on my heart quite a bit lately! We ladies set the tone in our homes - sometimes when I see the tone of our home, I'm not very happy that this falls on my shoulders. But when I am purposeful about setting a peaceful tone, what a difference it makes! Thanks for such a lovely reminder and such wonderful verses to dwell on!