Episode 1. The Blessing of a Peaceful Home
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Peace is one of those things – well, who doesn’t want peace in their lives. Freedom from conflict. But imagine, imagine what a blessing it must be, to have peace at home. A family that thrives on …
Peace is one of those things – well, who doesn’t want peace in their lives. Freedom from conflict. But imagine, imagine what a blessing it must be, to have peace at home. A family that thrives on peace instead of being lost in conflict.
If God offered you anything you wanted in this world, anything at all, what would you ask for? Tough question. It takes a bit of thinking about: a new car, a bigger house, health, a long life. There are so many things to choose from. What would you choose?
Can I tell you something? After the basic provisions of enough air to breath and water to drink and food to eat and a roof over my head, you know what’s right up there for me. Peace, just being able to live my life in peace.
Back in the Old Testament in 1 Kings Chapter 22, verse 17, it says this:
Then Micah said, “I saw all of Israel scattered on the mountains like sheep that have no shepherd.” And the Lord said, “These have no master. Let each one go home in peace.”
There’s something about, about being able to go home in peace. And you see that’s God’s heart for His people. He looks at Israel, they’re scattered everywhere, they have no leadership. And God says, “You know what I want, I want for each one of them to go home in peace. To kind of walk in the front door, close it behind you. Be in this sanctuary called “home” and to be able to withdraw from the world with our families and have peace.”
In fact, my hunch is if you and I did a survey and a peaceful home was one of the things on that list, many people would choose that as what they want, because there is such a blessing in a peaceful home.
Many a home is torn by strife, discord, disrespect, dissention; and many a family is disintegrating. What if, what if we could have a peaceful home? What a blessing that would be.
When I look around this world, you know, many homes are far from being peaceful. They’re a long way from that. Depending on where you live either the divorce rate is running at almost one in two marriages. Or, if divorce isn’t quite the cultural norm, many a so-called families are little more than two waring adults and a bunch of angry, ill disciplined children. There’s no peace in those places. You can’t have peace when people aren’t living a peaceful life.
There’s an interesting statement in the beginning of the Old Testament book of Proverbs. Now this is a wisdom book. It’s wisdom literature. Have a listen to what it says. Proverbs Chapter 1, verse 7:
The fear of the Lord is the beginning of knowledge and only fools despise wisdom and instruction.
When it comes to peace I had an interesting email from a rebel fighter in a war torn part of Africa last year. He listened to a program of ours on the radio about the fear of God. Have a listen to what he said:
Recently I was attending a peace conference. While I was in my hotel room I turned on the radio. As I was listening to your program I realised that without the fear of God in our hearts, there will be no peace. No peace at all. These 8 minutes were enough to take me to a turning point in my life as well as in my peace effort in this region. I left that room as a changed man. I’ve been on the battlefield for 13 years now. I don’t know how many people have died because of my gun but what I know is that I decided to lay down my arms.
What an amazing testimony! But do you get it? Peace comes when we fear God. That’s what the Bible says and that’s what this man discovered. This man who killed goodness knows how many other people. Peace comes when we decide to do it Gods way. Peace comes when we lay down our guns, stop shooting because deep in our hearts we’ve experienced the fear of God: a right fear, a good fear when we decide to start living our lives His way, the right way.
There’s a name for that, it’s called righteousness. And that righteousness has a real impact on our home lives. Have a listen to how the prophet Isaiah puts it. Again in the Old Testament, Isaiah Chapter 32, verses 17 and 18:
The effect of righteousness will be peace and the result of righteousness – quietness and trust forever. My people will abide in a peaceful habitation in secure dwellings and in quiet resting places.
Wow, what an incredible blessing – peaceful habitation; secure dwelling places; quiet resting places. Where does it come from? It is the affect of righteousness. What an incredible blessing!
Let me ask you something. Is that something you want for your life? When you walk through the front door, close it, shut out the rest of the world out there, is that the sort of home, the sort of family that you want to have?
I believe that it is time for us to start building a Godly home, to take seriously our responsibility to play our part in making our homes Godly. Now, it’s not going to be perfect because imperfect people have an imperfect home. Sure. But you know something, as we start to get the fear of God happening in our hearts. As we start to honour God and to live our lives His way, something happens. It’s a bit like that rebel fighter. In just 8 minutes peace broke out in his heart.
Now in our families it may not happen over night. It may take months, even years to sort through some of the messes we’ve created. Now, we can’t change the past. We can’t undo those mistakes. But we can change from this moment forward. What a blessing a peaceful home is. And I’ve lived in both, house of conflict and a house of peace. Let me tell you, peace is so much better.
There is a price to pay. I can’t always have my own way. But you know something, it’s good. That’s something I had to learn and I’m still learning. I’m absolutely determined to do the best I can to make the home that I live in peaceful. Not just for me but for my beautiful wife Jacqui and my daughter, Melissa. They’re entitled to peace too you know.
Now, there are going to be times where the three of us rub each other the wrong way. But over the coming few weeks on the program, we’re going to be taking a look at some really practical things that we can do to have a godly family.
I was talking recently to a real estate agent who was selling a house for a couple that had been separated. Every week they had the sales meeting to do an update on how the sale of the house was going. And he was telling me how difficult those meetings were. He said you could cut through the air with a knife with the tension. These two detested each other. They couldn’t see eye to eye on anything. Why is that? How did that happen? How did things get so low?
I’ll tell you how. It’s the inevitable outcome if we live in our families for ourselves, selfishly. What I can get out of it. It starts not long after a couple is married. Tiny cracks appear. Battles start. They turn into raging wars. And it tears our families apart.
Life wasn’t meant to be lived that way. We were not meant to live in a war zone. And part of what needs to happen in our homes is that each one of us needs to bring ourselves under the authority of God Himself. Godly people have the opportunity to build a godly home. It’s not a slam dunk by the way. It’s no certainty but at least we have the opportunity. Ungodly people have no show.
Let me ask you again. What do you want? Do you want what the prophet Isaiah was talking about?
The effect of righteousness will be peace and the result of righteousness – quietness and trust forever. My people (says God) will abide in a peaceful habitation in secure dwellings and in quiet resting places.
Is that what you want? Or do you want a home of discord and dissention? My hunch is we need to deliberately choose peace. And then, then when we’ve decided on peace, we need to set about building a peaceful home, a godly family.
Okay, there is going to be a cost. It can be, it will be hard work. But the blessing is so worth it. What do you think?