In 1938, Europe hurtled toward another world war. Britain’s prime minister, Neville Chamberlain, signed the Munich Agreement. Chamberlain remembered World War I only too well and desperately wanted things to be different. He waved his little piece of paper at the airport and declared that he had secured “peace in our time.” But in avoiding conflict at any cost, the prime minister virtually guaranteed a more devastating confrontation in the future. Chamberlain did not understand that if you want to live in peace, you can’t be passive. He didn’t grasp the truth that active peace brings something intentional to the table. He didn’t remember that real peace has nothing to do with fear.
Likewise, it’s too easy for families to dodge conflict, shut down communication, secure “a little peace and quiet,” and cost themselves an opportunity for coming together. Peace is not a negative value. It’s not the absence of anything. No, it turns out to be a lot more proactive than that. If you are desiring peace in your family, here are 5 attitudes to pursue actively.
Research demonstrates that a positive attitude reduces stress. And we all know reduced parental stress lowers tension in the home. So do yourself a favor. Turn off the noise, park the car, take a deep breath, and bring a smile into your house.
2. PatiencePeace is more probable when we respond instead of reacting.
Patience is a decision. Here’s the equation: Listen, absorb, clarify, reflect, respond. Peace is more probable when we respond instead of reacting.
This is a decision, too. Random acts of kindness are OK, but we recommend deliberate, applied, unrestrained kindness.
We’re not talking about money here, but about generosity in relationships—giving the benefit of the doubt, preemptive love strikes, and giving forgiveness.
A lot of discord comes out of uncertainty. As a dad, you can eliminate a lot of uncertainty in your family by being so resolutely and predictably faithful in all the ways that count. Be the dad your kids feel safe with, the father their mom can rely on, the powerfully positive presence that carries certainty and peace in its wake.
Sound off: Are there any other attitudes that will help bring peace in your family?
Huddle Up Question
Huddle up with your family and discuss what it means to be a peacemaker.