It’s Titus 2 Tuesday, and I’ve asked my mother, Neida Darley to team up with me to answer this frequently asked question: How can we create a calm and peaceful home?
My mother grew up in a hurtful, loveless home, but with guidance from the Lord and a determined heart, she was successful in providing a calm and peaceful home for our family. I hope you’ll read yesterday’s blog post Overcoming a Painful Past where a glimpse of her story is shared.
How can we create a calm and peaceful home?
1. Have absolute resolve to have peace. For my mom this meant her reactions would need to be far different than what she was exposed to her whole childhood.
Romans 12:18 As much as it is within you, be at peace with all men.
2. Don’t react in anger. My brothers and I often heard, “If you can’t say something nice, don’t say anything at all.” Yelling, having a temper-tantrum, slamming doors, throwing items, making threats, bullying, getting in someone’s face, demanding “our rights,” making sure we have the final word, not letting go of an issue, belittling, name-calling, cursing, degrading, and comparing with the intent to put down are just some of the ways we show our pride, self-centeredness, and our lack of self-control when angry. Better to hold our hands over our mouth than to do damage with our hurtful words.
Proverbs 29:11 A fool vents all his feelings, but a wise man holds them back.
3. Be aware of our harmful nonverbal reactions. Words can slice and dice and cut to the core, but our non-verbal reactions are another way we promote a controlling, self-focused home that is void of safety and peace. Do any of these take place in your home?
- Moaning, sighing, mumbling under our breath. I didn’t even realize I had a habit of sighing until one day, when feeling underappreciated while washing dishes, a child called from the other room, “You okay, Mom?”
- Facial expressions. Rolling eyes, pursed lips, folded arms, hands on hips, glaring eyes, stiff neck, tense forehead, squinted eyes, and clinched teeth reveal pride and anger in our heart. Even though no words were uttered, loudly broadcasted was one or more of these messages: “You’ve made me mad. I’m angry. You’re stupid. You’re wrong. I’m better than you. I can’t stand to be with you.”
- Pouting. This me-focused behavior is controlling and manipulative.
- The silent-treatment. This is a quiet, mean-spirited, selfish, controlling maneuver intended to punish.
James 1:19 Let every man be swift to hear, slow to speak, slow to wrath. (notice it says slow to speak, not “refuse” to speak)
4. Take hurts and issues to the Lord. My mother said she would take things directly to the Lord. This often meant silently, on her knees, in tears, laying all hurt down at the foot of the cross. Her desire was not to unleash her anger on her family.
I Peter 5:7 Cast all your cares on Him; knowing He cares for you.
5. Ask the Lord to do heart surgery. Our own attitudes and reactions simply expose issues of our heart that need to be addressed. The Lord is the one who can reveal our pride, self-focus, and the root causes in our hearts that need surgery. Yes, I realize when we are angry, there’s another person involved, but leave that person to the Lord. Our concentration should be on Him humbling, refining, and teaching us.
Psalm 139: 23-24 Search me, Oh God, and know my heart. Try me and know my anxieties; and see if there is any wicked way in me, and lead me in the way everlasting.
Proverbs 4:23 Keep your heart with all diligence; for out of it spring the issues of life. Out of the abundance of the heart, the mouth speaketh.
6.Memorize scripture and communicate it with the Lord. My mom says that this is how she worked through years of anger and hatred locked deep inside. Praying verses was a way of communing with the Lord. As she’d mull over verses, the Holy Spirit would be like a personal mentor, revealing wrong thoughts and wrong focus. She recalls the verse below and Him asking, “Neida, who is reigning in your heart?” She yielded control, realizing He is the only righteous judge. “I just needed to learn to be obedient to Him and His word.” She says, “I realized I was the stumbling block and needed to be a humbling block.” (lol. but that was her quote.)
Matthew 6:21 Where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.
7. A peaceful home is absent of retaliation. Retaliation is a desire to return evil for evil. Plotting is taking matters into our own hands. A peaceful home must be absent of even thinking of reciprocating wrong.
Proverbs 15:1 A gentle answer turns away wrath, but a harsh word stirs up anger.
Proverbs 15:18 A hot-tempered man stirs up dissension, but a patient man calms a quarrel.
There you have it. Seven tips that, when applied, will transform your own heart and produce fruits like self-control, kindness, and being others-focused. May our hearts and homes shine with the love of Jesus as we all cry out to Him to help us in having calm and peaceful homes.
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Rhonda HappybirthdayMom. Thankyouforsharingthesethoughtsandlivingthisinourhome ellis