Wednesday, August 30, 2006

Peaceful Dwelling, Secure Homes

Here's a pasage that I dearly love:
The fruit of righteousness will be peace; the effect of righteousness will be quietness and confidence forever. My people will live in peaceful dwelling places, in secure homes, in undisturbed places of rest.
Isaiah 32:17-18

What a wonderful promise from God! Sometimes, I have strayed from this peace that God promises by letting discord and uneasiness build in my own heart. This affects how I behave in my home.
Usually when this happens, I can trace it back to one of several things occurs:
(1) I am overwhelmed, and I haven't prayed until the point where I have truly cast my burdens on God. Oh, I may have done so in a token manner, but I haven't really stilled and quieted my heart. As a result, I charge into activities, while still remaining anxious in the core of my being. When this happens, it's time for me to repent. It helps to take some extra time out with God, even in the middle of the busiest, most overwhelming day, and draw close to Him. I have to go to Him for peace and for the righteousness that comes through faith in Christ. God promises in the passage above that the effect of righteousness will be quientness and confidence forever.
(2) This happens when I haven't planned well, and have taken on too much. Then, I get flustered, as Martha did, when pulling together a family event or gathering of guests. Then, I place expectations on my family members to help me and bail me out. If they don't meet these expectations, I can become frustrated, critical, or unettled. In those moments, my influence is not one of faith, peace, and righteousness, but of faithlessness. This brings me back to example number one: It's time for me to repent, to draw close to God and to find my rest in Him. Though I've often been tempted with anxiousness when serving guests or when planning events, it's really silly on my part. God has always taken care of these things. I've had a few goofs to laugh bout alter, but never have I ever had a serious disaster occur when showing hsopitality or serving my familiy.
(3) I indugle myself in hormonally inspired feelings. These are a real temptation for some women. However, like all temptations, God gives us the ability to overcome them. (Some women may need to seek medical help in order to deal with severe PMS or peri-menopause). What happens when I indulge in hormonal irritability? At the least, I hurt someone's feelings. At the worst, I influence my whole family to be irritable, too. And, this brings me back to example number one again. It's time for me to repent, apolgize to God and family members, and to draw close to God for peace.
(4) I have let unresolved conflicts build up in my heart. The Bible calls this bitterness and warns in Hebrews 12:15 that bitterness in our own hearts can defile others. Sometimes, these unresolved conflicts are buried deep in my heart and God uses events to bring them to the surface. Once again, it's time for me to repent. God calls me to keep my relationships peaceful by resolving conflicts according to Matthew 18, Luke 7:1-6, and other scriptures. Sometimes, for me, being peaeful in relationships means that I need to give up trying to control other people. Paul said in Romans, as far as it is possible with us, we are to live at peace with all men. We are responsible for our own actions before God, abd we cannot and should not force others to behave according to our expectations.
Of course, the better thing is not to let any of these examples occur in the first place. I love this quote by a woman named Betty Morehead:
"Hebrews 12 says that peace is a by-product of discipline and training; in the same way, a peaceful attitude is the reult of a struggle for righteousness."
For me, a huge key to having a calming and peaceful influence in my home is to stay close to God and to hunger for his righteousness. It means quickly and daily repenting of any sin that would mar my peace. It also means quickly identifying and resolving those things that are not sin on my part, but would still tempt me to be irritable or anxious.

By the way, if you have had a hard time adding comments to a post on my blog, please try again. I think there may be some comments that are not getting through.

Enjoy!
Elizabeth

6 comments:

Terri said...

Excellet points, Elizabeth!

"For me, a huge key to having a calming and peaceful influence in my home is to stay close to God and to hunger for his righteousness. It means quickly and daily repenting of any sin that would mar my peace. It also means quickly identifying and resolving those things that are not sin on my part, but would still tempt me to be irritable or anxious." Very true, very true.

Thank you for such a warm, encouraging blog.

Elizabeth said...

Thanks for the encouragement, Terri!

Elizabeth

Terri said...

You're welcome.

I just wanted to let you know that I've linked to your blog from mine. Hope you have a wonderful Labor Day weekend!

Elizabeth said...

Thank you, Terri.

I"m honored.

Have a great Labor DAy weekend yourself.

Anonymous said...

Your post blessed me! Thanks very much for sharing the wisdom He has shown you.

Elizabeth said...

Hi Anonymous!

I'm glad you enjoyed the post.