Peace of My Heart

An encouraging voice to drown out the noise

~Peacemaker or Fight Picker~ January 20, 2015

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“Blessed are the peacemakers, for they will be called children of God.” (Matt 5:9 NIV)

Peacemakers, huh?  What does it mean, exactly, to be a peacemaker?

-One who brings peace, especially amongst adversaries.-Thanks Google.

The exact opposite of “fight pickers.”

Here’s what I am reading between the lines. A peacemaker is someone who looks for a way to bring resolution to a conflict as opposed to stirring the pot and causing further strife.

Have you ever witnessed an argument before and wondered, “What are they trying to achieve here?” You watch, (in person or online since that’s a more common method of communicating these days), and it seems as though the only thing one or both parties hopes to achieve is to prove how right they are and how grotesquely wrong their adversary is. My inner people pleaser keeps me from chiming in 99% of the time but what I’m screaming on the inside is “What good is going to come from this?!”

I am by no means perfect in this area myself. I don’t always fight fair and my words don’t always travel through the God filter before they tumble out of mouth. I am, after all, a work in progress.

How different do you suppose our world would be if we would aim to find peace in the midst of disagreements as opposed to seeking our own agenda at every turn? I am not suggesting that we all cower from arguments, fighting is part of human nature. But how open are you to hearing the other person’s perspective when they are on the attack, slinging accusations and pointing fingers? Got you there, right? We are far more likely to listen when the approach is one of gentleness and the desired result is fixing a problem instead of inflating it to disastrous proportions.

“Have nothing to do with foolish, ignorant controversies; you know that they breed quarrels. And the Lord’s servant must not be quarrelsome but kind to everyone, able to teach, patiently enduring evil, correcting his opponents with gentleness. God may perhaps grant them repentance leading to a knowledge of the truth” (2 Tim 2;23-25 ESV)

Reminding yourself to be quick to listen and slow to speak is the last thing on your mind when someone has upset you, I know. That is why it’s important to commit these things to memory every day, when you’re not all fired up, then it will come more naturally the next time an argument presents itself.prov 1012

Love.  A four letter word that actually has a positive meaning. Let it flood every area of your life and see the life changing effect it has on you and all those you come in contact with.

 

~Nag, Nag, Nag~ March 3, 2014

Ladies, I hate to do this to you but if I didn’t write about the quarrelsome wife at some point during our Proverbs study then it really wouldn’t have been an accurate depiction of all that the book covers.  I’m going to make this easier on you by focusing on my own experience as a nag.

I have a happy and fulfilled marriage….now.  Let’s just say that hasn’t always been the case.  Now I was always an excellent homemaker.  My home was never dirty, the laundry was done daily, my cupboards were never bare and meals where prepared right on schedule.  I was taking very good care of my man and providing for most of his needs.  But, and you all knew the but was coming, I was not doing any of these things with a cheerful heart.  My husband was coming home to a picture perfect house with a not-so-picture-perfect wife living in it.  When it came to him, I was unpleasant.

However, I was a different kind of nag because I rarely vocalized my complaints.  I preferred the make-him-read-my-mind-method.  He knew I was agitated but I liked to mix things up by making him play a continual game of “guess what you did wrong today?!”  Doesn’t that sound like a fun time?  Even though I knew I wasn’t exactly being a good wife, I felt comfortable with the fact that I was a good enough wife by keeping up my home.

Wanna hear when my revelation came?

We had a marriage conference at our church and Joe McGee made a simple statement that was profound, convicting and freeing all at once:  “You are your husband’s wife, not a house wife.”

“It’s better to live alone in the corner of an attic than with a quarrelsome wife in a lovely home.” (Proverbs 21:9 NLT)

And all the homemakers say…OUCH!!

Here I thought I was doing a bang-up job by providing a well-kept, comfortable home when truthfully I was tearing it down little by little with my own hands.  A house is a home because of the people who live in it, not because of it’s appearance and I was neglecting my people.  Yes, they were well taken care of but my little people could see and feel the tension between me and my spouse.  What kind of example was I setting for my girls- So long as you take care of your ‘job’ then it’s ok to neglect your husband’s physical, spiritual and emotional needs?  That is not the life I desire for my kids and I realized it was no longer acceptable for me either.

Both my husband and I made some changes in how we treated one another.  Perhaps one day I can convince him to share with you but for now, I will let you in on what I did.  First, I made a conscious decision to focus less on my to-do list and make my get-to list my priority.  In other words, my chores took a back burner to conversation with Jamie, story time with the girls and rainbow tag with my older kids and their friends.  Then I decided that rather than fuss about what my husband was not doing, I would praise him for the ample things he did for which I should be thankful.  Lastly and most importantly, I stopped clamming up when I was upset.  Ladies, our guys cannot read our minds!  If you aren’t willing to speak up about what bothers you, then you really don’t have a right to be angry when it doesn’t improve.

Marriage is a gift and a treasure.  Yes, there will be times in the valley but if we nurture our relationship we will survive the trials when they come raging in.

same side

*This is day 21 of our chapter-a-day study of Proverbs.  If you wish to read from the beginning, search 31 day in the tool bar to the right and go from there!  Happy learning!