For a while I have been meditating on one single verse. One verse that is powerful enough to strengthen our weakened consciences and heal our wounded hearts.
“All your children will be taught by the LORD, and great will be their peace.” (Isaiah 54:13)
The Bible says that one hallmark of a family that follows Him is PEACE. Simple as that…
It says that the Lord will teach our children, and they will have so much peace… Abundant peace… Overflowing peace…Jehovah Himself will teach our children, and they will enjoy great well being and prosperity, as other translations describe it.
What is peace? And why is it so precious?
We live in a society that is everything but peaceful, a time with a means to all kind of self indulgences, but not peace.
The peace that the Word talks about shall clearly distinguish your children from the children of the world. It will be a peace that resides in their hearts and finds their minds. Peace that goes with them wherever, whenever. Peace that reigns in as they transition through the different phases of life, peace that anchors their soul…
But you know what? Peace doesn’t just happen. Peace is caught more than it is taught. Peace is something you feel in the atmosphere. Peace is something that is linked to their sense of identity. Peace grows as their identity in knowing who God is and who they are as a person grow.
Peaceful children possess tranquil spirit. They are not complicated. They do not carry around extra baggages of unresolved conflicts, that drains their energy. They are confident. They have the reserve to handle life’s challenges and point others to the Fount that heals the weary. Unlimited peace governing their souls is what the Bible promises. Not only will they be marked by peace, they will be peace.
Parents play an important part in imparting peace, in giving identity, in building a family blueprint. When busy parents learn to tap into divine strength, and learn to work from the position of an overflow, they break the cycle of disorder in the mind and distraction in the daily, that are so important to cultivate that inner quietness, even among little children.
The mind is like a hook and you need to pivot it somewhere before organisation for oneself, for one’s home, for one’s family can flow. When we are faithful to our daily task, and are devoted to becoming brilliant with the basics of life, (no matter how mundane and insignificant they are), the God of order will come breaking in.
How then do we begin this task of imparting peace?
Start with organising yourself, before you organise your work, the kids, or the home.
What organisation of self do we need to attend to?
First and foremost, that of your inner man. Your devotion. Your heartbeats and every span of emotions that come with it.
Have you been worried, tired, discouraged, fearful, angry? Bring all that before God and let Him deal with you. Let Him wash your heart clean. Let Him take your burden off. Lighten your load, renew your perspective, sharpen your focus and redirect your feet. Let Him restore the joy in your heart for what you are meant to be. Do away with the notion of having ‘free-me’ time, away from the children or responsibilities, in order to be happy. Be renewed with God’s new ideals for the family and you will be equipped to transfer peace to your children.
Secondly, remember that peace is created in the atmosphere. How do we convey peace? By our words. Words are one powerful medium that conveys content. Everything is wrapped up in words.
Terms of endearment that we use to call our spouse and our children matter. Love is patient and kind. Quoting from Elisabeth Elliot in her book Shaping the Christian Family, she said, “in all of us there is strong resistance to a forced obedience. Even in an infant we see the stiffened back, the defiant expression. But gentleness, patience, tenderness and encouragement bring the best in us”. And in another chapter she wrote, “The voice pitch and intonation make a great difference. A mother who uses a harsh tone is asking for argument and even defiance. She appears as the child’s adversary rather than his helper…” What important lessons we can all learn from that.
I love taking pictures of the kids that capture their truly happy moments….when i see a beaming smile, or sparkly eyes or happy expressions…these sentiments are priceless, they are genuine. But building happy little hearts start with building a home on a habit of order. You need to have a system to make life run. With God’s help, we parents can be a conduit of our children’s peace. We can fill up their hunger for touch, their endless need for love, their desperation for approval, their quotient for joy.
Security and predictability in a home comes by the knowledge that Mum and Dad are in love with each other, that their days are structured and predictable, that our words and promises reliable, that there is a sense of order and neatness in the home.
We may never understand what power lies in the peace we hope to create in the home, but heaven knows that they will all go towards making happy, healthy hearts that are marked with P.E.A.C.E.