Devotion #58

But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control; against such things there is no law.

Galatians 5:22-23 ESV

Our God is a god of peace. The whole story of redemption, the death and resurrection of Jesus, is God’s plan to bring about peace—in ourselves and in our relationships. As children of God, we are called to be peacemakers—that means we are to be looking for places where peace doesn’t exist and making it happen. 

Peace is defined as the state of harmony or agreement. It’s not superficial, it’s not remaining quiet rather than saying something, it’s unity of thought. Sadly, there are many marriages who maintain the façade of peace, but if you were to open their hearts, you would discover discord. It’s easier to keep my mouth shut than to tell him how I really feelIf I stay quiet, she will eventually stop. In the moment, some choose to stuff the thoughts away because they want to avoid the argument. But those of us who have been married for any length of time know our hearts work like pressure cookers. If you stuff too many frustrating thoughts down without releasing the tension, you will eventually blow. You cannot remain silent in the name of peace—that’s not peace. Peace is harmony. You can’t be at peace if you aren’t in harmony with one another. Yes, there are definitely times remaining quiet in a discussion will keep the peace, but that should only be used as a temporary measure until the emotion of the moment has passed and you’ve had time to review your response. We definitely should not bury something that should be spoken. 

If we are to truly be peacemakers in our marriages, we must start by seeking peace within ourselves. Pursuing peace within ourselves starts with looking for the places where fear and anxiety live within our hearts. It’s not looking for where we feel pain—peace is not the absence of pain and grief in our lives, it is the absence of fear and turmoil. We can still know His peace in the midst of a deep trial, so it isn’t the pain that steals our peace—it’s the anxious thoughts that cause the chaos.

Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God. And the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.

Philippians 4:6-7 ESV

We are to fight anxiousness like an enemy. Our flesh is so easily tempted by our fears of the future. We all have multiple anxious thoughts that pop into our heads throughout the day—our peace is not destroyed when the fear comes, our peace is destroyed when we dwell on our worries. As this verse instructs, we need to grab a hold of every single one of those fears and offer them up to God in prayer as they come. Do not be anxious about anything. Every time you have an anxious thought, take it and give it to God immediately in prayer. Stop what you’re doing and pray. Confess your lack of trust in Him in that moment, and then offer your prayer of thanksgiving to Him. Shift your focus to all that He has done for you, praising Him for rescuing your heart and blessing your life with His presence. This is how you find peace within yourself—through prayer, confession, and thanksgiving. When your mind, it’s a whole lot easier to have peace in your marriage.

If possible, so far as it depends on you, live peaceably with all.

Romans 12:18 ESV

Our spouses can frustrate and anger us when they speak harsh words or don’t respond as expected. Those emotions swing through the peace in our marriage like a wrecking ball. But we are told to live in peace with others. How do we do that when they can be so frustrating? We do it the same way we find peace within our own hearts—through confession, prayer, and thanksgiving. When you notice the peace has been disrupted in your marriage, don’t ignore it or walk away from it. Pause and pray. Ask God to reveal to you where you need to confess and where you need to forgive, then ask Him to restore your relationship. He will.

As far as it depends on you, seek peace with your spouse. Everything we choose to think, do, or say about our spouse must promote peace. Clearly this is a fruit of the Spirit because we cannot do this in our own power. But when we pray, God reveals our sinful nature to us—our lack of peace with others, our frustration and our anger toward others, our choice to turn against Him. When we see that sin, we must immediately confess it because we know blessed is the pure in heart and blessed are the peacemakers. And when we pray, God comforts our hurt and leads us to restoration in our relationship.

Strive for peace, my friends, in all that you do.

Press on ~ you are loved 💗

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