In a world of chaos, peace may sometimes seem fleeting. Peace between countries. Peace between neighbors. But without even considering any of these, I often wonder how to achieve peace in family life.
When children are very young you may long for peace from crying and diaper changing. You may embrace that freedom that comes as they find independence and accomplish more and more for themselves. As they become teenagers finding peace in family life becomes a different kind of challenge.
Teens are figuring out who they are. Sometimes they don't agree with what is expected of them. They bicker with siblings, disagree with parents, tease and prod, drum and screech and just make noise for the fun of it. They must explore the world at home and outside the home to find their place in it. It's an exciting, frustrating time for parents.
But somehow in all of that it seems important that they also learn to be peaceful. To feel peace within themselves and help create it with those around them.
There are so many opportunities for our youth today. This is a blessing only when we choose carefully which obligations to fill our schedules with and which to let our teens fill their schedules with. Over scheduling does much to keep us from finding peace.
If only we can hold onto dinner time and those few other moments when the family comes together. It may not always feel peaceful, but our youth need parents to treasure those times when a family gathers together. Parents must protect this valuable time. In a few years they will be on their own. Gone from our protective influence.
Finding peace in family life is more important than it has ever been.
What specific things help establish that feeling of peace in the home? Here are a few ideas.
- Calming music in the background can change how we feel and deal with others.
- Personal prayer or meditation helps bring peace on a personal level and should be encouraged.
- Hold on to dinner time. Even if it doesn't seem peaceful. Don't let life get in the way of spending time together as a family.
What do you do to encourage peace in your home?