For those who will be spending extra time together, whether it is due to a time of sickness, a snowstorm (for those up north), a holiday, or a summer without school, we all have times when we can spend extra time together. This can either be a time of extra stress, or extra blessing, depending on how we react. Here are three ways that you can make your home a sanctuary in the storm.
Spend Time in Quiet
As adults there are times we consume a lot of media. This can help us stay informed, but it also can cause extra stress. The reaction to what we consume (whether it be anger, stress, frustration, or worry) is often the spirit we will own for ourselves. It can affect us for the rest of the day, or even longer. Our stress is often shared with others in our home. There are times we should shut off all media and consume other things.
Basic things we can do to cut down the noise and calm our spirit is listen to music. I think classical music actually does this very well. It can be a time when everyone can sit and read. If we all choose to do this as a family, we will have quiet at the same time.
Of course a time of prayer would be best. Whether it is by yourself or as a family, a time of prayer says, “God, while things are out of control or stressful in my home right now, You are in control, and I’m trusting you through this.” Psalm 46:10 says “He says, ‘Be still, and know that I am God; I will be exalted among the nations, I will be exalted in the earth.’”
We need to carve out time to do this. The reason most of us don’t have peace or pray is because we are not still. Even when our bodies are still, our minds are not. Again, we clutter it with news or other activities. What would your home look like if everyone took a couple minutes once or twice a day to do this?
Extra Family Time as a Blessing
For most, spending extra time together can bring stress. A lot of that rises out of just a basic mindset. What if, when we spend extra time together, we look forward to it. We don’t look at it as an inconvenience, we look at it as a time of blessing?
With extra time at home together, what can you do that you normally could not do during a busy schedule? Maybe take time to play a board game together, have an in-home movie night, or read aloud a couple chapters of a book every night. If we go into this thinking that this is going to be a blessing for us, we will enjoy our time much more. You never hear older people say, “I spent way too much time with my children when they were younger.”
Commit to Live as Peacemaker
Even if we commit to quiet time as a family and consider it a blessing, there will be times of stress and conflict. The more time we spend together, the more potential there is for conflict. It is not a question as to whether or not we will have conflict, but how we will handle the conflict?
The goal will be for everyone in the family to live as a peacemaker. Jesus even said, “Blessed are the peacemakers, for they shall be called sons of God.” How do we become a part of the solution as a peacemaker instead of a trouble maker?
First, be the first person to try to make amends. Don’t wait for the other person to make things right. Second, be ready to ask or offer forgiveness. If we forgive one another, we actually can squash bitterness and divisiveness (see Ephesians 4:31-32). Laying aside our desire, even to be right and justified, will help make peace. The sooner we can make peace with each other, the sooner we will have peace in our house.
How can the Christian especially do this? This is what Jesus did for us on the cross.
For those who have Jesus as their Savior, Romans 5:10 says, “For if while we were enemies we were reconciled through the death of His Son, much more, having been reconciled, we shall be saved by His life.” Everyone is at odds with God, but through faith in Jesus Christ’s sacrificial work on the cross we have been given peace with God. We are no longer His enemy, but now His friend and child. For the Christian, we can make peace with others because Jesus has made peace with us and God through the cross. We can give forgiveness and peace because it has been given to us.
Is extra time at home with your family a storm or a sanctuary? How can you make extra time for quiet in your home? Do you see this time as inconvenience or a blessing? Will you commit to being a peacemaker?
Thanks for taking time to read this Maddening Theology post. If you enjoyed this content you can find Pastor Tim’s sermons at www.cornerstoneforestcity.org. You can also join us at 520 Marion St. Browndale, PA 18421 on Sundays at 10:45 AM. To make following the blog easier you can also register. You can also join us on Facebook at Cornerstone Forest City. Also, don’t forget to download our APP on iTunes or Googleplay.