Last week was a tough one, things just seemed to be difficult in so many ways. I wonder if you had that kind of week?
On January 31st my mom, Heidi, my beautiful momma, passed away after an 18 month battle with two types of lung cancer. The days were long and often times hard throughout those months as she faced a battle that we knew would most likely end like this, but as that day drew near, the full weight seemed to be pressing down on our family more than we could have anticipated.
Today we are just short of three months from that terrible day when I said goodbye to my momma, and I still have some really bad days and probably will for years to come. Those days seem to be dark and heavy like a cloud I could reach out and touch. As it seems to hover over me it brings this unreal anger and hurt into my mind. That anger leads to some really big issues in my relationships.
Just the other day my wife and son told me that I was really unkind this week. I was sharp and came across as though I was mad at them. That was not my intention, yet when I lose my focus on the Lord, I often times leave a wake of hurt in my path.
The writer in Hebrews has given us some wise words when it comes to living with people. He writes, “Work at living in peace with everyone, and work at living a holy life, for those who are not holy will not see the Lord.”
Men, we are called to leave peacefully; at peace with our families, our friends, and those that we interact with on a regular basis. Living at peace with your family is the first place to start.
A shepherd in the hills of of Ancient Israel had to find a way to live with his flock. He had to keep the peace, even if that meant he had to slay the lion and the bears. Whatever it took to keep his flock safe. You as a dad are called to pastor, to care for your flock, to be peaceful and to keep peace.
There are three areas that I would like to show you as you attempt to live peacefully with your family.
Check your issues at the car door.
Before you get out of your vehicle for the day, simply ask the Lord to prepare your heart and to show mercy to your family and seek ways to live with peace on your tongue.
The attitude of the shepherd as he enters the door should be to enter with peace.
When you fail, seek forgiveness
We are going to mess up men, we are going to give up on peace and choose to be the lion. You can recover from it though.
In those moments, as soon as possible, seek forgiveness from your family.
We are not the Great Shepherd, but instead the under shepherds of our flock. We have been entrusted with our families and yet we are incapable of perfection, we are not Jesus. But, we can strive to be more like him each and every moment.
Teach Peace to your children
A shepherd does not just allow his flock to wander aimlessly. He teaches them safety and how they should and should not act. A shepherd finds a way to better his flock.
You, as a man and a dad, must begin to teach your children how to live peacefully with others, even those that seem to be wolves. I will admit, there are times that we much teach self defense to our families, but the majority of life will be lived with people that just choose chaos rather than peace. As a follower of Christ we are to find ways to leave at peace.
I know men, peace seems like a weak subject, but nothing has ever been further from the truth.
Choosing peace in the midst of moments when you really just want to bloody a nose, that restraint, is what makes you a man, a real man. When we choose peace in our marriage, our families, our work, yes, even in our politics, then things can be accomplished.