Today our focus is on PEACE from Galatians 5:22, 23. "The fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, PEACE, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control."
Living in peace seemed like a tall order at our house during the early years of our marriage. The constant activity with four young children learning how to live together and parents who were learning how to parent together was overwhelming. Parenting dilemmas brought constant bickering about what was fair to one child but unfair to another. My husband and I both battled a natural bias toward our biological kids, creating ongoing tension with each other.
It's natural for conflict to occur while blending a family. As different personalities emerge with contrasting parenting styles, disagreements ensue. But as we work through our struggles with one another (in a healthy manner), we begin to grow and develop relationships.
How we handle conflict determines its outcome. Withdrawing from it or angrily discussing the situation, with accusations or sarcasm, will not solve the problem. When conflict occurs, the family members involved need to discuss it as soon as possible, listening to all sides with an open mind and arriving at solutions or compromises that seem fair to all parties.
Attaining peace while blending a family requires work on our part. Psalms 34:14 instructs us to: "Turn from evil and do good; seek peace and pursue it." Peace is reached if we pursue it. We must be intentional in our efforts. But peace in our relationships is a goal worth pursuing.