Creating and maintaining peace in your marriage

Creating and maintaining peace in your marriage 

If it was possible for anyone to buy peace upfront so that they can be guaranteed of it in their marriage and life, I am sure most people would be interested to know how and where to buy it. I would also be interested as I would want to ensure that peace has common place in my home and life in general.

Unfortunately peace is not something that we can purchase, happens to us but something that we create. Just as conflict or violence is created by people, peace can be created or just by refraining from constant fighting and bickering, we can allow peace to reign in our homes. In a culture that is filled with selfishness, strife, no accountability and economic depression, we have the power to create peace, love and joy in our lives and homes.

Peace is commonly understood as the absence of hostility and a state of harmony. Peace also suggests the existence of healthy or newly healed interpersonal relationships. I am sure that you will agree with me that we will never be completely free of conflict as human beings because of our nature and so it is part and parcel of our existence. However, despite the fact that we are not immune from conflict we are able to pursue and live in peace with others and in our homes.

It is easier to create and maintain peace in a marriage involving two easy-going people. But you can never guarantee that both spouses in a marriage will be easy-going. Some people are just hard work and this is not because they want to be but they may be dealing with unresolved issues in their past or present or their personality. As such, other marriages that are held up as models of success or peace may involve people who are just easy to get along with, who fit well with each other, in which case they won’t need to work as hard as others who are not as fortunate to engender peace. This however does not mean that one cannot change or adapt one’s behavior in order to ensure that peace rules and reigns.

Below are 8 ways that we can create and maintain peace in our homes and marriages:

1. Make Peace a priority

Recognise the importance of living peacefully with your spouse and place this as a priority. I cannot over-emphasise how important peace is to a marriage between a man and a woman because the absence of peace will eventually lead to the destruction of a marriage, even a good one to begin with.

2. Become a peacemaker.

As I mentioned earlier, peace isn’t something that just naturally happens to us, it is a product of our actions and commitment. The Holy Bible is replete with various admonitions on embracing peace such as “Romans 12:18 – If it is possible, as much as depends on you, live peaceably with all men. There is even a blessing in the Bible for those who make peace. “Blessed are the peacemakers, for they shall be called the children of God” (Matthew 5:9, KJV).Don’t shift the responsibility for making peace to your spouse or others.

3. Seek for the peace within (peace with God and with self).

I have found that people who experience inner turmoil usually expect others to behave in the way they want in order to feel better with themselves and this can sometimes lead to arguments and disagreements if others are not seen to be cooperative. They can be cantankerous and are always looking to win every argument. What we sometimes see on the outside is a reflection of that which lies within. Unless our inner conflicts are resolved at source, this can affect the way we behave or respond to others and can be a barrier to a peaceful relationship with them. Pay close attention to your inner self and emotions when you find yourself at the center of hostility or even when it is coming from you. Peace is a fruit of the Spirit and you cannot bear a fruit of a seed that isn’t planted in you.

4. Say no to low priority tasks and engagements

I find that the more I feel pulled in different directions, something that happens to me, the more I struggle to maintain my inner equilibrium. And once I start to lose my inner calm it becomes easy for little things to get at me or irritate me. And so what do I do when I start to feel this way? I retreat and adjust my plans to ensure that I have some space and ‘me’ time to reflect, relax and respond to more important issues. This I find useful at all times and it has helped a lot in maintaining my inner peace. It may sometimes take a few minutes or hours or days even before I can be restored to a place of rest but being stressed and worn out is definitely a peace killer for anyone. Perhaps unplugging your mobile for a few hours, spending some time to pray, taking a nap, going on a long weekend away and just generally slowing down can go a long way in helping you create peace.

5. Acknowledge and resolve conflicts.

Whenever there is a conflict, listen more than you talk, de-personalise the issues, demonstrate tolerance and compassion, affirm the priority of the relationship, and assume the best about each other. Sweeping genuinely destructive problems under the carpet is not creating and maintaining peace. It is peace-faking and it is a wrong way of resolving issues and conflicts. But pointing out problems with gentleness and right motives with a view to solving them is loving, respectful and contributing to creating and maintaining peace

6. Let go of things you can’t control.

Even with the best of efforts and intentions, there will be times when you can’t control situations and definitely people. So what do you do? If you find that you’ve done your best and things aren’t still the way you’d like them to be, my suggestion is that you let it go, pray about it if you can and just rest on it. By all means, ask for help if it makes things easier for you. But ensure that you truly let go and that you are not trying at all cost to manipulate the situation and other people. Please don’t say you cannot control your emotions or your mouth as those are things you must definitely not allow to go on riot if you want to maintain peace in your marriage. A wise spouse learns to keep their mouth shut regarding a behavior that is largely a nuisance or sometimes irritating. Nothing needs to go your way provided it is the right way!

7. Be willing to forgive past hurts.

Whilst it may sometimes be difficult to forgive past hurts and disappointments, be sure to remember that you need to give forgiveness more than the other person needs to ask for forgiveness. “Be completely humble and gentle; be patient, bearing with one another in love. Make every effort to keep the unity of the Spirit through the bond of peace. Ephesians 4:2-3 (New International Version)”.

8. Embrace the Prince of Peace

Jesus is described as the Prince of Peace and His peace he wants to  give you, not as the world gives. So if you are struggling with creating and maintaining Peace within and around you, it may be time to invite him into your heart and into the situation. He’s always our very present help in time of trouble and always wants to envelope us with his peace. All we have to do is ask. Don’t delay, ask Him now!

Finally, I am going to leave you with this. I found it on a website and thought it worthwhile to share.

“Marriage is a wonderful gift from God, through which He enriches our lives, blesses us with children, guards us against temptation, and presents a model to the world of how Jesus Christ loves His church (Ephesians 5:25). Sin, Satan, and the world conspire daily to oppose God and tarnish this model. Therefore, be wise. Recognize both the opportunities and the dangers that lie ahead. Prepare yourself today to respond to the inevitable conflicts in a biblically faithful manner. As you and your spouse learn how to be peacemakers, you will not only strengthen your marriage, but also turn it into a place where God is glorified, others are served, and both of you are steadily being conformed to the image of the great Peacemaker, our Lord Jesus Christ”. – (http://www.peacemaker.net)