Wow…Hebrews has been so full of good stuff, I can’t seem to get past more than one verse a day!
When it comes to life with teens, check out this one:
“Make every effort to live in peace with all men…” Hebrews 12:14 (See on this one I didn’t even make it through the whole verse!)
I’ve been practicing breaking down verses, word by word, so here we go:
Make: This (whatever the writer is going to talk to us about) doesn’t just happen. I have to make it; create it. Create what?
Every: Every? Yes every! Don’t miss even one? Even one what?
Effort: Dictionary.com says effort means:
1) Exertion of physical or mental power
2) An earnest or strenous attempt
3) Something done by hard work
to live in peace: So that is what all this is about! Making peace!
Here is how I rewrote the verse for me:
“Lynn, you need to create every (don’t miss even one!) way or mean, exerting all of your physical and mental power to the point of making a strenous attempt to live in peace with ALL men.” That would include the girls in my house too!
1) a state of harmony
2) freedom from anxiety, annoyance or other mental disturbance (don’t you know they can cause some mental disturbance now!)
3) a state of tranquility or serenity
4) an agreement or treaty that ends hostilities
So, since our kids or those teens we work with and love fall under the category of “all men”, we called to live in peace with them.
Practically speaking, how can I do that? How can I create an atmostphere where there is a state of tranquility or serenity in our home, even as our teens are in the processing of becoming more and more independent? What agreement can I make to end hostility when it tries to rise up and tear down my home?
Hostility over bad grades?
Hostility over tornado rampaged bedrooms?
Hostility over not doing their homework?
Anxiety over their future?
Anxiety over troubles with friends?
First off, as parents, we can become thermostats instead of thermometers. A thermometer just tells you what the temperature in the home is. A thermostat sets the temperature; the atmostphere. What can you do to create a place of peace?
For me, I can control my own attitude, tone of voice, body language and the giving of physical and verbal affection. I cannot control that in anyone else. Sure I can discipline it; but I can not control it. But I can control me. I can be sure that my attitude, tone of voice, body language and affection all display Jesus through the fruit of the Holy Spirit.
I can also help to create a calm atmosphere with the use of peaceful music, candles, turning off the television…anything that speaks calm.
What do you do to help set a tone of peace in your home? We’d love to hear from you! Just click on comments below.
Happy Wednesday…and may you have a peaceful day!