The Sweetest Harvest, day 6 – Raising Peacemakers

It’s one of the most challenging responsibilities of all.  One that requires so much of ourselves.  One that we might be tempted to scratch out of that Matthew 5 Sermon on the Mount passage in our Bibles.  Just put a sharpie black line right through it.  But the blessing of being called “Children of God?”  We can’t miss that!  We can’t let our children miss that! 

I’m certain we all share this commonality, our children argue.  If they’re breathing, they’re driven to tattle, lash, bicker, yell, _____(fill in the blank).  And the x-ray of their tiny hearts is so clear!

We’re growing a harvest.  One that will shine bright in a dark place.  One that will be drawn to wisdom in a sea of foolishness.  One that will love the unlovable and forgive the unforgivable.  And serve the lowly.  And be called children of God!

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Blessed are the peacemakers.  Conflict can be messy.  And the messy turns to monstrous as they grow into adult bodies if they manage conflict still as a child.  God has given us this time to raise this harvest for Him.  And though it looks different for each home, I open our squeaky red door to share what we are learning in this season.

And yes, so thankful for grace when we do it all wrong.

With our eyes on the harvest, training them early to make peace with others will grow a limitless yield of fruit.  Showing up in their witness for Christ, in their friendships with others, their marriage, and workplace.  Because, one day they’ll leave us.  And all the training will consolidate.  Peacemaking is vital.

In our home, we set up a tiny corner.  Tiny table and 2 little chairs.  A Bible and pretty little flower atop.  We call it, The Peace Table.

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When the children cannot agree and it’s “he said, she said” and “MAMA!!!”  They are asked to go to the “peace table” until they can work it out.  And almost inevitably, they burst into laughter within 3 minutes.  (Not sure if this is truly conflict resolution, but it’s a start! )  Any place can serve as a place for peacemaking! I look out the window from that kitchen sink and see that daddy has them seated at the tables by the playground.  And their hands are out in animated gestures.  And I wish to be a mosquito for the only time in my life.

Their daddy and me, we desire for our children to have healthy sibling relationships.

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We want them to be best friends, to love each other, to look out for each other, to respect one another.  And so we commit to this:

To help them establish friendships with each other everyday. We have said yes to sleepovers in a big sister’s room, the purchase of small $1 gifts for one another when they go yard-saleing with mommy, letting them be a part of planning birthday surprises for each other, and giving plenty of unstructured playtime together.  

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To ask them to pray for one another.  “Noah, when you pray over the meal, will you pray for Savannah since she isn’t well today?”  “Savannah, will you pray for Levi that he can go to his class today and have peace?”

To look for opportunities to allow them to serve one anotherEach child can be a helper to collect everyone’s plate (one at a time!) at dinner.  “Savannah, can you help Levi push his tricycle out of the ditch?”  For times when we are quick to jump in and serve, ask one of your children to carry it out, while you watch.  In this way, it isn’t a demand because you are busy, but an intentional training exercise.  They will see the difference!

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To teach by example. And oh, is this one hard.  But, if we lash out and blame others, will they not do likewise? If we can’t forgive when we are wronged, will they not struggle with the same?  If we run from conflict, will we not see little imitators following closely behind?  If we seek forgiveness when we sin, confront others in love, and if we ourselves are quick to forgive those who have wronged us, our children grow in Christ and in their relationships with others.  Not one of us wishes to raise lonely and bitter children.

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To practice daily.  We read “Little House on the Prairie” and we talk of Nellie Oleson’s ways and why no one wants to frolic with her.  We commend Laura and Mary for their ability to hold their tongues when harsh words are tossed about with sunbonnets in the play yard.  And maybe they want to be like them…

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To be good at anything, we must practice!

May we share together this part of the harvest?

Maybe we all need strength for this?

How do you train your youngsters to be peacemakers?

Join in tomorrow for day 7, {The Gentle Cycle}.  I’ll be at The Better Mom as the journey continues.  

So thankful,

~k.

Maybe you’d like to start back at Day 1?

Comments

  1. Amanda Dalton says:

    Oh! It just warms my heart when I see healthy sibling relationships. Even today at our local Bible Bee, a young teenage girl (who I don’t even know) was called up on stage for winning 2nd place. But it was her reaction to her sister being called up for 1st place that brought tears to my eyes! That’s what I want for my children. But you’re so right, it’s so challenging to cultivate!

    I LOVE the peace table idea! We’re going to try that one out in The Dalton household. This series is wonderful! I’m enjoying it so much! Thank you for the transparency and encouragement!

  2. How I enjoyed your blog! I think back to the time my older children were young. I see now that I made frequent mistakes. Like any mother. Your blog I get back energy to be consciously working with the younger children (9, 13, 15) Love your photos. Children worldwide are the same :-)

    Thank you for this positive blog.

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