DO YOU think that the Bible can help to promote peace in the home? Please compare what the Bible says with what the following interviewees have found helpful. Consider which points might help you to avoid conflict, keep the peace, and reinforce lasting bonds.
BIBLE PRINCIPLES THAT PROMOTE PEACE
DEVELOP A POSITIVE VIEW OF EACH OTHER.
“Do nothing out of contentiousness or out of egotism, but with humility consider others superior to you, as you look out not only for your own interests, but also for the interests of others.”
—Philippians 2:3, 4.
“We have found that it is good to view your mate as being more important than yourself and others.”
—C. P., married 19 years.
LISTEN ATTENTIVELY WITH AN OPEN MIND.
“Continue reminding them . . . not to be quarrelsome, but to be reasonable, displaying all mildness toward all.”
—Titus 3:1, 2.
“Much tension can be avoided if we don’t respond to our mate in a contentious tone. It is important to listen without prejudice and to respect his or her viewpoint even if we do not agree.”
—P. P., married 20 years.
CULTIVATE PATIENCE AND MILDNESS.
“By patience a commander is won over, and a gentle [“mild,” footnote] tongue can break a bone.”
“There will be conflicts, but the outcome depends on the spirit we show. We really need to be patient. When we are, we find that things get sorted out.”
—G. A., married 27 years.
NEVER STOOP TO VERBAL OR PHYSICAL ABUSE.
“Put them all away from you: wrath, anger, badness, abusive speech, and obscene talk out of your mouth.”
“I admire my husband’s self-control. He always keeps calm and never shouts at me or insults me.”
—B. D., married 20 years.
BE EAGER TO FORGIVE AND TO SETTLE DIFFERENCES QUICKLY.
“Continue putting up with one another and forgiving one another freely even if anyone has a cause for complaint against another.”
“Under stress it is not always easy to keep calm, and you can quickly say or do things that hurt your partner. At times like that, it is beautiful to be forgiving. A good marriage is impossible without forgiveness.”
—A. B., married 34 years.
MAKE A PRACTICE OF UNSELFISH GIVING AND SHARING.
“Practice giving, and people will give to you. . . . For with the measure that you are measuring out, they will measure out to you in return.”
“My husband knows what pleases me, and he is always full of surprises. In turn, I often think, ‘How can I make him happy?’ As a result, we have laughed a lot, and we still do.”
—H. K., married 44 years.
DO NOT GIVE UP PROMOTING PEACE IN THE HOME
The family members interviewed by Awake! are just a few of the millions around the world who have been helped by the Bible to develop qualities that contribute to a more tranquil home. * Even when some in their family do not seem to be trying to cooperate, they have found that it is still worth the effort to be a peacemaker, because the Bible promises: “Those who promote peace have joy.”
^ par. 24 For more information on how to make family life happy, see chapter 14 of the book What Does the Bible Really Teach? published by Jehovah’s Witnesses and available at www.jw.org. Also look under BIBLE TEACHINGS > HELP FOR THE FAMILY.