Can We All Just Get Along?

Romans 12:18

If possible, so far as it depends on you, live peaceably with all.

Do you ever get annoyed with people? Ha! Right? Of course you do, so do I.  And sometimes it’s right under my own roof…catch my drift? I couldn’t love my family more than I do, so why is it that they are the people that get under my skin the most sometimes? Oh and I am sure it’s mutual.  I am definitely not my teens’ favorite person on earth sometimes.  And why is it that those wonderful qualities that attracted you to your spouse, now annoy you?? Well, let’s see…

We have been married almost 20 years, and I am far from an expert.  But, I had two sets of wonderful grandparents who were both married for 60 plus years.  This generation was born and raised during the depression.  My one grandmother went to live in an orphanage for a while because her mother could not afford to feed her and her siblings.  My other grandmother’s parents died very young.  Her and her brothers were forced to hunt birds for food.  My grandfathers both worked on farms from young teen years on and walked miles to work.  My point is, these people knew hardship! Goodness. Imagine dealing with some of those issues? They sure had every right to be annoyed with life. Even though they did not have perfect marriages or families,  they did have commitment, endured the ‘normal’ challenges in marriage and family and managed well.

My husband is a great guy.  He’s pretty passive, easy going.  I loved that about him when we met. HOWEVER,….…well I have to admit, I get a bit annoyed with the passivity sometimes.  When issues arise, I am like a pit bull, I like to attack it and resolve it and my way is best! Or is it? I always thought so.  Turns out, his way has proved to be best with some recent teen issues.  One of ours is particularly strong willed sometimes.  What do you know? The pit bull method really does not work well with that personality! Recently, my husband took over an issue when I just couldn’t get anywhere with this child.  His way worked, we had peace in the house and with each other.  Guess I don’t know everything…

Sometimes I have to tame my passion for resolution and wait a bit to adjust to certain personalities.  Just because I might want to find a solution right now, does not mean that my child or husband CAN have that conversation right now.  The few times I tried this, definitely brought about a quicker and easier problem resolution.  No matter what our personalities  may be, we do have to be mindful of others and their tendencies to avoid some unnecessary conflict.  In 1 John 4:11, it says, Dear Friends, since God so loved us, we also ought to love one another. Oh I know, some people are just not loveable sometimes…but, then again,…neither am I.

Have we become too petty? Why do we let so much bother us? God said in Hebrews 12:14, Pursue peace with everyone, and holiness, since no one will see God without it.  Does that mean be nice to the lady that sends you a not so nice hand gesture on the highway?  Yes.  Just let her go on by and say a prayer for her.  Does that mean adjusting your usual plan of attack when a problem arises? Yup.  Maybe I have to start biting my tongue and being a little patient instead of backing my loved ones into a corner trying to force resolution.  Does that mean letting go of past hurts-which we have all experienced in one way or another-especially in marriage! Um, Yes.  I’ve had to let some things go as I am completely sure my husband has, too.

We aren’t perfect, God knows that! But we can take small steps not to entice negative reactions.  And we can chose to overlook some things that really don’t matter.  After all, if we cannot live in peace in our own homes, how are we going to live peacefully among friends, neighbors and our communities? So, when some stupid little thing bugs me about my husband, I just think about the other day.  We were leaving an appointment separately and he knew I needed gas.  I didn’t know, but he followed me so he could pump it for me.  That says a lot.  Let’s start looking for the good things.  The next time you have a grumpy checkout clerk, pay her a compliment or ask how she is doing, you never know what she’s dealing with.   Before you know it, you’ll change your mindset and all the things that normally annoy you, will make you smile!

Dear God, We are sensitive creatures and you designed us with lots of emotions.  Forgive us when annoyances get the best of us and we snap at those we love or even people in public.  We are representing you so help us to realize that a gentle answer really does turn away wrath.  Help us do our part to keep the peace! Amen

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