Boundaries, consequences, and rewards…order is kept through these three things but love should be the base principle interwoven through them.
I have personally been a peace-keeper through most of my life. A peace-keeper loves peace and will try to keep it at any cost. What a peace-keeper doesn’t realize is that continually giving in and not holding someone accountable will never resolve the disturbing condition that is interrupting their peace.
Over the years, I am learning to be a peace-maker. A peace-maker will speak the truth in love and hold people accountable for their behavior. Usually, the person or people in question will not like this at all because for far too long the “control” was in their hands. However, holding people accountable for their behavior is the only way that things will change.
First, you must realize who you are. Are you a parent, a spouse, a business or church leader? If you are a parent, then rules are of absolute necessity with listed (enforced) consequences or rewards. The same goes for a business or church leader. People must know what is expected of them, what is appropriate, and what is not appropriate.
If you are a spouse, you are not a ruler over your mate. Remember the base principle needs to be love. When respect, kindness, and proper communication are missing; then boundaries must be drawn. Do not go off in a corner and pout, do not get in someone’s face and shout.
Clearly communicate how you feel and why. If it needs to be in letter form in order to not be interrupted; then do so. Speak the truth in love. If you are dealing with a mature Christian, then you can expect a humble apology and a conversation regarding how to make the relationship work. However, if you are dealing with an immature or controlling person, then you can expect silence, anger, or a litany of your faults.
Learning how to be a peace-maker is an important skill in life. It is not going to be easy; however, your home (business or church) and heart will be a happier place.
Kim Warf is the associate pastor, alongside her husband Paul of New Beginnings Church in Bangor, ME. She is also a Board Member of Women of the Word and has served as Conference Chairman of several WOW conferences in Maine. Paul and Kim have two grown daughters and a beautiful grand-daughter.