Good news. It is possible to have a peaceful household, even in the un-peaceful setting of going back to school.
Wayne Forward is CEO of PeaceWise, a relationship-building organisation built upon Biblical wisdom and principles.
Wayne told Hope Mornings that every household wants to start the school year peacefully, not weighed down by the strain, angst or resistance that can be stirred by education demands.
“More generally, in life, I think we all want to be aiming to experience peace,” Wayne said.
“As people created in the image of God, and knowing that peace is one of God’s attributes, I think peace is something we all long for.”
However, your household or your neighbour’s might have been the opposite as uniforms needed to be found, bags packed, and anxieties responded to.
“Households can find themselves in a bit of conflict and tension,” Wayne said.
“Let’s face it, the start of the school year is a time where there is a lot of change happening.
“Change and peace are often not two words that go together.”
The simple solution
Such a chaotic, fiery time can seem impossible to overcome with peaceful reactions and interactions.
But Wayne had a straightforward suggestion to parents and caregivers about how to increase their peace.
“If we think about the peace we all really want as being the peace that we were created to enjoy – which is the peace of God – the best way to think about that is turn to the Bible,” Wayne said.
“See what the Bible has to say about peace.”
Turning to the Good Book can help us recognise that peace is not just about what I experience.
“Peace is to do with the life of the communities or families I am part of,” Wayne said.
“Peace in the Bible is tied to this idea of [Hebrew word] ‘shalom‘, which is to do with wholeness, harmony and flourishing.
“That’s not just for me but the whole community I am part of.”
What about the kids?
Looking beyond ourselves doesn’t just stop at the adults.
When asked about how school students can be part of positive change, Wayne advised that kids of all ages can be encouraged to live out peace.
“In households, it’s helping each member to support each other, recognising we are navigating a whole lot of change,” Wayne said.
“It’s choosing to celebrate with those who are really loving going back to school.
“It’s also walking alongside, caring for and lifting up those who might be finding it a little bit harder.”
Along this line of consideration, Wayne emphasised that everyone involved – from parents to students, teachers to school staff – should aim to be extra patient with each other.
Sustaining peace beyond Week 1
Becoming a more peaceful household at the start of term sounds terrific.
But how do you make it last?
No-one wants Week 2 to arrive, and the chaos, friction and irritation takes over again.
“We need to look towards Jesus to be able to find lasting peace,” Wayne said.
“We want to look to Jesus and the gift of peace he has on offer and choose to accept it.
“We want to do relationships the way God intended us to do them, because he is the giver of peace.”
Listen to the full interview with Wayne Forward in the player above.