“Be at peace with each other.” Mark 9:50
If you don’t protect yourselves from outside stresses, married life can seem more like a marathon than a stroll in the park. With relentless pressure at work, a demanding schedule of carpooling and sports, and the stress of keeping up with home and church duties, moms and dads can begin to lose heart. Then fatigue and irritability set in, angry words are spoken, and soon every member of the family is at one another’s throats.
All of us, especially at the end of pressure‐packed days, need a safe retreat. As a working husband or wife, you need a chance to unwind privately for a while when you first come home. School kids (teenagers, too) need uninterrupted “down time” on a regular basis. No one can keep up a frenetic schedule for long without it affecting his or her attitude.
Jesus told His followers to “be at peace with each other.” If you’re finding hopefulness in short supply in your marriage, maybe it’s time you get off the treadmill of continuous stress. If it’s just the expectations of others that is keeping you on the run, say “no” more often. Take an afternoon off. Get a babysitter so you can have some time to yourself. Set aside quiet time regularly—and guard it. Slow down your mealtimes together. Simplify.
As you make a priority of creating tranquility at home, you’ll feel your heart lifting and hope returning.
•When you feel overwhelmed by demands, do you ever lose hope?
Dear God, forgive us when we allow external demands to dictate the quality of our home life. Give us the foresight and discipline to create a sanctuary of peace and renewal. Amen.