Blessed are the Peacemakers
As a parent, the pressure to make the right decisions for our children is ever present. During these challenging times however, the pressure can, at times, seem unbearable. With so much news coming at us from all directions, it is difficult to be confident in our ability to guide our kids. When down is up and up is down, it's hard to get your own bearing, let alone lead the way. To make matters worse, there are a lot of messages passionately coming at us from opposite directions. It is easy to feel judged, lost and confused.If you find yourself in the middle, with ability to see validity on both sides, consider yourself, and your children, blessed.
When you are unsure who is right and you are able to use, what I call "both-and" thinking you are gifted with the attributes of a peacemaker and have a lot to teach your children. For example, you might believe that there is clear evidence of racial injustice and police cruelty as well as support the many officers who put their lives on the line with sincerity to serve well. You may be torn believing in science and the need to protect your child from Corona Virus exposure while also recognizing the mental health toll they are facing while isolated from others. You may hold fast to the American dream and also recognize the political propaganda that takes those dreams to shamelessly build campaigns. In a time when we are being almost forced into boxes of 'they' and 'them' we need Peacemaker Parents to raise up a generation as only they can.
Peacemaker Parents remind their children to lead with compassion and empathy. When looking at the 'both-and' of a situation, they are able to point to the humanity (state of being human, both good and bad) in a way that seeks both justice and mercy.
Peacemaker Parents illustrate the value in emotional regulation and composure. This is not to say they can't be passionate about an issue, but they do so in a respectful and dignified manner with an openness to their own bias and flaws.
Peacemaker Parents teach the skill of critical thinking. They are clear about not having all the answers and support their children in their own process without pressure to conform blindly. With a structure/nurture balance, these parents hold boundaries but also invite ideas and solution-focused dialogue.
Next time you are feeling overwhelmed with pressure to pick a side in order to lead your kids, remember that Jesus said, "Blessed are the peacemakers, for they will be called the children of God." You are vital part of exhibiting God's loving character to your children and your community.