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Let Peace, Not Perfection, Rule Your Heart and Home

Above all, put on love as your family seeks to live out these Christlike qualities.

It's not about perfection or performance from you, your kids, or your spouse. It's about having a place where you can let your true, still-becoming self show. Where judgment is replaced with encouragement.

"Therefore, as God's chosen ones, holy and dearly loved, put on compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness, and patience, bearing with one another and forgiving one another if anyone has a grievance against another. Just as the Lord has forgiven you, so you are also to forgive. Above all, put on love, which is the perfect bond of unity. And let the peace of Christ, to which you were also called in one body, rule your hearts. And be thankful" (Colossians 3:12-15).

What a list: compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness, patience, forgiveness. I can honestly say that not one quality in this list comes to me naturally, especially as it relates to my relationships with others. Is cranky, irritated, or hurried anywhere on this list? My natural inclination is not towards peace, which could explain why I often find my heart in a panic. But, Colossians 3 demonstrates to us that Christ has called us to peace, to literally let it rule our hearts. What is ruling your heart today?

Here’s the thing—sometimes the hardest people to show kindness to or be patient with, forgive, accept, or not blame are the ones with whom you share the same air, sleep, and break bread (and sometimes a few dishes) day after day. We can muster up enough civility to live out these qualities with acquaintances or even friends, but family is another story. I have been making a home, along with my husband and four children, for almost twenty years now. I know how hard it can be. I also know how good it can be. 

Christ in the home is not about perfection or performance from you, your kids, or your spouse. Christ in the home is about having a place where you can let your true, still-becoming self show. It is a place where judgment is replaced with encouragement. A place where you learn how to celebrate the invaluable lessons learned from failures. A place to learn that mistakes are just that–miss-takes and you can try again. Always try again. Because mercies are new every morning. 

If we show our true selves to those we hold most dear, we can work towards embodying the sought after qualities in these verses. And the best part? As we seek to demonstrate these qualities, we will find ourselves becoming more Christlike. Nothing brings peace in our hearts, or unity in our homes, more than everyone under one roof pursuing Christ with their whole hearts.

This excerpt is from the CSB (In)courage Devotional Bible. Learn more!

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