“God’s call is a call to live in peace”.
1 Cor 7:15 NEB
Usually when people get married we join other friends and relations in wishing them “happiness”. Happiness is one of the hardest conditions to describe. Do we know just what we are wishing them?
Paul is much more specific. He says to married couples, “God calls you to live in peace”. Peace means avoiding conflict, or, when it arises, working through it. A psychologist who was also an ordained minister said to a young couple he was about to marry. “You will have many fights. But you have the strength and the maturity to work through them”. Couples are usually brought together by sexual attraction which gets confused with romantic love. But attraction ebbs and flows and when there are tough times to live through, strain and animosity can develop. Then attraction beats a quick retreat. By accepting the call of God to live in peace, a Christian couple accepts that God himself is a presence in their marriage relationship. And peace can be worked on. Like many other aspects of marriage it requires thinking about and working on – and it is hard work. It does not mean always avoiding facing up to problems. Living in peace will involve facing problems honestly and trying to help each other overcome difficulties. And it will mean giving positive support by the one partner when the other is ill, sad, bereaved, unemployed or disappointed. It may also mean asking the other partner to stop doing something that is unhelpful – like getting drunk. Living in peace will mean appreciating the other partner’s strengths and compensating for their deficiencies.
Peace is a gift of God as well as a call. Receive and multiply that gift.
Lord, help us to live in your peace.