I once heard this phrase that there is a difference between being a peacemaker and a peacekeeper. Now while that sounds almost alike, if you really dig deep, there is a difference.
A peacekeeper is someone who generally ‘keeps’ peace… which could sometimes mean avoiding conflict. I know I am not a confrontational person, and I hate to argue with anyone, really (probably my nature that wants to please people). I consider myself a peacekeeper, but it hit me one day when I realised that avoiding conflict doesn’t necessarily mean there is peace.
The bible has always been my source of wisdom, and one verse that speaks to me is from 1 Peter 3:11.
They must turn from evil and do good;
they must seek peace and pursue it.
What really struck me were the words seek peace and pursue it.
It takes effort to keep the peace. On the contrary, it’s easy to just let arguments build up walls between husbands and wives. Peace must be something that is worth pursuing and going all out for. We must be proactive in any relationship to maintain the peace, and not expect it to just ‘happen’.
Which brings me to the other question… “What does peace mean, really?” (According to Alex, he says it’s when the wife doesn’t nag).
After giving it some thought, I think a peaceful relationship means that I can trust someone. That we are both working towards the end goal of each other’s happiness. It doesn’t mean we keep quiet or sweep under the carpet issues that need to be discussed just to ‘keep the peace’. It means talking things through and being mature enough to compromise sometimes.
As a peacemaker, we sometimes have to start painful or difficult discussions. Not seeing your spouse eye to eye on an issue can be tough, but at least you are working towards a solution. It might mean learning to forgive each other when arguments get too heated.
I am not an expert at marriage, but I work at it. Hard.
Photo by Jon Low