If only we could end all wars by making love. What a wonderful world – one without wars, atomic bombs or nuclear subs. The Twin Towers would still be standing. You wouldn’t have to outlaw guns. What outlaw wouldn’t trade in their guns to make love instead?
Of course, the serious side of that slogan (if there was one) was we should choose to love (in a brotherly way) our enemies instead of killing them. That’s an idea Jesus could hang His hat on, or more precisely, His little skullcap.
However, the more accurate antonym to “war” is not “love.” It’s “peace.” And it takes far more effort to make peace than to make love.
They said, “Give peace a chance!” as if that’s all peace needed – just a chance and it would take it from there.
Imagine reducing health down to “Give peas a chance!” As if all we needed for physical well-being was an extra helping of tiny, green orbs.
Unfortunately for the children of the ‘60s, they have by now discovered that peace doesn’t happen by chance. And making love not only failed to end world conflict, many times it caused painful conflict in personal relationships.
Indeed, the “free love” movement has resulted in more sexual exploitation, marital infidelity, gender confusion and divorce than those bell-bottomed peaceniks could have imagined. So much for peace – ah, love – ahhhh, what were we talking about?
You won’t learn to build and sustain a life-giving, life-long marriage in sex ed class. You’re going to have to learn to make peace, not love. And making peace requires more than a chance. It requires serious effort.
You’re the Next Contestant on “Are You Blessed?”
Despite the high level of difficulty, we are to be about peacemaking.
“Blessed are the peacemakers, for they shall be called sons of God.” – Matt 5:9 (ESV)
How would you like Jesus to look at you and call you blessed? If you’re a peacemaker, He will.
What about being called a son of God? Would you like that? That’s evidently the name reserved for peacemakers. (And that includes women. Jesus was speaking in a culture where the sons received the family inheritance, but He made it clear that all of God’s sons – male and female – would receive an inheritance in His kingdom.)
But alas, peacemaking has fallen on hard times in our world.
And Jesus answered them, “See that no one leads you astray. For many will come in my name, saying, ‘I am the Christ,’ and they will lead many astray. And you will hear of wars and rumors of wars. See that you are not alarmed, for this must take place, but the end is not yet. For nation will rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom, and there will be famines and earthquakes in various places. – Matthew 24:4-7 (ESV)
Wow! Those times have certainly arrived, haven’t they?
Jesus didn’t even mention terrorist attacks, ethnic cleansing, hurricanes, tsunamis, tornadoes or volcanoes. It’s enough to cause you to throw your hands up in despair. How can we be peacemakers in a world so utterly devoid of peace?
Many times it’s easier to just distance ourselves from the chaos and watch our favorite movie instead. Perhaps one where there isn’t any chaos or where the chaos is easily resolved inside of 90 minutes. Or maybe I should write a check to a cause, or paint a sign and join a march, or e-mail my representative.
You know what? It’s easy to long for peace, to cry out for peace, to demand peace, but making peace is something else entirely.
So that’s the assignment. Where do we begin?
Questions from this section of the study:
- Are you a peacemaker? What’s the evidence? What peace have you made?
- Is your life characterized more by peace or struggle? Why would you answer that way?
- Where do you think peacemaking starts?
- What kind of peace do you think God has called you to make?
DNA: It’s What’s For Dating
It’s NOT for couples, but for any wise individual who thinks they might want to get married sometime before they die. And would like to learn how to better build healthy relationships in the meantime.
Check out all three study guides in our store. You can walk through them on your own, but it’s more fun with friends (that and it kinda makes sense to grow in relational success in actual relationships with others), so consider putting together an FMU LoveEd small group study.
Even better? And ask a rock star married couple you respect to lead it!