Crazy-maker or Peace-maker

Jun 20, 2014

(Pley subscription & Lego Giveaway winners announced at the end of the post)

Yesterday morning did not start off well.

First of all, one child decided to join me in bed at 5 am. Not a big deal. Except he then gave me a play-by-play of his actions for the next 2 hours. (“Hey mom, I’m going to get some water”; “Hey mom, I’m going to go to the bathroom. number two.”)

(cue cranky mommy). 

At breakfast, while my sweet sister made chocolate chip pancakes and bacon (bless her), the boys displayed all manners of their own crankiness and irritability.

I literally looked over and saw one son sitting on another one’s head with  his feet on the table. Another brother using his body as a blockade the baby from walking down the hallway, obviously making him cry. loudly. And then their was the bickering and the whining. It was truly a trifecta of grumps.

After about 20 minutes of micro-manage-style correction (“Get off your brother’s head. Sit in your chair. Don’t touch him. Stop making your brother upset on purpose. I’m getting your milk, please be patient.), I decided we needed a little holy intervention.

(just as a reminder to new readers…my boys are uh-mazing. superstars. fabulous. and …human. and I love them enough to help rein in bad attitude days. Including my own.) 

So my next command was, “everyone come sit at the table”. I grabbed Clay Clarkson’s Our 24 Family Ways * and a Bible.

There was no plan, except get some Truth up in here and let the Holy Spirit take the wheel.

I flipped to family way #18:

 “We choose to be peacemakers, even when we feel like arguing.”

Seemed like a good place to start.

Thank you , Mr. Clarkson for listing 5 days of questions/Scripture/prayer/etc. for each family way. 

I opened the Bible to Day One’s scripture, James 3:13-18:

“Who is wise and understanding among you? Let them show it by their good life, by deeds done in the humility that comes from wisdom.

But if you harbor bitter envy and selfish ambition in your hearts, do not boast about it or deny the truth.

Such ‘wisdom’ does not come down from heaven but is earthly, unspiritual, demonic.

For where you have envy and selfish ambition, there you find disorder and every evil practice.

But the wisdom that comes from heaven is first of all pure; then peace-loving, considerate, submissive, full of mercy and good fruit, impartial and sincere.

Peacemakers who sow in peace reap a harvest of righteousness.”

We then took a little time to break this verse down.

Two options:

1. Crazy-maker:

  • wants what his brother has & only thinks about himself
  • the way we naturally want to act and it’s not God’s plan
  • leads to chaos and bad choices.

2. Peace-maker: 

  • has a pure heart & loves peace
  • thinks about others & obeys grown-ups
  • comes super-naturally, from God’s work in us (Holy Spirit)
  • gives mercy when others make mistakes & doesn’t take sides

Lastly, we talked about the opposite of “peace” being “war”. How we can do little things, planting seeds of peace, that can help grow a peaceful home. Or we can plant seeds of anger/bitterness/envy and grow a chaotic home.

These terms (and verses) came in handy the rest of the day. Instead of just micromanaging every situation, I could point hearts back to Truth. Asking questions like, “Are you being a crazy-maker or a peace-maker?” or “Are you planting a seed of peace right now?”

Now, of course, the second they got up from the table they each found a weapon of choice (sword or light saber) and began to have an epic battle. (to which my sister commented, “well, look at your little peacemakers”). 

But since they were all fighting zombies or some other bad creature while on the same team, it seemed better to me. Because fighting together (even though loud and potentially dangerous) is more peaceful than fighting one another. 

Side note: During the little lesson, I was reminded to “stay on the bench” with fellow believers. To stop fighting Civil Wars (between spouses/friends/churches). To plant seeds of peace instead of stirring up trouble because I’m jealous or have something I want to get done. Oh, isn’t there always a personal refining when we teach our children.

Would love to hear your ideas on how to help teach children to “sow peace”. Gracias!

*Amazon affiliate link

Congratulations! Mandy Sperry (6 mo subscription); Anna Pry (3 mo subscription) & Donna Kellogg (Lego set). Be expecting an email from me soon!! 


  1. lauragenerationgrit

    Exactly what I needed to read this morning, Heather. Clicking over to get that book. We need a peace-making intervention over here. 🙂

    • Heather MacFadyen

      it is a fabulous devotional/guide. always my go-to on the rough days. would probably help if it was my “everyday” go-to. 😉

  2. Shonda

    Do your boys listen to you when you share deeper things like this? I do this a little with my 5 year old son and he can’t seem to focus on me or he’s distracted by something else and I feel like nothing is getting through. I feel this mostly with spiritual things. I would love to get that book too, sometime.

    • Heather MacFadyen

      great question, Shonda. There are times they aren’t listening. Typically I begin our time by getting some hot drinks (tea or hot cocoa) and some yummy snacks. That helps hold their attention because of the effort I’ve gone to, it makes the time seem important. If your son is 5, I think he would have a much shorter attention span than my almost 9 and 7 year olds. Don’t give up hope. Even if you are reading a little Bible story at bedtime (Jesus Storybook Bible or Children’s Storybook Bible), it’s getting in there. The key is for him to be connected to your heart and then the listening comes more. Also think the most teachable moments are in the car. When they ask questions, they are more interested in hearing my “spiritual” answer. you know?

  3. katiebennett317

    This is a refreshing take on parenting. It’s tempting to micro-manage, and it seems easier in some ways than delving deeper. However it’s pretty futile in the end.

  4. Susan

    I don’t have this problem at home since my son is my only child. But I do have this problem in the Sunday School group. My son is 4, he was being pushed by a 2,5 yo boy. They were playing but the boy pushed him too hard on his belly which hurt him and made him cry. They were happily playing before but after this the 2,5 yo boy is starting to become more aggressive with my son, try to push him again although my son was only standing saying, “J___, do not hit,”. But after I gather the other boys to play train, the conflict is gone.

    I want to know from MOBs, how to address this situation ? Really to make them all in one team and work together and be peacemaker. And I’m really thinking, will my son becomes weak, or fragile since he doesn’t have brothers playing-hitting-conflict experience ?

  5. virginiahollis

    once when our grandsons were playing at the park, one grandson started a fight w/ another boys of same age at the park. they were swinging and punching at ea. other. our other grandson who is one yr older came to me and said, “G’ma, go get them and have them come and sit at the table and talk.” I think he may be a peacekeeper. 🙂

Pin It on Pinterest