Peacemaking for Families: A Biblical Guide to Managing Conflict in Your Home - Ken Sande
I was recently given this book and at first glance I was kind of offended that someone might think "MY" family has a need for peacemaking or a guide to conflict. Just for context, my wife and I have two daughters 17 & 11 respectively. So how is a 200 page book going to offer me something I have 17 years already invested in managing... while this is not a sales pitch for the book, I do want to add a little about the book and some benefits I have seen.
One of the first parts of the this book that really jumped out to me was looking at the two main ways people deal with conflict. Attack and escape are how many of us have seen and participated in conflict. Processing through how this looks not only for me, I typically turn to escape, but also being able to understand what my family tends to lean toward in conflict is important and allows for a better response and hopefully resolution.
While there are many significant take-aways from this book another big stand out is how conflict can at times be connected to our idols. When I started reading this I thought "really, idols?" But what Mr. Sande is helping to bring to light is many of our points of conflict center around something we find, often times superseding what the Bible states, and put our own wants and needs on the person we are in conflict with. Sande's definition for an idol is, "any desire that has grown into a consuming demand that rules our heart; it is something we "think" we must have to be happy or fulfilled, or secure." This definition is tough to read and exposes areas in my life that have been given a greater position than God.
Another very useful tool this book offers is a treasure trove of scripture that allows you to connect scripture to the struggles we all encounter. While reading through this book, Sande points us to scripture in order to connect the ideas he is presenting with how God is calling us to live and interact with those around us. Taking the time to review and reflect on these passages not only helps to understand conflict better, but adds perspective to conflict you may be currently walking through.
There is a great deal more to explore with this text. Sande has information on forgiveness, negotiation and practical examples to help think through conflict. While we all have conflict that appears in our life from time to time, having more tools to address this and hopefully improve relationships makes this a valuable resource.