“You’re blessed when you can show people how to cooperate instead of compete or fight. That’s when you discover who you really are, and your place in God’s family.” Matthew 5:9

Can anyone please show the political “leaders” of our world how to cooperate instead of compete or fight? Bueller? Ferris Bueller?

While the crapstorm of American politics needs a serious dose of emotional management, I’ve got bigger salmon to sizzle in my mom world. If wearing my best Swiss army gear neutralizes familial discord and showers down blessings, then suit me up.

Because there were chunks of years when my identity snuggled up with the inner wranglings of whodunnit scenarios and battles of the will. Every mom plays good cop, bad cop – and some days chaos erupts no matter how deft our toeing the line abilities.

“You’re blessed when you can show people how to cooperate instead of compete or fight.”

In my desperate case, the operative word in Jesus’ directive is show. The actions speak louder than words cliché gained momentum when I had kids. As in, the trite expression materialized into my world far too often. 

Many times my actions literally out-screamed my actual shrieks. Think flailing arms, award winning eye rolls, mad skill door slamming. “Each a pillar of behavioral integrity,” said no one ever.

And when said behaviors mirrored me back in the face from my kids, the universe busted a cosmic gut over my contorted disdain. Bahaha.

Whatever, Mr. Milky. Way. For the record, raising kids isn’t as brilliant an endeavor as your starry night…

To which Jesus whispered to me, “That’s when you discover who you really are, Shelby, and your place in God’s family.” 

He then mumbled something about sarcasm aficionado, blah blah. Couldn’t really hear him over my ranting coming through the loudspeakers.

The point God’s trying to make through my jaded satire revolves around a little word called peace. Blessed are the peacemakers, i.e. blessed is every mom walking on the planet who can model productive conciliation.

And when we have sibling rivalry to contend with, standing firm on neutral ground becomes an arduous task. For years I thought God gave me three kids in forty-two months as a candid camera prank. Either that or He didn’t read the memo about my blatant lack of patience.

Being a peacemaker with three kids requires sound juggling ability. No matter how secure the situation seems at hand, one ball of wax always hangs in the air.

We want our kids to get along, love each other, and play nice. Sometimes I displayed excellence in teaching my kids how to cooperate, other times my impatience intensified the friction.

I often threatened punishment or forced apologies between my kids instead of hearing both sides of the story. Peace requires stillness. The simple act of separating our kids and asking them to think about what happened and why they’re mad before we even get involved can defuse the time bomb.

When the blood boil reduces to a simmer we can encourage healthy communication between the opposing forces. Exposing our kids early on to the value of listening to the others perspective before blurting out their litany of complaints sets them up for relational fortitude.

Teaching our kids how to cooperate instead of compete or fight also hinges to the manner in which we relate to our spouse. My husband and I made a pledge to refrain from arguing in front of the kids.

For the most part we did an above average job of following through. However, our egos got the better of us on many occasions as well. But we didn’t fret over our weakness. (Scratch that. The hubs didn’t fret. I think, therefore I fret.)

Eventually we took on good counsel from seasoned people wiser than us who reminded us the importance of our children witnessing “healthy fighting.”

Allowing our kids to think or believe we always get along promotes a dangerous ideal. Kids need to recognize disagreements come with the territory. Showing them how to fight fair, apologize, forgive teaches invaluable lessons for them to bring into their relationships in the future.

Ultimately, the ability to show our kids how to get along with others is a result of having peace in our heart. A heart filled with peace represents a heart saturated with the love of Christ. A heart steeped in the Divine means the person knows who they really are and their place in God’s family.

Not all is fair in love and war. But in God’s Love all is fair.


Saving Our Kids from Drowning In a Sea of Hypocrisy – (8th mantra)

Why I choose To Stay Home – (6th mantra)

The Reward Of Caring – (5th mantra)

Emotional Eating Vs. Spiritual Snacking – (4th mantra)

The Importance of Self Love in Mothering – (3rd mantra)

Why Emotional Losses Mean Motherhood Gain – (2nd mantra)

To The Mom Who Is At The End Of Her Rope – (1st mantra)

Shelby Spear

A self-described sappy soul whisperer, sarcasm aficionado, and love enthusiast, Shelby is a mom of 3 Millennials writing about motherhood and life from her empty nest. She is the co-author of the book, How Are You Feeling, Momma? (You don't need to say, "I'm fine.") , and you can find her stories in print at Guideposts, around the web at sites like Her View From Home, For Every Mom, Parenting Teens & Tweens and on her blog shelbyspear.com.