“But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, gentleness, goodness, faith, meekness, temperance.”

Psalm 119:165 Great peace have they which love thy law: and nothing shall offend them.

Isaiah 32:17 And the work of righteousness shall be peace; and the effect of righteousness quietness and assurance for ever.

18 And my people shall dwell in a peaceable habitation, and in sure dwellings, and in quiet resting places.

Matthew 5:9 Blessed are the peacemakers: for they shall be called the children of God.

Romans 12:18 If it be possible, as much as lieth in you, live peaceably with all men.

Romans 14:17 For the kingdom of God is not meat and drink; but righteousness, and peace, and joy in the Holy Ghost.

18 For he that in these things serveth Christ is acceptable to God, and approved of men.

19 Let us therefore follow after the things which make for peace, and things wherewith one may edify another.

Ephesians 2:14 For he is our peace, who hath made both one, and hath broken down the middle wall of partition between us.

Colossians 3:15 And let the peace of God rule in your hearts, to the which also ye are called in one body; and be ye thankful.

Hebrews 12:14 Follow peace with all men, and holiness, without which no man shall see the Lord.

MEMORY VERSE: And the fruit of righteousness is sown in peace of them that make peace. —James 3:18

CENTRAL THOUGHT: A person who loves God’s law and has God’s heavenly kingdom within him; who allows God’s righteousness to work, and Jesus, the Prince of Peace, to rule and reign in his heart and guide him in the way of peace, and who follows peace and seeks for peaceful relationships with others will sow and reap the precious fruit of peace in his heart and home.


Psalm 119:165 “Peace”: completeness; soundness; health; welfare (Strong’s Concordance). “A state of quiet or tranquility; harmony; concord; reconciliation; freedom from disturbance or agitation” (Webster). “Offend”: means or occasion of stumbling. ”True love to the will of God, however it is made known to us, either in the Book or in our consciousness, or in daily providences … brings to us, in all circumstances, and in every part of our nature, a tranquillity which nothing can disturb” (Maclaren’s Expositions). “There is a perfect calm in the breasts of those who not only do the will of God, but love to do it. They are at peace with God by the blood of reconciliation; at peace with themselves by the answer of a good conscience and the subjection of those desires which war against the soul; at peace with all men by the spirit of charity; and the whole creation is so at peace with them, that all things work together for their good” (Benson Commentary).

Matthew 5:9 “Peacemakers”: maintainers of peace (Tyndale).

Romans 12:18 “As much as lieth in you”: give it your best effort. “This implies two things: (1) We are to do our utmost endeavors to preserve peace, and to appease the anger and malice of others. (2) We are not to ‘begin’ or to ‘originate’ a quarrel” (Barnes’ Notes on the Bible).

Ephesians 2:14 “He is our peace”: an allusion to Isaiah’s Prince of Peace. “Here … is our Lord called not the giver of peace, but the peace itself—His own nature being the actual tie of unity between God and mankind, and between man and man (Ellicott’s Commentary for English Readers).

Colossians 3:15 “Rule”: act as umpire; arbitrate; make the call. Hebrews 12:14 “Follow”: aggressively chase; earnestly pursue.


The verses in our lesson are but an outline of a character trait so majestic and sublime its very name is given to our Lord: Jehovah-Shalom (Jehovah is my peace). He is the “Prince of Peace,” and “He is our peace.” What becomes very clear as we study is that He delivered this peace to our souls at the cost of His own life (Colossians 1:20 and Isaiah 53:5). This emphasizes again the self-sacrificing quality of true love, so essential for marital happiness.

The fruit of peace can also share these names: contentment (peace with circumstances or possessions), harmony (peaceful blending with family members, neighbors and fellow Christians), and rest (personal peace in the soul).

Peace, as a direct result of loving God’s will and way and walking in His righteousness, will find its way into all these areas, as they directly impact the marriage relationship. Studies have shown that 83% of couples’ arguments are about finances, and money is listed in the top three reasons for divorce. At the root of many of these issues lies a lack of contentment. My wants and demands vs. your wants and demands. Following Christ’s way of laying down my life for your sake brings peace to the struggle, as does learning and obeying the Bible’s way of making money, spending money and saving money while ultimately trusting God to supply our needs.

Harmony evokes the idea that you don’t have to do everything just like me to be valuable and appreciated. In fact, our differences enhance our marriage. God put us together, not to be exactly alike, but to produce a pleasing blend. We appreciate each of the differences of our children as well.

Personal soul rest is the kind of peace I must have in order to “live peaceably with all [people].” This, according to the Hebrews writer, is accomplished when I “cease” from my own works. (The love that gives up its own life, again!) I don’t have to have things my way to be happy. I am free to risk loving and accepting you because I have accepted who I am before God and am no longer straining and stressing to “be something.”

Putting my all into being a peacemaker involves making sure my attitudes and words are “pleasing” in God’s sight; that I understand which words are hurtful, inflammatory, belittling, or negative to my spouse, and which words bring peace and actually edify or build up.

—Sis. Angela Gellenbeck


  1. Great peace comes from ______________________________.
  2. The effect of righteousness is __________, ___________, and _____________.
  3. What positive actions are described in the verses of our lesson?
  4. Give a Biblical example of someone who portrayed the quality of peacemaking or one who did not.
  5. Who is our peace, and what has He done for us? (Two things are described.)
  6. What does it mean for God’s peace to “rule” our hearts? How can this concept enrich a marriage?


Marriage: two people of varying backgrounds, drawn together by an attraction to one another. That attraction develops into what we call love. They have different personalities, are raised in different environments, different cultures, and maybe different religious backgrounds. Some things may be important to one and of little to no importance to the other. The dynamics of this marriage relationship have the potential to be the greatest thing or the worst thing; or somewhere in between. The choice is made by the parties involved.

To live peaceably with one another is a conscious choice that is renewed and reinforced every day. The wonderful state of marital peace is possible and is brokered through compromise and sustained by love. Over the years we have counseled many couples and we would like to share a few things that we have learned.

THERE MAY BE ANOTHER WAY TO LOOK AT IT: A dollar bill has two sides. The color and size are consistent, but the description of each side is quite different. It is very possible to look at the same thing and describe different aspects of it and both be completely accurate and be in complete disagreement at the same time. “I don’t understand why you can’t see it. It’s as plain as day!” But which side are you describing, yours or mine?

Our perspectives are influenced and shaped by our experiences. What happened in our formative years follows us into adulthood and impacts our relationship with one another. Just because that is the way that you see it, does not mean that it’s totally accurate. It is possible for both parties to be partially right and completely wrong. We must understand that each person comes into the relationship with preconceived notions and ideas. To keep the peace, seek to understand each other, not to prove your point.

HEARING VS. LISTENING: There is a difference between listening and hearing. In most disagreements we “hear” but we do not “listen.” We hear long enough to make a counterpoint, but we fail to listen with the heart. Sometimes what speaks the loudest is not the words but the wounds. Find the hurt and soothe it.

You must not only listen to what is said but what is left unsaid. Emotions are complex and often confusing, especially when they are cross-translated between the sexes. Women and men think and process things quite differently. The scripture tells husbands to dwell with their wives according to knowledge. Take time to study your spouse. Know the intricate details that make them “tick.” Then train your heart to hear, not only what they said, but what they did not say. With her words she may be saying: “a bouquet of flowers is not necessary,” but with her heart she may be saying: “but it would be nice.”

SECURITY AND SUPPORT: Women need security and men need support. God made us that way. Women need to feel secure in their relationship, in their homes and in their finances. In general, women tend to be more risk-averse than men. For instance, men are more likely to quit their jobs and start a new business but may not understand why their wife is not fully supporting that decision.

When women feel insecure they respond negatively. They may not clearly understand why, nor be able to articulate it. Insecurity is often disguised behind seemingly unimportant points and issues that may be insignificant to the man. When we understand the “why” it eliminates much disagreement and facilitates peace.

Men need support. No matter how macho they may seem; they crave the support of their wives. God said it is not good for man to be alone, so he made a helpmeet for him. The role of a helpmeet is to support. There may be times when men are baffled as to why they do not have the full support of their wives. But if the wife’s “security need” has not been met, she cannot fully support him. (Note: we purposely used: cannot vs. will not) Yes, it is her duty to submit but she may not be able to fully put her heart into it.

From our experience these are the two basic needs of men and women in a marital relationship. It should also be noted that this is a reciprocal process. If women feel secure and men feel supported, it makes for a peaceful relationship.

DEALING WITH ANGER: Psychologists would say that anger is a secondary emotion. It masks other emotions, such as disappointment, disgust, sadness, fear, etc. Make it a point to know what is behind that mask of anger. Is it fear? is it disappointment? Once you deal with the primary issue, the secondary issue of anger will remedy itself.

There will be disagreements in every marriage that can become the foundation for anger. How you deal with anger is of utmost importance. The danger of excusing anger as a normal process of the human experience is that, if left unmitigated, it will develop into unforgiveness and bitterness. No relationship can stand up against this. Take it upon yourself to be the peacemaker. Make it a point to be slow to anger and swift to forgive.

DIFFERENT STAGES: Marriage goes through stages. As we mature, our marriage matures and the dynamics of the relationship change. Many fail to realize this. It has been our experience that there is a major adjustment around each seven-year mark. Of course, this is unofficial, but we have noted the pattern in our own relationship and in the marriages of people that we have counseled over the years.

Everyone matures at a different rate, in different areas of their lives. Because of this, what was once only a mild nuisance in younger days can become intolerable as we grow older. One party may have matured in a certain area while the other has not. We must navigate these stages of life and be willing to adjust our expectations in order to “reset” our relationship and maintain peace in our homes.

—Bro. Darrell and Sis. Kimberly Johnson, Sacramento, California

Married July 21, 1984