The Urantia Book Fellowship


Everything You Always Wanted to Know
about Family Peace! (Ha, Ha)

by Therapists Arlene & Buck Weimer
General Conference 1990   Snowmass, Colorado


The Deities must have a sense of humor! Here we are on a planet with a double default as imperfect beings, living with a species of the opposite sex incapable of understanding each other, allowed to have children that are belligerent by nature, no preparation or rehearsal, then asked to play god--and be a peacemaker.

Tension and conflict are natural within a family unit. It's how we respond that's important. As parents, we spend much of our time being referees and umpires. In the end, children do what they see their parents do. Jesus said: "The Son does only those things which he sees the Father do." (*644) If we are physically present and emotionally there, if we strive for attitudes of being positive, authoritative, and consistent, we can be a finite reflection of our Universal Father and Christ Michael.

Our theme is simple: What families--and the world--need most is fatherly love. To illustrate this theme, we'll call your attention to the four supreme reactions of fatherly love as part of the Sermon on the Mount. The first two we will focus on the relationship between the parents, and the second two will be on the family as a whole.

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1. "Happy are they who mourn, for they shall be comforted." (*1575) This is an emotional reaction of tenderheartedness and being responsive to human needs. This reaction is especially needed to bring some semblance of peace in the husband-wife relationship. "Male and female are practically regarded as two distinct varieties of the same species living in close and intimate association. Their viewpoints and entire life reactions are essentially different; they are wholly incapable of full and real comprehension of each other." (*938) Some of these male-female differences seem to be that females are more intuitive and emotional than males, while males are somewhat more logical and have greater difficulty expressing feelings. In a marriage these differences result in males having more difficulty sharing intimacy, while wives enjoy emotional talk. Women, on the other hand, have greater difficulty expressing their needs. The good news is that sometimes in middle age there is a reversal of these trends if the individuals are willing to attain a healthier balance within.

How then, do we resolve these differences and conflicts and attain some peace? If we are emotionally responsive to each other's needs, we can maintain unity and peace. We need to accept that we are different--and not take the conflict as a personal attack. We can be unified in our wholehearted dedication to doing our Father's will, always asking God what is best for all concerned. When there is disagreement, emotionally respond by first being calm so we can listen and hopefully achieve an understanding without judging. We can then brainstorm a solution that is comfortable for all and have a win-win situation. In many family conflicts there are no quick fixes, so praying for guidance--separately and together--helps.

Why then, when we have all this knowledge on how to live in unity and peace, do we criticize and become emotionally unresponsive? One answer to this question is that we all have some degree of shame. This is a belief and feeling that we are not good, are not loveable, and don't belong. Shame builds walls, as we hide our feelings of self-doubt from others. When in conflict, we become defensive and angry in order to feel control and power. We need to work on healing our shame, as a way to heal our relationship and prevent it in our children.

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2. "Happy are the merciful, for they shall obtain mercy." (*1575) The mercy Jesus discussed here has to do with true friendship. Is your spouse your best friend? It's easy to forgive children, but so often the children observe parents hating and resenting each other. Jesus is quoted on page 1740: "but the measure of your human strength of character is your ability to resist the holding of grudges and your capacity to withstand brooding in the face of sorrow."

Developing within yourself a willingness to forgive is, perhaps, the most important aspect of this beatitude. This willingness to forgive is based on the belief in a just and merciful universe; that everyone experiences the consequences of their behavior. You don't have to be the judge, jury, or executioner.

However, steps to forgiveness can be taught. For your consideration, here is one example of the forgiveness process:

Step #1: See the need. If any past or present experience brings up within you a negative feeling of any kind, it is a good indication that the need exists.

Step #2: Review the history of that particular event. Take a look at events leading up to what happened, and how it happened. Be as objective as possible.

Step #3: Understand the motive. As best you can, understand why that person did whatever they did. Many people get stuck at this step because they don't allow themselves to understand. Some possible motives are: (a) an error, evil; (b) purposely trying to hurt you, sin; and (c) defiant or insane, iniquitous.

Step #4: See them in a "new light." Here we must see that person in a way different than before we started this process. Steps 3 and 4 represent a change that is necessary for this to work.

Step #5: Say something positive about that person. Everyone has good qualities. Say a prayer or praise their Thought Adjuster.

Step #6: Direct the forgiveness energy toward that person. Hate and anger are poisons; forgiveness is healing--self healing.

You will know if your efforts have been sincere by checking in with your feelings when you see that person or recall the incident.

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3. "Happy are the peacemakers, for they shall be called the sons of God." (*1575) Children can be easily taught to act as peacemakers. They enjoy team activities and playing together.

Family peace can be enhanced by encouraging team spirit within the family. How do we practically achieve this team spirit? First, a team has a coach; parents need to take the role of an authoritative leader and show children the way. On page 941, The Urantia Book gives three causes of insubordination in today's youths. One is because the parents are absent from the family picture too much of the time, so the children have much difficulty gaining culture by imitating parents. Second is by overprotecting children, and hence they do not experience the natural consequences of their foolish behavior. The third has to do with the racial mixture.

Another way to enhance team spirit is through family meetings. In a family meeting, decisions affecting the family are made by consensus. Consequences for breaking the rules are agreed upon before the rule is broken. To gain more specific knowledge about family meetings, we suggest reading Family Meetings by Bob Slagle.

A third way to encourage team spirit is through play and humor. We need wholesome diversion, rest, entertainment, recreation, and competitive games to prevent boredom, which often results in children fighting. Also, we can take ourselves less seriously (*547) and laugh at our struggles more often.

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4. "Happy are they who are persecuted for righteousness' sake, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven." (*1575) Love can be a dangerous and semi-selfish trait in parents (*1922) which can add to insubordination in children. And, too often, we punish children when we are angry. The most common word a child hears is NO.

This beatitude is reflected in a story Will Rogers once told: When he was sixteen years old, he thought his father was an idiot. When he was twenty-one years old, he thought his father was just a little dumb. By the time he was twenty-five, he figured he was somewhat smart. When Will had reached the age of thirty, he was certain his father was a genius.

Children often display anger toward each other and their parents. Family peace is greatly served if parents don't interfere in the petty quarrels of the children, and at the same time refrain from returning anger for anger. Instead, return a wise love.

We must be careful and not take ourselves too seriously. This can be helped by coming to terms with our disappointments by making fewer plans that concern others and by accepting our lot once we have done the best we can. In our quest for Havona, we become "disappointment proof." (*290)

I am intrigued by the dual relationship Jesus had with his natural brothers and sisters--as a brother and as a father. This is the same dual relationship he seems to have with all of us, as our creator and also as one with the Universal Father. In his early life on Urantia, Jesus experienced much mental distress--during the ages of twelve, thirteen, and fourteen--while trying to adjust his own views to the beliefs of his parents. (*1372-3) Family peace can be greatly fostered by allowing each member to have their own views, and by seeking a balance in your relationship with your children between being their parent, and being their brother/sister with our Universal Father.


Family peace is a humorous affair, of course, because it is something happening between the periods of conflict. Parents will serve this peace best by being an example of fatherly love while negotiating differences.

Thank you for sharing this time together.

A service of
The Urantia Book Fellowship