Women and Peacemaking: A Journey of Grace
If you were asked to describe your life, would words like peaceful and contented come readily to mind? If you are anything like most Christian women today, the real (i.e., honest) answer would probably be, “No way!” Our lives are often filled with suffering, disappointments, broken relationships, fears, and depression. What hope is there for us to have peace? Plenty! In John 14:27, Jesus promises his followers: “Peace I leave with you; my peace I give you. I do not give to you as the world gives. Do not let your hearts be troubled and do not be afraid…” Join us at [this year’s retreat] as together we consider some of the practical and biblical ways that the gospel of Jesus Christ brings real peace for real women.
Session 1: The Gospel—Our Foundation for Peace
Although, as Christian women, we readily confess that we are “saved by grace,” many of us struggle to believe that God’s love, mercy, and delight are actually and consistently towards us. We sense His pleasure when we are “being good,” but we usually have a vague sense that no matter how hard we try, “we’re never quite good enough.” This crushing burden brings conflict to our relationship with God, others, and within. But there is hope! In this first retreat session, we remember anew God’s considerable grace for us through the gospel of Jesus Christ, and from that place of abundant love and safety, learn together how we are called to give that same grace to others as peacemaking women.
Session 2 (parts 1 & 2): Biblical (and Practical!) Hope for Resolving Conflict
Do your broken relationships frustrate and demoralize you? Are you prepared to confidently respond to conflicts in biblical, wise, and loving ways? Would you like to know how to promote genuine unity and truly reconciled relationships? This session provides an introduction to the systematically biblical peacemaking principles summarized by Peacemaker Ministries (www.Peacemaker.net). Together we will learn how we are called to respond to our conflicted relationships, what it means to make a thorough confession, gracious ways to confront and restore, and how we can model true forgiveness and reconciliation.
Session 3: Lasting Peace through Heart Change
Even if we are convinced from Scripture that we ought to be enjoying truly redemptive relationships and genuine peace within, one thing is certain—left to our own devices, such lofty goals are impossible. We may put on a good show for a short while, but ultimately, all of our best efforts will fail to bring about lasting peace. Why? Because our relational conflicts and internal strife reveal with great clarity the condition of our hearts; and we are powerless to change our hearts. Thank God for the gospel of Jesus Christ! In this final session, we consider biblical and practical ways to turn in repentance and faith to the only One Who can truly transform our hearts and bring us peace with Himself, others, and within.
(Optional) Session 4: Relationships that Show the World Jesus
Even with diverse personalities, backgrounds, gifting, and levels of maturity, Christian women truly can live out Jesus’ prayer for unity found in John 17:23 and learn to “accept one another as Christ accepts us” (Romans 15:7). In this session, we explore practical steps we can take to relate well with people—even difficult people who bring us great suffering—all for the glory of God and the proclamation of the gospel to a watching world.
I’m happy to flex content and schedule to meet your event’s needs, but for information on a suggested schedule for my standard retreat click here.