Every so often you will hear one of the spouses of a long lasting marriage ask: “I know it’s important to give in and sacrifice for peace. But from where will I get the strength to cope with this?”
Indeed, the longer a problem remains unsolved and becomes more entrenched, the more it becomes a challenge to cope with. You will then need to find more strength to face the problem over and over again and cope with it until you reach the point that the issue was resolved and you’ve gotten to the peace and tranquility and marital harmony you so desire.
You can contemplate on the great gains you will have from attaining that desires harmony as a motivation to keep on coping until resolving the issue. But you can also think about how important peace is in G-d’s eyes and the great reward for pursuing peace, and how your sacrifice for peace makes you similar to G-d who also sacrifices for peace.
Our sages say: “G-d found no other container to hold blessing besides peace.” (Mishnayot Uktzin, 3, 12) Blessing, an abundance of all that’s good is what all of mankind aspires to. And here we see that G-d says that there is no container to hold that blessing besides peace. G-d placed peace as the foundation of all the commandments in his Holy Torah and it’s the container to hold all that is good. From this you can begin to understand how important peace is in all interpersonal relationships and in your home and how worthwhile it is to sacrifice for.
How much should someone sacrifice for peace?
The Talmud says: “Great is peace between a man and his wife as the Torah said that G-d’s name can be erased to restore peace between a man and his wife.” (Hullin 141a)
This means if a man suspects his wife of unfaithfulness their lives aren’t a life whether she is innocent or not. To solve this intolerable situation the Torah commands the Cohen/ Priest to write the chapter of the Sotah on parchment and scrape and erase the words into the water in the temple. Then he gives the woman this water to drink. G-d could have commanded to take some random herb and put it in the water for her to drink and insure that it would yield similar results. Yet G-d insisted that His name in that chapter be erased in the water to teach all future generations the important lesson of how important it is to sacrifice for peace.
Therefore, any time one spouse finds him/herself having a hard time giving in and holding back even though it may be extremely challenging, he should ask himself: “Is my giving in now bigger than erasing G-d’s name that G-d commanded to bring peace between a husband and his wife? If he approaches his challenge in this way he will find great strength to cope far more than he could imagine for peace in his home.