Do you want your home to be a place of rest? Walk through these 5 questions to help you craft your home into a sanctuary where your family can draw peace!
Guest post by Katie of Embracing a Simpler Life
A sanctuary, by definition, is a place of refuge and safety.
One of my greatest goals as a homemaker is that my home be a sanctuary for my family. I want this to be a place of peace, rest and refuge.
It just seems so… right.
The outside world is often stressful, demanding and harsh. In contrast, a home should be a place of retreat, a place to recharge at the end of long days and weeks. I would suggest that this is a basic need for any family to thrive.
So, is your home a sanctuary?
How exactly does one create this sense of safe haven at home?
Here are a few questions to ask yourself.
1. Are you a pleasant, life-giving person?
Before you say, “But I’m not the problem!” realize that you can only control yourself, not others. So no matter who you live with, start by examining yourself.
As the homemaker, your attitude will go a long way in setting the tone for your home. Don’t underestimate your influence.
So, ask yourself,
- Do you complain, blame or demean those in your household? Or are you positive, upbeat, and gracious?
- Do you put someone (your child perhaps) in an awkward position by speaking negatively about someone else in the family to them (a grandparent, your spouse, their father, etc)? Or are you self-controlled with your words for the best interests of others?
- Do you become angry easily? Or are you a safe person when it comes to hearing the things that are hard-to-hear? (i.e. “Mom, I didn’t mean to, but I broke your favorite vase.”)
Changing your own demeanor and tone will go far in creating a safe place for your spouse and children.
2. Do you have an attitude of appreciation for those who dwell in your home or is it one of constant disappointment?
I have a wonderful husband who loves me and our children and who works hard to provide for our family.
Yet, even so, I have a choice to make.
I can either dwell on all the ways he’s fallen short of my expectations, perhaps to pitch in here or there or set aside such and such time to be with me OR I can release him from this bondage known as “expectation” and choose instead to love, bless, and serve him and appreciate all he does.
The latter, my friend, is what creates sanctuary for this man I love so much. How often I need reminding to do that though!
For more motivation to selflessly serve your husband, click HERE.
3. Are your family’s needs consistently and systematically met?
If you leave your spouse and children wondering whether they’ll have a decent meal tonight or whether there will be clean clothes to wear tomorrow, your home is falling short of what it could be for them.
While I’m not saying they’re fearing starvation, your family is unable to rest in the knowledge that these secondary, yet important, needs will be met. They don’t yet know if they will be scrambling, scrapping and scrounging for food and clothes, and this doubt becomes a barrier to fully feeling at ease.
Believe me, I’m not perfect at this! Especially when it comes to laundry.
But to build a sense of security, there must be systems in place to ensure these needs will be met on a regular basis. However, that doesn’t mean you have to do it all!
Routines, systems and roles will create this essential sense of trust within the home.
4. Is your home reasonably organized and clean?
Without order, a home will feel chaotic, not peaceful. It’s difficult to relax or find tranquility amongst gunky trashcans, gritty floors, dirt-covered surfaces and piles of unsorted mail, dirty clothes and old dishes.
There’s no space to breath easily when dust hangs in stale air. There’s no freedom to focus when unsightly clutter fills every nook and cranny.
In contrast, a clean, orderly home (not a perfect one, but reasonably so) provides a space to de-stress and disentangle from the world.
While this requires discipline, it does matter for the person who wants a sanctuary at home. Don’t let laziness win over! Resolve to do the best you can in your current life circumstance.
If this is a struggle for you, check out these 6 Ways to Be More Productive Around the Home. Or The Philosophy of a Clean Home: One Simple Mindset to Refresh Your Home-Cleaning Process.
5. Is God, the source of deep meaning, unconditional love and real peace, a priority in your home?
From my experience and perspective, there is nothing more important in creating a settled, peace-filled home than the presence of a holy, loving, awe-inspiring God. When I ask Him to be a part of our home and home-life, He does it.
He is available, present and more life-giving then everything else combined.
How will you work to create a sense of sanctuary in your home this week? In which of these areas do you most need to grow?
Hi! I’m Katie. I’m a young-ish, stay-at-home mom of two adorably-fun little ones, and I live a life devoted to Jesus. I love to write, and I focus my energy on living simply and well. I’m fairly new to the blogging world, recently launching a blog called Embracing a Simpler Life where I write about eternal perspective, being a wife and mama for the glory of God, and simple, intentional living. Come check it out!
Great article! Thank you for the reminder of the important aspects of setting the tone in the home.
What a great read! These are all areas I could improve on. Thank you for the inspiration!
Great post! Some wonderful reminders in here. Number 2 can be difficult for me at times, sometimes I need a reminder to focus on all the good my husband does and not on expectations not met. Thank you.
Great post! I think the best point is we have a CHOICE in the tone we bring into our home. As moms we set that tone and our home will be more of a sanctuary if we choose a peaceful tone.
Thank you so much for this article. Something I have been thinking and praying about that I need! I want my home (and me) to be the Sunshine in my kid’s life and my husband’s. Thank you for the tips that I plan on implementing in my life! God Bless!
Jean | DelightfulRepast.com
Katie and Erin, in an era of people seeming to take pride in the busy-ness of their lives, actually making their lives more hectic than they need to be, this topic is refreshing. May your homes always be the peaceful havens you’re striving for!
I have 3 young children and barely surviving on a few hours of sleep each night. I can barely meet most of these housewife “expectations” after having our third child. I definitely feel like I’m failing my family after reading this. But there’s not much left of myself to give. I barely eat, sleep, and shower as it is. My days are crazy yet I have little to show for it compared to this list.
Renee, I remember being in perhaps the very same shoes you are in: young children & no sleep & lucky-if-I-got-to-shower. It is so hard!!! I so fall short on every part of this list, and I will keep this handy to review often. I’m thinking the most important part of this list is attitude, as I look back over 18 yrs. How I wish I could have seen more clearly my attitude under extreme stress. Was I as positive as I could have been? Though it was decent, and in a lot of cases, positive, I have seen my less-than-best attitude mirrored back from my children, but in some cases, amplified. We are in the teen yrs with those oldest three. (Praying!). As most people seem to not have a big, close family support able to swoop in (or live in) & help, is there a responsible older girl in the neighborhood or someone from church that could help out, perhaps even regularly? Even if you can’t leave to run errands alone, maybe you could get some help folding laundry, other housework or to play w/kids while you shower. Maybe there is a teen looking to do service from a local church (doesn’t have to be 1 you attend) or the high school. (wish I’d taken this advice– it was from my younger sister. I think she’s turned out more sane, ha ha) Hang in there! The days are long, but the years fly by!
Oh Renee, don’t hold yourself up to a list!! Three babies is, in my experience, the hardest teansition!! As a mom of 10 now, much on this list is easier to accomplish but I still fail on many levels! There are some things (my attitude & my actions towards others) that I will work on but there are 12 people here who can all take part in the general condition of this sanctuary!
Let the little things go, because these days of babies pass too quickly!! Maybe a neighborhood tween could just sit & play with littles so you can have an hour a day to tackle the chores?? I know my kids love to hang with friends babies to play, not realizing the blessing that time is to the mom!!
I have been having health problems most of this past spring and summer. My (recently-retired) husband has really stepped up to do the things that I cannot do at the moment. And as I get better, I will gradually do those things that I can accomplish.
Great read,it inspires me