As moms, it’s our God-given job to build a home our children will treasure.
By Danielle, Contributing Writer
It’s a noble desire, building a home your children will treasure.
Before kids, many women dream of the home they’ll have, not the building but the vision of how their home will function and how it will feel. Some dream of emulating their childhood home while others want much better than what they experienced as children.
But when the honeymoon is over and the smell of baby powder grows faint, many of us find ourselves with a fast-fading dream. The atmosphere ends up being anything but a valuable treasure. I’m not talking about messy bedrooms and a sink full of dishes. Those are part of life. I’m talking about that sweet spiritual aroma that we want to fill our home.
How do we begin building a home our children will treasure? It will take time and intentional discipline on your part, mom. I’ve heard it said hundreds of times, Mom determines the atmosphere of the home. This is true if you’re a stay a home mom, work at home mom or full-time working mom. You still have the power to influence the atmosphere of the home like no other.
Defining A Treasured Home
What is a home your children will treasure? It’s a safe-haven. A place where they can be real and honest. A place without harsh judgment and where their opinion is valued. It’s a place where they can talk freely about what’s bothering them and where conversations flow from a bond created between family members. A Christian home should be a place of forgiveness, grace, hope and genuine happiness. A place of purpose for all whose shoes come off at the door and a place of safety from the world.
Safe Haven versus Compound
If you’re like me, you have a slight tendency to want to keep your children within arms reach at all times, tucked inside your home where they won’t have to deal with the outside world. It doesn’t help that I’m an extroverted introvert who can only handle so much “people time.”
But creating a safe haven is different than creating a compound in which no one leaves. Creating a safe haven means creating a place of refuge. Your husband needs a safe haven after work, so do you. Your children need a safe haven after school, sports, and part-time jobs. Their place to decompress and relax and be themselves should be within the walls of your home.
Creating A Home Your Children Will Treasure
As you being to create or restore a home your children will treasure, consider these 4 things in the process:
1. Your Home Needs Grace
Grace seems to be taken out of biblical context or not extended at all these days. It isn’t about “everyone wins, everyone’s right, no one can point out another’s sins.” Grace allows us to make mistakes and not get an, “I told you so,” or a snarky, “How’d that work out for you.”
Grace in your home removes the scoreboard of sibling against sibling, parent against parent. It will change your home. Instead of he or she winning the argument, let grace win and watch the atmosphere in your home change. When bad grades come home, when children misbehave, offer grace. Discipline is always part of parenting but we can do it with grace.
2. Your Home Needs Laughter
Laughter is serious business. There are not only studies on the health benefits of laughter, the Bible tells laughter is good medicine.
“A joyful heart is good medicine, but a crushed spirit dries up the bones.”
There are many non-laughing matters we must deal with every day, but there should be far more times of a laughter and joy than seriousness. This is hard for me. I like to have lists, I like to get things organized and keep up with the tasks at hand. Stopping to be silly or make light of an accidental spill of flour all over the floor isn’t always easy for me.
If you’re like me, let’s learn to relax a little. Enjoy the moment, be intentional about having fun with the little things. Take the goofy pictures, dance the crazy dances, run around in the rain. Those are things that they will remember.
3. Your Home Needs Positive Words
Sticks and stone can break bones, but words wound the spirit. Careless words can hurt the people you love more than any stick you could throw. The words we wield are like swords and they can cut through the spirit like a hot knife through butter.
As I preach to the choir, I think of all the careless things I’ve said to our son in moments of anger, exhaustion or frustration. We can discipline, correct, and direct our children without using condescending, snarky words. They will hear too much of that out among the world; they don’t need to hear it at home.
4. Your Home Needs God
When my husband and I were first married we had friends who had a very volatile relationship. As I began to grow spiritually I could sense such a heaviness when I walked into their home. There was no welcoming presence of God because God was never welcomed into the home.
It’s not enough to sing “Build Your Kingdom Here” on Sunday morning. We are building a Kingdom in our homes every day, or at least we should be. God needs to be invited into our homes, this is what makes our home different from every other 2-story Cape Cod in the development.
Our home needs to be a place where God is woven into everything from meals to making beds. God is our safe refuge and when He’s welcomed into our home it becomes a place of spiritual safety.
Intentional daily prayer is one way invite God into your everyday life. If you’re not sure where to begin, I have two free prayer calendar printables you may be interested in. One is for praying for husbands, the other for children.
Treasures Without Walls
One thing our family learned in 2012 is that our family was a family even with a home and a home can be a haven even if it isn’t stick-built. We lived in our camper for 11 months after fire destroyed our home, the first home I ever owned. Through that experience, I learned that we could live in a tent and that tent would still be a thriving home.
What we’re really doing is creating a thriving home environment. It’s not about square footage or location, it’s about building a home your children will treasure no matter where they live.