I hear people constantly talking about how bad this world has become. I hear parents talking about how terrified they are when it comes to the schools their children attend. I will not attempt to argue with either of these concerns, but I will say that there is no place like home. The home is and always will be the greatest place of influence upon a child. Good or bad, nothing will impact a child more than the home. The reason I don’t worry near as much about my children’s outside influences is the fact that I realize I have the greatest opportunity of influence in my own backyard. At the end of the day they are only in school for so many hours, but they live with me. I consider it my God given responsibility to do everything I can to make our home the place God would have it to be for them. I want my kids to say “THERE’S NO PLACE LIKE HOME.”
HOME SHOULD BE A SAFE PLACE.
Kids experience conflict and challenge everywhere they turn. Home should be a refuge from the storms. We should do everything we can to make our homes a place of peace and protection. We should always be concerned about the bickering, the internet surfing, and the developing hearts of those we are blessed to call our children. No, you can’t guard your kids from everything. But, you can with God’s help create a place that is safe and secure in your arms and care.
HOME SHOULD BE A PLACE OF UNCONDITIONAL LOVE.
In our house we are not perfect. But, love is not an option. We want our boys to know that no matter what they do or will do they will always be loved. Our love is not dependent upon their performance, their grades, or their behavior. Sometimes you have to go that extra mile to prove to your children that your love is unconditional and not performance based. This is real easy to say, but much harder to live out on a daily basis.
HOME SHOULD BE A PLACE OF FAITH.
It’s been said that a family that prays together stays together. This doesn’t mean that bad things don’t happen to good people. But, it is true that the only house that will stand tall and thrive through the years of ups and downs will be the home built on a foundation of faith. Your personal faith or lack of faith in Christ will overflow into everything you do and impact everyone you love. Put Christ first in your marriage, your family, and make God’s word the foundation of your home. If you do what’s right you can’t go wrong! The winds and waves will come, but your house will continue to stand.
HOME SHOULD BE A FUN PLACE.
To this day I still love being crazy with my crazy family. I grew up where home was a fun place to be. It wasn’t that we went a million places or had everything we wanted. But, we enjoyed each other’s company, played together, and shared a lot of laughs. Every home needs to learn how to loosen up and share the good times of life, love, and laughter. Don’t allow your home to just be a place of function, but have some fun together. Plan something that everyone will enjoy and don’t allow the stresses of life to steal your joy. Make time for fun times!
HOME SHOULD BE A PLACE OF INSTRUCTION.
I understand that anything can happen when my kids leave my sight. I realize that others will expose my children to things that they won’t have been exposed to at home. It’s my job to do my best to instruct my kids along life’s way on the way that they should live. I have to teach them how to love their neighbor, deal with life’s challenges, conduct themselves, and most of all walk with God. This takes time and being intentional in my efforts to prepare them for the many challenges in this life.
HOME SHOULD BE A PLACE OF HOPE.
Matthew would like to be a great tennis player and a preacher. Joel would like to be a famous singer and the best trumpet player in the world. Seth would like to play football and baseball for the University of South Carolina. Who am I to tell them what they can and cannot do in their lifetime? My job is to give them every opportunity I can to be encouraged, to spread their wings and believe they can fly anywhere God desires for them to be. We can’t beat our children into submission, but rather we must love them towards reaching their God given potential. Look for ways to encourage your child and let them know that God has BIG plans for their lives. Don’t limit their hope, but give them wings to fly!