Create the Home Your Family Needs
- Tuesday, March 11, 2008
Editor's Note: The following is a report on the practical applications of Jill Savage's new book, My Heart’s at Home: Becoming the Intentional Mom Your Family Needs, (Harvest House Publishers, 2007).Every day, you have incredible opportunities to influence the next generation through your work as a mom. You can make the most of those opportunities by creating a loving and secure environment for your family at home. If you’re intentional about creating the kind of home your family needs to thrive, you’ll make a significant positive impact on their lives that will matter for eternity.
Here’s how you can create the home your family needs:
Make your home a safe house. Create an emotionally safe environment where family members can freely share their thoughts and feelings. Teach your kids how to respect people’s opinions, individuality, property, and privacy, and require them to do so. Discipline them when they’re disrespectful. Practice grace and forgiveness at home regularly. Listen intentionally to your family members, giving them your full attention when they’re speaking to you. Arrange your kids’ schedules so they have plenty of free time for playing and using their imaginations, as well as enough time for the sleep they need. Help siblings build strong bonds, connect with each of your kids individually on a regular basis, and show siblings how to resolve conflicts in healthy ways. Encourage your family members to take risks and learn from their mistakes.
Make your home a rest area. Slow the pace of your lifestyle down enough to give your kids the time they need to live healthy, balanced lives – spiritually, physically, mentally, and emotionally. Choose their activities carefully, allowing them to explore and develop their interests and talents without overloading them (and your family) with stress. Make sure your kids have enough unscheduled time to spend with God, with friends, and alone. Help them get the rest, exercise, and good nutrition their bodies need. Whenever possible, eat dinner together as a family, and have everyone help prepare the meal and clean up. Enjoy meaningful conversations together while you eat. Try to schedule a family fun night once a week and family vacation every summer.
Make your home a trauma unit. Tend to the emotional wounds of family members who become hurt by negative experiences or crises. Choose to love them even when they act in unlovable ways as they process their emotions. Listen compassionately to them. Allow them to express disappointment and grief. Encourage and support them as they pursue healing and hope. Pray for them, and with them if they let you do so.
Make your home a church. Since your kids spend much more time at home than they do in church, they’ll be more spiritually influenced by the faith you share with them at home than they will be by even the best church programs. Make your relationship with Jesus your top priority, and let them see you live out that commitment daily in your own life so they’ll be inspired to do so themselves. Encourage them to read the Bible and pray often. Whenever you encounter a “teachable moment” that illustrates God’s truth working in everyday life, point out God at work and discuss it with your children. Live out your faith in every area of your life instead of compartmentalizing it, so your kids will learn that Christianity is more than just going to church; it’s a way of life. Reach out to children from unstable homes by encouraging them to hang out with your kids at your home, offering them rides to church, or hosting events like backyard Bible clubs.
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