Early in our marriage, my husband expressed his desire to create a happy home life that is such a peaceful place, we wouldn’t often tire of leaving it! Don’t misunderstand, we are not hermits! We like venturing out and about, but here’s the point: We enjoy one another, the Lord, and our home to the extent that most days feel like vacation! Even in the midst of real life responsibilities, this holds true. And yes, this IS possible!
For us, we’ve found four keys to keeping home at the center. By “home,” I’m not referring to brick and mortar, kitchens and bedrooms. Instead, I speak of the atmosphere created within those four walls and within the hearts of those living inside.
Perhaps, some of these practical ideas will help you!
Four Centers of My Homelife
Respite – Ministry – Learning – Health
1. Home as a Respite Center
My home is where I can be fully myself without fear of ridicule. I can be real. I can restore.
Shortcomings are unhidden in the twenty-four-sevenness of marriage, and yet I am secure in the Father’s love and my husband’s love to a degree where I can freely grow. At home, I can share my heart without reservation. Those dull, lifeless exteriors of driven-ness, performance, perfectionism, and stress are chipped away to reveal the real me God intended before the cares of the world caught root.
A home-centric lifestyle fosters relationships, which are crucial for the well-being of a growing family. At what other season of life will a little child have the opportunity to remain in their most comfortable, secure place without the scrambled feeling of putting on shoes, getting in-and-out of the car, or being tired after a long school day? There’s something special about little ones home, underfoot, learning from Mom and Dad by osmosis.
In my home, we try to speak with calm, quiet voices. Even in hurried misunderstandings, I want to use a gentle voice because that is what I, myself, would want to hear. However, there’s lots of laughter and silliness, too!
“I will walk within my house with a perfect heart.” Psalm 101:2b
“She openeth her mouth with wisdom; and in her tongue is the law of kindness.” Proverbs 31:26
“A soft answer turneth away wrath.” Proverbs 15:1
My husband and I diligently protect our home spiritually from invaders that would seek to steal the Fruit of the Spirit from us. Stress, busyness, fearful or ungodly entertainment and expectations which ruin relationships really are intolerable for us. I’ve learned that peace is worth contending for – spiritually and physically – and a gentle home atmosphere promotes physical and emotional health. Building our home upon the Rock of Christ ushers in an atmosphere of joy, peace and love. Home is our safe place. Home is where we recharge our batteries, rest, and prepare to fulfill God’s command to go into all the world with the love of Christ. This is respite.
2. Home as a Ministry Center
“Go ye into all the world, and preach the Gospel to every creature.” Mark 16:15
“Ye are the salt of the earth. Ye are the light of the world.” Matthew 5:13a, 14a
“The Spirit of the Lord is upon me, because He hath anointed me to preach the Gospel to the poor; He hath sent me to heal the brokenhearted, to preach deliverance to the captives, and recovering of sight to the blind, to set at liberty them that are bruised.” Luke 4:18
Home is where my family ministers together. We are unified in our goal to put action to the words of Luke 4:18 as our mission to restore people to the Heavenly Father. We do this, first, by praying together. We play Godly, wholesome music, we praise God aloud and we verbally encourage others. We prayerfully avoid those things that would cause others to stumble or question our devotion to following a Holy God. In various seasons, we’ve opened our home for Bible Studies and fellowships.
If we love the Lord with all our heart, soul, mind, and strength—if we love our neighbor AS OURSELVES (very important!), then out of that springs a love and service to others. For us, it’s all about fulfilling the Great Commandment and allowing relationship to web many ways as God brings people across our paths.
“Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind. This is the first and great commandment. And the second is like unto is, thou shalt love thy neighbor as thyself.” Matthew 22:37-39
Remain willing and flexible with a ministry mindest; God may have a divine appointment!
3. Home as a Learning Center
Various seasons of life found me working full-time outside the home, full-time inside the home, and everywhere in between. All molded me uniquely. And yet, with technology, many find themselves pursuing careers and academia from home—which is no small feat!
At minimum for managing a home, it’s necessary to maintain accurate administration of record keeping and household budgets. At maximum, you may find yourself a homeschooling mom of six with a flourishing online business! For example, I asked God to provide a means of income that would unify, rather than separate, my family. As ever, God heard my prayer! My husband and I are now fulfilled entrepreneurs who work together and have fun doing it!
Regarding learning for little ones, I’m a proponent of homeschooling children and will embrace it if ever the need arises. I believe it’s Biblical. After all, who else can foster a love of learning and provide custom, well rounded curriculum for a child better than the ones who love them first and love them most, their parents?
“And these words, which I command thee this day, shall be in thine heart: and thou shalt teach them diligently unto thy children, and shalt talk of them when thou sittest in thine house, and when thou walkest by the way, and when thou liest down, and when thou risest up.” Deuteronomy 6:6-7
Lifelong learning is the aim, here! Take a class. Acquire a new, marketable skill. Hire a coach for music or sports lessons. These days, home as a learning center boasts endless opportunity!
4. Home as a Health Center
Now, THIS – health coaching – is my passion!
Stewarding health is a way to thank God for these marvelous bodies He’s given us!
I try my best to make wise choices in the groceries I purchase and meals I prepare. The guiding principle, for me, is a food must be nourishing, anti-inflammatory and economical.
Hospitality falls under health because a joyful heart gives life to the flesh! It brings me joy to serve others nutritious food while simultaneously having fun in their company. It can be a formal dinner or as easy as buttered bread and a glass of tea. I keep it super simple! Some favorite recipes are on my website, The Bread Believer ( http://www.thebreadbeliever.com ). I’ve noticed, though, how dinner guests are less likely to notice the fanciness of my cooking or pristine home as much as they’re likely to notice a smiling face and welcoming demeanor!
That’s it! Home at the Center.
Now mind you, I am so imperfect! This didn’t happen for my family overnight, and these goals are definitely works in progress. Home is precious to me though, and is a service to God, family and friends that I cherish. So, mercy, grace, love and REST to you (and me) as we ever establish God’s design for homelife!
I leave you with three questions…
What adjectives describe your home?
Are they in keeping with God’s best for you?
If not, what is one thing you can do today to add Godliness to your homelife?
With love and butter,
Jess, The Bread Believer
*I originally wrote this article for Heart Wings Blog. Visit them at http://www.heartwingsblog.com