Home, they say, is where the heart is.
Sometimes, home is where the hurt is.
Dorothy only found “Oz” because she was running away from home.
Feeling like running away from home – not as a child from your parents, but as a parent from your responsibilities?
Parents can feel like they’re carrying the weight of the world on their shoulders. Jocelyn and I have been there. Here’s what we learned.
8 Ways To Make Your Home A Haven
1. Imperfections are allowed. There’s a perception that families of faith, and especially a pastor’s family, shouldn’t have problems. Not true. Just read through the Bible and see for yourself how God uses imperfect families. Families don’t have to be perfect to be good.
2. Differentiate between childish irresponsibility and willful defiance. We saved ourselves a lot of heartache with this little maxim. Spilled milk in our home was treated as an irresponsible behavior. Even if it happened twice at the same meal, we took a cloth, cleaned it up and carried on enjoying our family time.
Willful defiance was when a clear line had been drawn regarding behavior or attitudes that were unacceptable and the line was intentionally crossed. Defiance resulted in discipline. There were only a few important lines and a clear understanding of consequences when they were crossed.
3. Reclaim mealtime. I made sure I was home for dinner five nights a week. Even if it was only for 45 minutes before heading off to a meeting, we had dinner…together. Mealtime is a precious time to talk together; laugh together; be grateful together; do the dishes together.
4. The family that prays together, stays together. We said “grace” at every meal, at home and in restaurants. Gratitude was always in style for the Jones family wherever we were. Every day finished with prayer. Sometimes our boys got to stay up late until “daddy got home” so we could read and pray together. (Sometimes daddy ended up asleep before the story’s ending and missed the prayer.)
5. Be alert to teachable moments. There is no place like home to develop faith. Faith is better caught than taught. See the sacred in the ordinary. When parents put up their “God antennae,” it’s amazing what they can learn…and teach!
6. Just “be” with your kids. When parents stop trying so hard, they actually are more successful in relating to each other and to their children!
7. Take advantage of training and resources. At North Pointe, we recognize the importance of families developing their faith at home. We want to encourage you in this task as you face all the busyness and changes that come with raising children. Every month we host a “Take It Home Event.” We share practical support for parents that gives them a home field advantage.
8. Surrendering your parenting to God will make you a better dad or a better mom. Faith is the determining factor in whether your parenting life is merely full or if its fulfilling.
HomePointe at North Pointe is a good resource to help you prepare the soil of your home for good growth. Use the 120 Day Family Assessment tool to help you plan some family goals and take steps to achieve them.
APPLICATION: Do you have an insight or practice that helped you as a parent? Please leave a comment below. Thank you.
I write to inspire people to be real, grow an authentic faith in Jesus, enjoy healthy relationships and discover their life purpose. If this material is helpful to you, please follow me.
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