Yesterday was my birthday and it was a good day. It is funny what becomes important and the things you want to receive on your special day as you get older. For me, I love words in any form. This is what communicates love to me most. Gary Smalley has written a book entitled, Five Love Languages, and it would be helpful to read if you have not already. Knowing the best way to show people, especially in your family, that you love them is important. He has one for kids too. My family knows this and that is a gift in itself. To be known and loved is a big deal in our home.
I am not sure if you grew up in a house or a home, but there is a difference. A house provides shelter, but a home cares about the hearts of those inside the shelter. A home, to me, is a place where you learn what love is. You learn by hearing, seeing, feeling, giving and receiving. But what if you do not know how? What if you came from a house where love did not live? Where do you start? You go straight to the inventor of love – God himself. You read your Bible and see how He showed us what love is and what it is not. Then you take His example and you demonstrate it every single day. Will it always be received by others or perfect? Unfortunately no, but His love is always present, available, real, perfect and the list could go on and on. His love never ends.
Our home is far from perfect and we act unloving towards each other all the time. However, we talk things out and move on. This is easier with kids than it is with years of hurts, but it can be done. Another thing is, I do not make my kids say they are sorry immediately after they have done something wrong. In this case, words will not cut it. It is a heart of repentance and actually seeing how they have hurt someone they love that I am after. This might take 10 minutes or it might take 2 hours, but it is always worth the wait.
In our home we make each other a priority. I have fallen short in this when I felt more important or recognized volunteering outside of our home. I remember dropping everything several times to run to “emergency” meetings and leaving my husband to handle all the moving parts of school pickups, etc. He can run this home like nobodies business, but I momentarily got distracted. You know what happened? I am no longer apart of that organization, but the Lord moved me to other incredible places to serve. He also opened my eyes big time to the importance of discernment. I am much more protective in what my time outside our home is given too these days.
This family is the best gift, apart from my salvation, that the Lord has blessed me with. He has entrusted me and provided everything I need to raise these children in a place where love lives. I want to know them and give them a place to belong. If you ever hear me say, “In my house…”, please take me aside and wash my mouth out with soap. The last time I checked, this house belongs to God and it is every bit as much theirs as it is mine. To make a child feel like they are an outsider, is not loving. Kids know and feel the difference.
So, may our homes be a place where patience, kindness, trust, protection, hope and perseverance matter. May envy, boastfulness, pride, selfishness, anger, grudges and evil never be welcome. And according to 1 Corinthians 13:4-8, this is love and “it bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things. Love never ends.” Lets work to be a home where love is known and given as the best gift.
*The picture is a precious sign given to me by dear friend, Missy Schierloh. It is by Timber Jane.