A peaceful home sounds wonderful, doesn’t it?
As moms we have the privilege of having the primary role in making our homes a peaceful place, where:
- the tone is loving and gentle
- husbands look forward to returning after a hard day’s work
- husbands are respected by spouse and kids
- kids treat each other kindly
- all members are enjoyed, heard, valued, respected
- people enjoy being in the same room, talking, laughing, and just being
- differences are celebrated, delighted in
- weaknesses are known, accepted, and family members come alongside
- strengths are noticed and cheered for
- hearts are safe
- transparent communication takes place
- dreams are freely shared and supported
- order is the norm, not chaos
- systems are in place to help things run smoothly and efficiently
- family meals are consistent and a place that creates unity
A peaceful home puts others before self and looks not to own interests, but seeks to build up the other.
A wise woman builds a house, but the foolish tears it down with her hands. Proverbs 14:1
God’s Word gives principles to use in cultivating a peaceful heart and home. We are either wise or foolish in our home making. And, a primary factor is how we handle our tongues.
Better is a morsel and quietness with it than a house full of feasting and strife. Proverbs 17:1
Better to dwell in the corner of the rooftop than with a brawling woman in a wide house. Proverbs 21:9, 25:24
In this series, Cultivating a Peaceful Home, I’ll be sharing how to establish and maintain a peaceful home.
Cultivating a peaceful home starts with us...
Start by doing a personal evaluation. This will reveal the condition of your heart, ways you intentionally or unintentionally hurt your family members, and the role you play in establishing a peaceful home… or ways you are tearing it down.
It may be helpful for you to ask these questions by considering how your family perceives you.
- How do I handle accidents? such as a spill at the table, or a broken picture frame from a ball being thrown in the house?
- Do my actions reflect grace and “people over things” or communicate “things over people”?
- Do I communicate irritation and cause people to walk around on eggshells?
- Do I freely let my family/friends use my possessions?
- Am I communicating selfishness or giving freely all I have?
- Do I complain about the condition of the borrowed item or about the person borrowing? Do I realize this is teaching my kids to doubt my motives, to have critical spirits, and to give conditionally?
- Are the hearts of my family safe with me?Are my children’s weaknesses, fears, frailties kept safe within our home? Do I find them irritating or do I come alongside? Do I get mad or wound with my words? Do I lovingly accept and try to help? Do I betray their confidences?
- Am I mentoring my kids on practical home and life skills so that they know how to do chores well? Or am I constantly frustrated that they don’t help, cleaning up behind them because I haven’t taught properly?
- Am I teaching initiative? Do my kids look for needs, know how to lighten the load of others, and help without being told?
- Does my family operate as a team or independently, each one only serving himself?
- Are my kids others-focused or self-focused?
- How do I react to being wronged? Do I pout, give the silent treatment? Do I yell, belittle, and destroy with my tongue? Does my non-verbal behavior speak volumes?
- Do I extend grace and forgiveness and treat others with love?
- Do I voice my rights or die to self?
- How do I react to my husband’s opinion being different than mine? Am I demanding? Do I attack? Do I nag or punish with silence until he relents? Or do I allow room for his thoughts, contribute mine, and trust him with final decisions?
- Do I destroy respect for their father through my control and disrespect to him?
- How do I handle wanting help? Am I sarcastic, “Am I the only one who sees this pile of dishes?” Am I passive- aggressive, making sure I indirectly show my anger as a way to “get back at the other”? Do I ask for help nicely?
- Do I use the situation as a way to identify specific character qualities and skill training needed in my kids?
- Do my kids share their hearts with me? Am I a safe place for the sharing of fears, insecurities, tears, and embarrassing questions? Do I treat them with respect and keep their thoughts safe and confidential?
- Does my family share their dreams and passions with me? Or am I a “dream buster” who says in words or actions, “that’s not possible.”? Has my busyness or my reactions taught them to not trust me with their deepest hopes and dreams?
- Do I encourage dreaming and sharing through listening and supporting them?
- Can my children respectfully make an appeal? Do I listen? Do I realize they could reveal my blind spots? Or have I clearly communicated they cannot come to me with a differing opinion?
- Am I provoking my children to anger?
- How is communication at the dinner table? Do I dominate, interrupt, shut down, one up? Am I a know-it-all? Is my opinion or story more important than others? Is there arguing, cell phone use, and chaos of any kind at my table?
- Or am I careful to hear from and draw out each family member, making sure dinner time is a treasured time where the traditions are built and each is heard and valued, and where laughter and unity abound?
The first step in cultivating a peaceful home is recognizing your part in the tone created in your home.
You are certainly being wise or foolish in the building of your home:
- Your role contributes to independence or family interdependence,to selfless or selfish thinking, to transparent or guarded hearts, to chaos or calmness, to demanding rights or yielding rights, to legalism or grace, to self-control or anger, to respect or disrespect, and to building up or tearing down.
The road to a peaceful home starts with you and me. What a great privilege and responsibility.
Don’t feel beat up. We all have work to do… and it continues life-long.
If you’re a Christ-follower and desire the Lord to reign in your heart, you have direct access to the insight and power of the Holy Spirit. He will be your guide. (How awesome is that!)
Just ask Him for one area to begin to work on. If apologies need to be made, do it humbly, with no expectation of an apology in return. Your selfless love will begin to transform your home into a peaceful home.
Be intentional to invest into your family…look for ways to serve and bless them.
Lord, may we as wives and moms be so saturated in your Word that we speak, act, and react with the fruit of love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faith, gentleness, and self-control. We cry out for peaceful homes. Begin in our hearts.
Rhonda I’vegotsomeworktodo ellis
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