One of the most important areas of home life is the atmosphere we establish in our homes.
We do not have to have mansions, we can live in the humblest little cottage or apartment, but we can have a beautiful atmosphere inside. The great thing is anyone can do it. You can make the choice to build a beautiful home life for your family.
God put it on my heart many years ago now to establish a warm home life. A place that my husband and children would love to be...It took thought. What do I need to do so that MY husband feels welcomed when he comes home? What kind of attitudes are going to be acceptable? Do we want music playing, if so what kind?
A woman is a thermostat in her home...she sets the family temperature...if she is contentious she will fill her home with strife. If she serves her family in love she will get love and happiness in return.
One way I established warmth in our home was to model it with my own attitude...it isn't/wasn't always easy, but I determined with God's help to show my family my joy in being their wife and mother and in expressing thankfulness for them being in my life. I greet them every morning, and make sure I end the day with them. When they go to bed, I drop in and pray with them or at least talk for a few minutes and tell them I love them and say goodnight. I do this with all my children, and with my husband on the occasion that he is working unusual hours and is going to bed at a separate time from me.
I like to use candles in our home, and lamps for ambient lighting - no harsh overhead lighting - or as little use of it as possible. I try to have good movies, books, and music available to them and comfy places to sit and enjoy those things.
I try to take time for each of them, to do something that makes them feel great that I am with them. For some it means reading a story, for some it means being with me, for some it means playing a game? Now, I am not a child centric person. I adore my kids, I like kids in general, but my life doesn't revolve around them. I find ways to include them into my life. I am the adult, with responsibilities and duties, and they learn to like doing my stuff. I am friends with my kids- Emily was given a Starbucks gift card and tonight she and I are going out to Starbucks and going to hang out a bit.
We work hard at speaking kindly to each other, no habit of put downs or rudeness. We deal with wrong attitudes, including our own, and pattern humbly asking forgiveness. I don't mean to communicate that I am some "super mom" or perfect person. In fact the truth is just the opposite. I am not always kind, I can be selfish, and when we were going through a rough patch with our oldest, the atmosphere in our home was tense and stressful to say the least. But my kids all like each other and have learned about forgiveness and choosing to love those who are at times unlovable.
Did I tell you that our oldest moved back home? He will be here for a while, hoping to save money to move out again. He is an adult, and likes living away from home. You know what though? He loves our home and has a greater appreciation for it. He loves his family. He loves my home cooked meals and so did his friend who ate dinner with us last night. His friend comes from a difficult background and really enjoyed the meal and atmosphere. We enjoyed having him here.
That leads me to a natural consequence of having a warm family home and relationships. Other people notice and are drawn to it. We love to practice hospitality and God has shown us how our family life is a testimony of His Grace in our lives.
It is all Him, at work in us, to make us more like Him. I encourage you to seek Him, and ask Him how you can establish an atmosphere of warmth, love and respect for one another. It is such a joy to have this kind of home life. I am thankful for it everyday.