Elder Richard G. Scott once said, “One of the greatest blessings we can offer to the world is the power of a Christ-centered home where the gospel is taught, covenants are kept, and love abounds.”
In today’s fast-paced society, it can be difficult to make our homes a safe haven for all who enter. Contention is hard to combat. Schedules are hard to manage. Technology keeps us distant from one another. No matter what your family may look like, here are some ideas on how you can center your home on Jesus Christ and make it a place of peace and safety.
Studies have shown that clutter and mess can have a negative effect on both our physical and mental health. By striving to keep your home clean, you invite the spirit into your home. Instead of worrying about everything, you have time to focus on what matters most.
This doesn’t meant your home has to be spotless all the time. It’s ok if the laundry or dishes pile up for awhile. You don’t want to unbalance yourself and focus solely on cleaning. However, take some time to note the calm and peace that resides in tidy spaces. Help your family see the spiritual reasons behind chores to keep your house in tip-top shape.
Though cleanliness can invite the spirit, there also needs to be room for metaphorical messiness. The home is a place where we practice becoming better. Make your home a safe place for people to explore new ideas, develop talents, make mistakes, and ask questions. Stay calm when things don’t go as planned and never let an attitude of perfectionism and control get in the way of loving others and helping them progress.
Filling Your Home With Goodness
It is the hope of many that the threshold of your home is a clear divider between the stress of the world and the safety of the gospel. One way you can keep your home anchored in righteousness is to fill it with good things.
This happens on many levels. Pay attention to the type of movies you watch and the music you listen to. Write down favorite scriptures, quotes, and kind words and have them around your house. Place paintings of Jesus Christ and the temple in your home. These physical reminders are more than just a good decor idea. They help keep minds upon things of God.
Focus on Service
The home is the place to have our spiritual and emotional needs met. Ideally, the family works together to serve one another and meet those needs. Prayerfully focus your attention on how you can be a blessing to each individual member of your family. As others enter your home, think of how you can strengthen them while they’re with you.
God knows the needs of those around you and will open your eyes and your heart as you ask for his help.
Avoid Negative Communication
Contention can quickly destroy the peace and effect relationships. Most often, our contentious, angry feelings come out in the way we communicate with others. We should do all we can to avoid communicating in negative ways.
This includes yelling, passive aggressive comments, swearing, and anything that could be labeled “sharp” or “short.”
We won’t always be perfect at this. When unkind or harsh words or said, repent and forgive quickly. When corrections need to be made, pour out love and support afterwards. Never let those in your home doubt your love or commitment.
Strictly Combat Sinfulness
While we always want to extend mercy and compassion, it is necessary to combat sin head on. Ponder on what your family struggles with the most. Go to the Lord and determine ways you can avoid and protect your family from sin.
Read through scriptures related to the armor of God and work on building your defenses.
Hold Family Councils
Church leaders have encouraged members to hold regular family councils. Elder M. Russell Ballard has described four different types of family councils and why they are so important. You can read an article all about them here.
Family councils help everyone feel involved and invites the Lord into important decisions your family makes. They also ensure each member of your family is taken care of and cherished. You can discuss in family councils how you can share the love of your home with others and specific fellowshipping opportunities.
At the end of the day, the most important thing you can do ensure your home is a safe haven for your family and others is to develop an attitude of vulnerability. This means that those in your home feel emotionally safe. They know they can express their true feelings and be their true selves without fear of rejection or punishment. No one is made to feel ashamed.
Vulnerability begins with honesty and risk. Begin risking with others by being honest and give them room to do the same. Pray for Christ’s compassion and love to help others as they share their hearts and souls.
What else have you done to make your home a safe haven? Let everyone know in the comments.