The Dignity and Sanctity of the Home

3
Mar
2010


“Home is the first school and first church for young ones; where they learn what is right, what is good, and what is kind; where they go for comfort when they are hurt or sick; where joy is shared and sorrow eased; where the simplest food is good enough for kings because it is prepared with love; where money is not as important as loving kindness; where even the tea kettle sings from happiness.  That is home.  God Bless it!”  – unknown author

Today I am continuing my thoughts on the principles that I found in the book, “The Home Experience” by Devi Titus.   I will share with you the first principle in Devi’s book and what she has to say about it as well as my thoughts.  We will uncover more about the Dignity and Sanctity of the Home.

The first institution that God established was the family. He had a perfect plan and unfortunately, we as imperfect people have added our own “two cents” to the plan and the home has become a place of disorder, chaos and frustration.  The complete opposite of what God intended.

Home should be our most treasured asset, unfortunately more and more women are devoting much of their energy to things outside the home.  This ends up undermining home values, priorities and in the end our homes receive the last of our energy instead of it receiving the first.

The dignity of the home is seeing and experiencing its worth by those who are touched by it, in other words, those who are housed within its four walls.  A home that has dignity sets certain standards, has routines, a feeling of order and creativity with the added Godly characteristics like love, honesty and loyalty.

The Sanctity of the home is its purity in heart and purpose – the atmosphere, mood and tone that is set and carried throughout.  The home is the place for the human soul to find peace, comfort, be refreshed and restored.  Can you say that your home falls into being a place where your family can be renewed and restored?

In the book, “The Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire”, Edward Gibbon gives five basic reasons why great civilizations withered and died.  One that hits me most and is as true today as it was when he wrote the book in 1788:

“The undermining of the dignity and sanctity of the home, which is the basis for human society.”

Home is the basis for human development and as sure as you can agree, home has ceased to be the center of family activity.  It seems we are everywhere BUT home: day-care,  over-time work, baseball diamonds, basketball courts, music lessons, shopping malls and fast food restaurants.  You can end up creating a life where you are only home to fall into bed at night.

In our society the value of the home has dramatically changed, wouldn’t you agree?  There has been a slow erosion of the home and the value of the person whose role is to maintain and create the structure to allow the home to be a place of renewing.  The term Family Manager has just started to come back around as well as the value this role has within the home.  I can’t help but wonder where society would be today if we had not been sold the lie and status quo to be more “outside” the home than inside it.  It is time to make a difference and the first place that you can is your home.

As mother’s, we have a great power and influence to create a different path for our next generation if we put forth the effort and create the environment that our home needs to be.  Do you take extra care in the appearance of your home?  This does not mean it is spotless, but do you keep it orderly?  Are there routines in place that create a natural flow in your home?  I like Devi’s list of steps to take to see where you might improve to make your home a place where your family loves to come home to:

  • Make a list of things in your life that have undermined the home
  • Ask forgiveness for underestimating the importance of the atmosphere in your home.
  • Learn everything you can about home care and develop these skills
  • Observe other families whose values you respect.  Learn by observing their lifestyle.
  • Rearrange your schedule so you can be at home more.
  • Make home a priority.

“The wise woman builds her house, but with her own hands, the foolish one tears hers down.”  Proverbs 14:1

I encourage you to move forward and create a place of peace for your family.  I can tell you from personal experience, your efforts may be unnoticed, but the outcome will be seen very clearly in every member of your family.  I would love to hear your ideas and share your thoughts on this principle.  Look forward to the next in the series:  “The Also Principle

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  • Tiffany

    I wonder, as much as I agree with what you said, how much this will spark a controversy?

    We have a rule, we only allow the kids to have one activity a week, outside of school. That means, unless they are REALLY wanting to be in an activity that requires more than one night a week of practice, we have to try it out 1st and weigh out the pros and cons.

    My son, 2nd born, was the one who really drove home for me, the importance of staying home and valuing the time at home. When he was a toddler, he would get pretty crabby, pretty quickly if we were too busy. He wanted to be home, just playing with his toys and vegging out. I realized that I was the busy body and I was keeping busy for me, not for him, even though the activities were masked as things like “playgroup” or “toddler time at the gym”. Once I discovered those things were as much or more for me, I toned them down. I started hanging out with girlfriends AFTER the kids were in bed. It made life at our house much much better.

    My kids are now 7 and 10 (almost 11) and they are fantastic at valuing our home time. If we are too busy on the weekend I can tell simply by their behavior. They get a sense of entitlement.

    There are times I feel we may be depriving our children of being in a team sport because they require practice 2 nights a week and games on Saturday (or shockingly enough, Sundays) and we just say no to that.

    I am VERY protective of our afterschool time and I know my kids appreciate it. During the week, between homework, dinner and chores, they barely have time to wind down, play and enjoy each other as family members.

    Over President’s Day weekend, we were all just hanging out at the house on the Monday we were all off from school/work. At one point, I realized that my daughter and husband were reading, my son was pouring over a Playmobil brochure and I was doing Bible Study. I looked up and realized it was so quiet and we were all just enjoying the quiet, the day, the time with each other. No words were needing to be said but that time together was invaluable.

    I see so many families running from one minute to the other and I feel sad for them. Sad that they don’t protect their family time. Sad that they don’t eat dinner together on a regular basis. Sad that when they are together, they can’t enjoy it.

    I love spending time as a family and my husband and I do all we can to protect that with all of our might.

    Thank you for posting this. I dream of times when our society is not so busy, stressed and unhappy but I fear that is no where in our future. However, I will do what I can to make it so for our family.

    I don’t keep a spotless house but I rarely would I be embarrassed if you dropped by unannounced. Usually the worst you would find is a sink full of dishes. That seems to be a never ending battle, right? The toilet may not be scrubbed spotless but it is usable. I dislike clutter and most of the time, most everything is in it’s home. I don’t find it that difficult to keep things in some assemblance of order but I have many friends who can not and I wish I could help them so they can relax, and just be.

  • http://www.prairieprologue.blogspot.com Prairie Chick

    ohhhh… how I loved reading this and the first comment to be posted. It just breathed life into my weary bones that needed to be refreshed with some like minded assurances. I couldn’t agree MORE with what you have shared here, and while I thrive and love living a home centred life, where everything else finds it’s worthwhile balance stemming FROM and AROUND that, I find it is a constant battle to keep minds and dayplanners free of the frantic freneticism that more than anything else is the sign of our times.

    Like the previous commentor I often wrestle with feelings of concern, are my kids missing out…. we homeschool, allow one extracurricular activity per week per child… that really narrows down our options.

    But I really wouldn’t have it any other way and though it is a constant struggle against the flow, this eddy of home is a joy and a blessing that I will cherish always and seek to make a blessing to my loved ones and all who enter here.

    This is my first time here, I so look forward to gleaning wisdom and encouragement here in the future.

  • http://www.theconfidentmom.com Susan

    I am so glad you found me!! In my humbled opinion, which of course I am often right :-) I know that a home centered approach to raising our children will make a POSITIVE change for our society. No question!! It is great to expose our children to different activities but then also allow them to figure out how to budget time and make choices for what they really want. Having three things that you would like to do, but only being able to choose one really helps a child with problem solving and having to “wait” which is one thing we do not encourage ANYONE to do. I hope others find help in in this series and are able to re-focus and re-center. Thanks for taking the time to leave a comment!

  • Tiffany

    Wiat? What a concept. You are right Susan, we are teaching our children they do not have to wait. We are a society of fast food, fast cars and video games that respond to every move we make.

    Watching a classroom of children, especially young ones like K and 1st grades, you will see how difficult it is for teachers to keep the kids’ attention because so many kids are used to getting what they want right now and being entertained ALL the time.

    Keep up this great blog Susan, it is great!

  • http://www.theconfidentmom.com Susan

    Thanks Tiffany! Patience in our children is a tough one if we don’t teach them the “skill” of waiting. :-)