The chaos around us is real and constant. Even those who are normally steady find the current reality unsettling. For those of us who find strength as Christ followers, let me encourage you to utilize your home as insulation for yourself and your family when the noise is deafening.
For some, the familiarity of nesting involves gathering, preparing and finally, resting in the welcoming of our homes. This comfortable safety of our homes is just what God intends for us in the Biblical living out of family. Whether your home includes a husband and wife, children, or just you…it has the power of insulating you and others.
Insulation is a shield or a barrier which is often used in construction of a physical home. The point is the keep the temperature inside the home steady. While a storm may rage outside, the inner refuge of home is safe. Regardless of the intense heat or frigid cold beyond the density of the walls, those inside remain protected. Following this thought, our homes also offer this strength emotionally and spiritually.
The struggle in our world and in our culture is ultimately a moral and spiritual battle. Our enemies are seen and unseen. Our faith is steady and sure. Our answer is truth and hope.
While many place their trust in government or the church, these systems are proving unsteady. The breakdown of familiar community is a serious threat to the emotional health of many. For so many children, all church and school activities instantaneously came to a screeching halt nearly a year ago. All Sunday morning children’s events, all Wednesday youth and children activities, all sports, most in-person school, all plays, all music lessons and performances, all social get-togethers just abruptly stopped. This is reality. How I wish I was a fiction writer, but I am not. This begs the question, “Who is teaching the children?” Spiritually, this responsibility and privilege always falls to the parent first. Anything our children gain in participating in the spiritual community of the church supports what is taught at home. This thought is God’s idea, not mine. Psalm 145: 4 “One generation shall praise Your works to another, and shall declare Your mighty works.” In Joel 1:3 we are instructed to “Tell your sons about it, and let your sons tell their sons, and their sons the next generation.”
One of my primary thoughts during this time has been for the spiritual and emotional health of children, mine and others. As life requires families to spend more time together in our homes, there exists this awe-inspiring opportunity for moms and dads and grandparents to teach the Word of God to their children more intentionally. Who better to impact a child than his mom and dad?
For so many of the subjects that are being screamed about in our culture, the definition of justice by some requires the destruction of marriage, the destruction of genders, the destruction of family, the destruction of separation of church and state, and the destruction of the value of life. While we are often unclear how to respond to the voices, one response is excessively clear. In our homes we must use our freedom to prepare ourselves and our children for whatever is ahead.
How can we nest in our home in ways that insulate us?
What can we do in our homes?
- Spend time reading God’s Word out loud together. Whether you live alone, with your spouse or children, commit time each day to read the Bible together. Pray out loud for each other, for those you love, for those in need, for our church communities and for out country.
- Read important books out loud. Read together for an hour or two each day. Put the screen distractions away and invest in the growth of yourself as well as those you love. Read living books. Read historical fiction. Read classic books. Read well-loved stories. Read biographies. Grab well published audio books from Lamplighter and Focus on the Family. Snuggle with blankets, hot chocolate and ice cream. Sit and read by the fireplace. Make memories. Enjoy the discussions that your books invite. Relish the trips you take when you read together. As a mother of five children, few investments were as important to me as reading aloud each day to my children. Throughout their growing up, I was consistent with this activity. The rewards are still giving dividends. My college son tells me that reading out loud impacted him by helping him to understand complex stories and ideas. In his own words, “Things I would not have understood if I had read them to myself made sense because I was able to audibly process them. Important truths that may have been a bit too mature for me were attainable. I was able to learn them because we read out loud. As I think back now at all the stories and things I learned as we read together, I know I am more well read than many of my peers.”
- Remember that we are not of this world if we are Christ followers. Our true home is in heaven. Build the foundation of truth for yourself and your children. This is the promise that gives hope. We are given the great privilege to be the hands and feet of Christ to a hurting world. Our hope gives us the confidence to find joy in life.
While so many physical things create a home, in the end it is these intentional spiritual activities that really create the insulation our homes need. When we are successful at gathering and loving well our own, we are free to include those who do not have this option. For me, I am investing in a motherless child who needs love and education. I am investing in a several who need the warmth of a regular home environment. With education, homemade food, read-alouds, a cute puppy and the gift of my consistent time I know I am making a difference.
Life is short.
Eternity is long.
The lessons are obvious. – Ronnie Stevens
One of the sweetest things in my life are the simple gifts I receive every morning. My husband and I sit and read our Bibles together. Wrapped in blankets with fresh coffee and the company of our Sophie, we take the time to read God’s Word out loud. Truly, this time insulates us for the days ahead.
It is the simple things that are really the important things.
Live an intentional life!