Our home is such an important part of our family's life. There are some basic things we can do to insure that our home is a place of refuge and security for our husband and children.
Here are ten tips to help accomplish this goal:
1. Keep it clean and tidy. That doesn't mean we have to be immaculate housekeepers. If we do a daily tidy-up and a weekly housecleaning, our home life will be much more restful. Clutter is stressful. And keep the dishes caught up!
2. Nutritious food and family dinners. Fast food on the go is ok once in awhile, but not as a regular habit. Our children and husbands benefit from simple, nourishing meals and snacks. And having a regular, sit-down family dinner together has been shown to have many benefits.
3. Predictable routines. Our families thrive when things are on schedule. It gives a sense of stability. There should be regular times for eating, sleeping, chores, and homework. It also helps to build responsibility in children when they know they have to fulfill their responsibilities before they play.
4. Cozy and tastefully decorated. This does not in any way mean you house has to be magazine-beautiful. If our homes are inviting, cozy, comfortable, and decorated in a way that we and our families enjoy, that is sufficient. My living room doilies are from the 1940s and 1950s. Some were handmade. But they are pretty and I like them, so that is what I use.
5. Hospitality. Our kids, whether they are small or young adults, need to know that their friends are welcome. When my boys were grade-school age, they would have several friends come for sleep-overs. Many times, I would wake up in the morning and step over sleeping bags filled with boys on the floor. I would usually set the table with bowls and boxes of cereal for all of them to eat when they got up. I put myself out some, but it was worth it to make their friends feel welcome, and to get to know my sons' friends.
6. Demonstrate love. Our children and husbands benefit greatly when we show our love for them in various ways. My husband might not have wonderfully romantic lines to say to me, but on snowy, icy mornings, he cleans off my car and scrapes the windshield before he leaves for work. So when I leave an hour later, I don't have to do all of this. Love is a verb.
7. Mutual respect. Treat your husband and children with as much respect as you would guests. Good manners are contagious. Don't discuss them in a negative way to other people, either. Be each other's allies.
8. Words and tone of voice. This seems like a small thing, but it can make a huge difference. Have you ever been somewhere and overheard a mother insulting or degrading her children? Or a wife speaking to her husband with contempt? Or have you been in a store, and a woman yelled at her child so loudly and harshly that you jumped yourself?
We all have those days when we feel like acting like that. But if we think before we speak, following the Bible's advice, our family relationships will be a lot more peaceful. Plus, we are setting a positive example for our children when it comes to dealing with others. Also, our voices sound much more feminine when they are soft and kind, not loud and harsh.
9. Positive attitudes toward family members. Smile often, use encouraging words, show your confidence in them. Listen when they talk, build them up, boost their confidence. When they have failed, assure them that they have succeeded in gaining wisdom and experience. Let them know you think highly of them.
10. Lastly, keep your sense of humor. Be able to laugh at yourself. Laughter can help everyone de-stress. Enjoy everyday moments with your family. They are your greatest treasure, your gift from God.