I’m sure every girl has that picture (or Pinterest) perfect idea of what they want their home to be like. I know I have.
But I didn’t really think about it too much until my then-boyfriend and I started discussing marriage. We realized that we wanted our home to be a place where people could come and feel safe. Safe to open up, to love and be loved, to ask for help, and to simply be. We knew to produce this environment, we wouldn’t need much. We would just have to be a mirror, reflecting God’s love to anyone who came in our doors.
That is easier said than done.
If you were to come over today to our home. You’d find worship music softly playing (or alternatively, Tobymac-themed. All depends on my mood!). You’ll see light streaming in through our windows, because we love our Colorado sunshine. You would see baby things littered on the floor, a mostly clean kitchen, and possibly an untidy desk. My home is lived in, and it reflects that.
When you come in and sit down, I’ll ask you if you want something to drink. My son will be quiet and unsure about you at first. But don’t worry, it won’t last. Soon enough he’ll be all smiles and jabbering away to you. I want you to feel at home, like you belong. Over some drinks (water, tea, or coffee), we’ll talk. It’s my hope that you feel comfortable.
But, you see, I can do all this and my home can still feel off. The atmosphere may still not be right. Why? Because I have discovered the only reason my home will make anyone feel welcome is if God is welcome. You see, He’s always here. After all, God is omnipresent. He’s everywhere all the time. He has promised to never leave us nor forsake us.
So what do I mean by “if God is welcome”? He may be all around us right this second, but if I purposefully welcome Him in and give Him a right place of honor, everything changes. We have been given free will. And our free will dictates how much of Him we let in. I don’t know about you, but I want all of Him. I want His presence to touch our home and make it glow.
How do we do this? How do we change the tone of our home into something life giving?
It all starts with YOU.
Dear young wife, it all starts with you. You set the tone in your home. You are the door that chooses what to allow in or keep out. It’s a big responsibility. Your mood can also affect the tone of your home. Are you joyful? Are you depressed? These things, whether you want them to or not, change the atmosphere. It will reach your husband and your kids too. Step back and think about days you were simply happy, and your husband noticed. Negative and positive emotions spread the same way. Let’s face it, wouldn’t we all rather be smiling?
However, for some of us that’s not doable. Depression and anxiety loom over each day. As a young wife and mother, who has struggled with both, here’s my advice. Get into the Word, and grow deep roots.
I have learned through many weeks of despair that the light of God’s Word overcomes the darkness in my life. It changes my mood. Spending time in prayer and study first thing in the morning totally alters how my day goes. That said, there are many days I fail to do that. Typically, those are the days (that sometimes turn into weeks) that are the darkest for me. It’s important for our mental, spiritual, and emotional health to prioritize God in our lives. Myself included!! I’m not singling out myself by any means. I most certainly do not have it all together. So let’s challenge one another to begin a new habit. Let’s dig into the Word.
The atmosphere and tone in your home can always be changed. Even if the day starts wrong. Sometimes, if I’m in need of a pick-me-up, I’ll start playing my worship music station on Pandora. I’ll get down on the floor with my kiddo and try to make him laugh. Before he was born, I’d start singing along to the words if I knew them. Or I’d start dancing! I would literally force myself into a better mood. Surely you’re familiar with Paul saying, “Rejoice in the Lord always, and again I say rejoice!” (Phil. 4:4)
Don’t let mistakes, or bad hair days, tear you down. Because they can if you let them! Instead, catch yourself and try to change the tone. Whip out your Bible or start playing your favorite music. You are harder on yourself than you should. Give yourself some grace and start setting the tone you want in your home!