Making my way through, I came to a verse that has stuck in my mind for the last couple of days...
Psalm 128:3- Your wife shall be like a fruitful vine, in the very heart of your house. (NKJV)
The NLT version says: Your wife will be like a fruitful vine, flourishing within your home.
The southern version says: If mama ain't happy, ain't nobody happy. (haha)
I have often said, "The woman is the heart of the home", so to find it backed up in Scripture delighted my soul to no end. I may be taking some liberties in my interpretation of this verse, but when I read it, God really affirmed to me that women are the heart of the home.
In previous posts I have probably talked about this, but it bears repeating.
I love the privilege it is to be the heart of the home. As women, we have the joy of setting the tone in our homes.
Setting the tone starts, I believe, in prayer. God's grace must be the center of our homes. I would encourage you to pray and seek God on a few things that your home is to be known for, and pray for those things to permeate from your home.
One example: when people are in my home (both guests and my own family), I want them to genuinely feel loved. So, as I am going about my daily activities, I will pray for God's love to be present in my home. Inviting the Lord into your home is the top priority for creating the heart of your home.
To take it a step further, I ordered one of these "We Do" paintings to display what I want our family to be known for. I read it often and am reminded of I want my family/home to be known for. And I pray often for those things to be our reality.
Praying is essential, but we also must be intentional to create the home we desire.
Being the heart of the home is different for every woman, depending on your gifts and talents. So while I want to give practical ideas, don't feel pigeon-holed by these. Brainstorm ways God has called you to be the heart of your home.
A key piece to this is to create an environment you love. This has been a huge challenge to me in our rental home, I must admit.
Paint is an inexpensive way to completely change a home. In my old house, I was amazed how much warmer my house felt once I painted it colors I loved. Enjoying the color scheme in my home made me happier to be in it. Even if, like me, there is not room in your budget for the furniture/decor you love, paint can make a huge difference in loving your environment. And a side note: spray paint can breathe new life into old decor. Give it a try!
Along with a beautiful environment, clear the clutter from your home. I will probably write an entire post on this in the future. But, for now, if you don't use it or love it, get rid of it. I am heartless when it comes to purging, but it does my heart good to have a clutter free home (as much as possible....obviously I cannot give away all of my children's toys).
There are many more tips I can think of to creating a beautiful home, and therefore setting yourself up for success in having a home where your true heart comes out.
Our environment plays a role in a peaceful, loving home (which I imagine most of us aim for)....but our attitudes, words, and actions are much more significant.
A mantra I repeat to my children often is "does that build up or tear down?", and the same can be said for us, as women.
Some things to ponder.....
Are my words, and the tone with which I say those words, building others up or tearing them down?
I recently watched an interview with Diane Sawyer. She married late in life but has stayed married. Something she said really stuck with me: "Criticism is a bad way of making a request, so just make the request." Most husbands are good men and want to be helpful. They just need to be asked. And children are children; they require time to learn.
What does my attitude convey? Do I exude grace or criticism?
Even small children can pick up on negativity. Without saying a word, you can create an uneasy atmosphere in your home. Or you can create an atmosphere where, even if they can't identify why, people love to be there.
As a mom, there so many moments and days where I feel like I am the worst mom on the planet. I spoke too harshly, yelled, lost patience, etc. I hate those moments. Yet, I honestly believe that our love covers a multitude of sins (1 Peter 4:8).
Ask God for more patience, grace, etc....and do your best. But also give lots of hugs and kisses, lots of encouragement, lots of laughs, lots of attention, and lots of love....and in that, a wonderful, peaceful, loving home will happen.
What tips do you have for making your house a home??