Way # 16 We take personal responsibility to keep our home neat and clean at all times.
“The hand of the diligent will rule, but the slack hand will be put to forced labor. “
Time changes from much travel left me so exhausted, I thought I would fall asleep standing up. An unusual season of many weeks of traveling had found me coming and going constantly. Walking out to our meeting place at the airport, Joel whisked my bags from me, placed them in the car and then drove me the hour home from the airport.
"We packed you some cherries, Mom, ‘cause we thought you might be hungry," Joel informed me.
Home sweet home called my name as we drove into the driveway. Candles had been lit, music was wafting softly, and the table was set with a warm bowl of soup and crusty herb bread. Fresh flowers and a “welcome home “ sign greeted me in the sweep of entering the front door.
"Welcome home, mama. I bet you are ready to sleep in your own bed for a long while," Sarah commented as she put the last bowl of soup on the table.
I waited many years to know if all of my training and providing had gone into their hearts and minds. May I be the first one to say how glad I am to be in this place? Finally, the fruit of my labor has come to fruition. My children have "caught" it!
They take initiative, when they are home, to make our own home inviting, a prepared sanctuary, a solace to my soul, a place that says welcome when I get home from necessary trips. The values that I had in mind when I prepared my home this way, year after year, month after month, day after day, have become their own standard of what a home should "speak" to people when they come here. They do the same things in their own homes around the world. And they do it without being told, because of all of the years of me training them and making them help me daily, straightening up, lighting candles, putting on music, making a meal, setting the table, over and over again. Training takes lots and lots of practice and patience.
No one becomes excellent of character automatically from lectures, but rather from practicing skills, responsibilities, and chores together with contented spirits. This is the way we build values they will learn to cherish. Wisdom and skill require time, instruction and practice.--modeling combined with gentle and patient instruction.
And so, one of the most important ways of training into our children is, "This is not just my house, it is your house. We take care of it by keeping it a place of life and beauty together. How do you want others to see your home? What do we do to make it a place of refreshment for all who come here?" And then, you, the mom, make the standards every day, and you show them how to do all the tasks, and you give them responsibility.
Our 24 Family Ways is a wonderful, simple-to-use guide to family devotions. Find it here—there’s a coloring book, too!