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Guarding the Atmosphere in Your Home

Guarding the Atmosphere in Your Home

As a teenager one of the things that had the biggest impact on shaping my spiritual development was by friends home. My best friend through high school was my now pastor’s daughter. I went to church (not their church at the time), my mother went to church; but there was something quite different about this family, and about their home. I knew nothing about them when I first started visiting their home, but I knew there was something that made their house different to mine!

As I grew closer to the family in general, two things really stood out to me about the way they lived their lives: firstly my friends parents prayed, and secondly they hardly watched television, and it was not the background noise to which they lived their lives.

My home was a little different, I had no real awareness of my mother’s spiritual life- she had a Bible at the side of her bed, but I never saw it open, secondly the television was almost always on.

The atmosphere in my friend’s home was, and still is, lovely. The kind of place where you want to stay and just be. As a teenager I determined I wanted my home to be like this when I grew up!

Older, and hopefully a little wiser, I understand more about the spiritual principals which create a healthy environment to live in. Our homes should be places of healing and safety; a sanctuary against the harshness of the outside world. Therefore it is important to nurture and guard the atmosphere of the home, making it Christ centred.

The Holy Spirit comes and resides in a place where God is worshiped: “But thou [the Lord] art holy, O thou that inhabitest the praises of Israel” Psalm 22:3. Our homes will be places of His Presence when they are places where he is worshipped and honoured. This is what God wants our homes to be like, He desires to be at the centre of our lives, that our homes will be places of peace.

The building of a spiritual life as a family is important, so children learn to pray, and are taught God’s Word; but they also need to know that what you do in public is also what you do in private. It was obvious that my friend’s parents were people of prayer, you only had to look at their Bibles lying on the table to see they were the most well read books in the house. And despite being the busiest people I knew, I was aware that they were often off having times of prayer. Our children need to know that our relationship with Christ is real, and not some religious thing we do as a family.

However we can destroy an atmosphere of peace by replacing it with that which is not honouring to Christ. This is where what we watch and listen to is so key. If we have television, radio, or the wrong type of music playing then we create a spirit in our homes counter to God’s Holy Spirit. We are also filling our children up with things that are not nurturing to their souls, and can even be damaging them.

“Finally, brethren, whatsoever things are true, whatsoever things are honest, whatsoever things are just, whatsoever things are pure, whatsoever things are lovely, whatsoever things are of good report; if there be any virtue, and if there be any praise, think on these things.” Philippians 4:8.

We cannot have good and noble thoughts if the atmosphere created through the media we digest if full of the opposite. A number of years ago we made to decision to do away with the “television” (i.e. sky/cable/freeview- television broadcast into our home, although we kept a T.V. for watching DVDs) although we were careful what we watched, when access to 24 hour tele was there it had an insidious way of always being a bit more than we had intended, and the “it’s not that bad” attitude could, oh so easily, slip in. We found a dramatic increase in the level of peace in the home when we made the decision. And it is something that we have to keep a check on, especially now that internet streaming is so readily available- Netflix was soon purged from our lives after we discovered that really it is mostly rubbish!

But, creating a right atmosphere isn’t just a list of don’ts. It’s about creating a healthy family culture around those things that promote peace. The reading of good books- which take the mind to that place to think on those things noble, pure, lovely, just, etc. Listening to right music. Seeking to build healthy relationships within the family: “Endeavouring to keep the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace.” Ephesians 4:3.

We also need to know we have an enemy who wants to access our homes, so Christ is not the centre, and that they are not places of peace and rest. Therefore guarding the atmosphere of our homes is something we will constantly be doing, and we will have to be constantly aware.

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