God's Mercy, Home, Intentional Mothering

Why Home Is So Important.

I am the product of a broken family.

In a society that doesn’t take much issue with separation and divorce, from a personal view, there is nothing more damaging, more lasting and more painful to a child/teenager than when Mummy and Daddy don’t love each other any more. After twenty-one years of marriage, it was a shock, but at the same time, not much of a surprise.

It’s not just the separation or the bitter gossip or the lies or the feeling of being stuck in-between that breaks a child’s heart, it is the upheaval of being homeless. Sure, you may live in the same house, or, you may have a dwelling place to live in – – –

…but that place that was always home?

That place that was safe, stable, comforting and ‘us’? When a family breaks up, so does the home. That anchor that ties a child’s heart to security is cut away, leaving them readily available for being “tossed about” in this world {Eph. 4:14}.

When my parents separated on Christmas Day when I was fifteen-years-old, it began six years of turmoil, deep pain, lost in the later teen years that are so vital for a young woman. My parents lived over an hour out of the city on opposite sides while my life was in the city, so I spent most of those six years in between houses, trying to deal with my own pain whilst copping the pain of one parent and the depression and struggles of another.

A few months after my parents separated, when I wasn’t seeing my father, a boy came into my life and – though it seemed perfect at the time – it was disasterous for a young girl seeking affirmation from a male figure. Having no stable home to call my own and, when in the house of one of my parents only wanting to be somewhere else, I was able to allow my brokenness and rebellion take over and consume my wounded heart. Those years were really, really hard and have had a great affect on me.

One of the greatest things that God has used to redeem those years in my life is to show me this simple, but profoundly fundamental, truth: Children need home. They need a home where, even though Mummy and Daddy aren’t perfect, they love each other, fight to make their marriage work, seek to create a place that will always be a safe place for their children.

“Husband-wife love, wife-husband love, and parent-child love — in times of weakness and failure, when forgiveness must be asked for and given, in times when suspicions have been right — love goes on. A child needs to grow up knowing that love never faileth, that not only will Dad and Mom stay together in spite of their weaknesses as well as strengths, but that the door will always be open, the ‘candle in the window’ will never go out…

Love never faileth. Love keeps the door open, the light waiting, and dinner in the oven — for years. This is the love a family demonstrates in its formation center.” ~ Edith Schaffer, What is a Family?

And what is that formation centre? Home. The bliss and deep delight of a loving home.

It’s not a perfect home because the people who live in it are imperfect. But it is a place where there is acceptance, grace, the gospel, life, laughter, tears, openness in failure, forgiveness given freely, weaknesses worked on, joy, delight and a place that is purely “my family”.

One of the greatest compliments I have been given is that our house feels “homely”. I have worked hard, not just to make our place warm and comforting, but open, with a feeling that you are welcome here, that you can rest and be sheltered from the outside world here. Is our home like the Jones’? Nope. It’s humble, simple and does the trick.

I can promise you, dear mother, that if you want to give your children one thing in this life that will kickstart them into having a great life, it is this: Make them a home. Don’t worry about academics, activities, shuttling them from this place to that – – – give them the rest, stability and the anchor they need. They have the rest of their lives to be out there in the world, busy and “being lights to the world” but there are so few years to have here, in your home. Give it to them because, speaking from experience, it can change the direction of their lives.

9 thoughts on “Why Home Is So Important.

  1. Excellent post Sarah, and so needed. I did not come from a broken home myself, but I have seen how much pain it caused our own children to live without both parents at home for 2 years, and how they have healed since. Thank you for sharing 🙂

  2. Never having gone through that, your story is enlightening and strengthening to me. I love the quotes you used and especially your own words, “I can promise you, dear mother, that if you want to give your children one thing in this life that will kickstart them into having a great life, it is this: Make them a home.” Just beautiful. Do you mind if I use that in a meme? Your memes are lovely. Pinning this!

  3. My parents divorced after twenty years. I was a wreck for a long time after that. Now, even though I am older, it still is disappointing when we have to split holidays or have events separately. It makes me more thankful for the home my husband and I are building by God’s grace.

  4. God has been speaking to me about this very thing. I grew up in a godly family who were committed to church and ministry. We were involved in every church and mission project. I got involved in campus ministry in college and grew up with the belief that the purpose of my life was church activity and outreach type things. When I began to raise my own family, as a stay-home wife and mother, I felt very unsettled in my role, as I wasn’t as involved in “ministry” as I felt–and was pressured by my church–I ought to be. I have struggled knowing that this is what God had for me, but feeling that I was failing him. He recently showed me that all the ministry things are there to either make the ministers feel good about themselves (if you really dig in and look at the reason for helping others), out of guilt for not doing enough (like myself) or for the right reason: to make up for the lack of good home and family lives in the world. So the primary effort should be directed at creating the home life that my children and husband need and not adding to the problem by focusing my main attention on patching up the holes in other people’s families.

    1. Yes, yes, yes! Many ministries are indeed the result of families being stretched to breaking point and the church having to take up that slack. I really believe this grieves God’s heart. It certainly broke and grieved my own heart. I’m so thankful the Lord has spoken so deeply into your struggles and opened your eyes to His way of thinking about motherhood and family life. Have you read The Mission of Motherhood by Sally Clarkson? Transformed my life.

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