Thursday, December 04, 2008

Isn't that a lovely quote? Now, God can overcome any baggage that we carry from childhood. Nothing is impossible for him. He is the only perfect Father and Jesus our only and perfect Father and brother. Christ is preparing an unimaginably blissful home for us. So, if our upbringing was less than perfect, we do not need to let that hinder us in life.

Yet, there are those children who are raised in such an atmosphere of love that they do feel that home is the happiest place to be -- next to being in God's kingdom. Children who have the confidence, joy, and innocence that comes from such a home life are beautiful to behold. So, too, are adults who carry memories of a happy home life with them forever.

What are your dreams for giving your husband and children memories of a happy home? Of course, not every moment will be pleasant. Each family has its share of sorrows. In God's hands, sorrows can ultimately become blessings and his joy can temper our sorrows, but they are sorrows, nonetheless. Likewise, neither you nor your family members will be perfect.

Yet, isn't it fun to dream and to plan for creating a happy home. If we commit to making even a little investment in the happiness of our family every day, it can add up over time.

I have a friend who had three sisters. In adulthood, they were chatting and realized that each one of them thought they were their mother's favorite daughter. It had been her mother's goal to love each one of her daughters in the way that she needed to be loved, and she succeeded in her goal. I admire that.

Here are four tips for creating a happy home life.

1) Ask your husband and any of your children who are old enough to understand what makes them feel comfortable? Happy? Tune into their conversation and look for clues that indicate what does help them to be happy.
2) Do not fret if your children do not seem to appreciate everything you do or every family event. Sometimes, children will complain during a family vacation, for example, and you may have to teach them to be grateful. Later on, when you hear them talking as adults, you will be surprised to overhear them talk about what a fun time that same vacation was. They won't even remember that they complained or whined. Time has a way of teaching children to appreciate the good, provided that the parents are consistently guiding them toward a positive view.
3) You knew this was coming, didn't you? Be joyful and enthusiastic about life yourself.
4) If your children go to school, try to be available to them when they come home. Fix a snack for them. You'll be surprised about how much they will open up to you. You can guide them in dealing with the challenges of their day and help them appreciate the benefits of their day. (I think people undervalue how important it is for a child to come home to a mother in the home all the way through the end of high school.)
5) If you give your children plenty of other times to talk about any challenges they are facing and any negative emotions they are dealing with, you can gently guide the dinner conversation toward wholesome and happy things. This will help create happy memories. Children do not know how to handle the negative emotions of life and even adolescents are still developing that part of their brains that deal with these things. So, they need opportunities to open up and tell you how they feel in a real way. They also need times, however, to let down their burdens and focus on things which will build them up. If you set the example, meal times can be a time of peace and comfort for them.


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