Friday, September 16, 2011

Providing A Safe Haven

Wives have the ability to provide a safe and pleasant haven for our spouses and children. God entrusted us with the power to set the tone and environment for our families. Proverbs 14:1 says,
"The wise woman builds her house, but with her own hands the foolish one tears hers down." Have you ever heard the saying, "If the wife ain't happy then no one is"? It's so true. Have you noticed when you have had a bad day and you remained grouchy, the kids and the husband started being in a foul mood too? Our words, our vocal tones and actions affect our homes and marriages. We set the stage. If there is strife, foul language, cupboard doors slamming, etc., this makes a home not a safe, relaxing place. If we're stomping around and pouting, grumbling and complaining the minute our husband walks in the door, he's honestly not going to want to come home to that. A home should be restful, a place of refreshing and rejuvenation, cozy, warm, and inviting. When I say this, I don't mean that we as wives can't have a bad day or that we can't ever express how we feel about situations, but we do have to be aware that our attitudes affect everyone around us. We are the queens of the castle, so to speak, so what we dish out is what's going to be on the table for our loved ones to take in.

Proverbs 31:25-28 talks about a godly wife and her influence on her family:
"She is clothed with strength and dignity;
she can laugh at the days to come.
26 She speaks with wisdom,
and faithful instruction is on her tongue.
27 She watches over the affairs of her household
and does not eat the bread of idleness.
28 Her children arise and call her blessed;
her husband also, and he praises her."

It's our very nature to have our homes be a nest. This is where we create a dwelling place for our families. We, as women, take pride in the way our decor and home looks like to others. We often feel it's a reflection of who we are as women. Why else do we spend so much time and money picking out the colors of paint for the walls and drapes, etc.? Just for that very reason, but if we aren't careful, all of our efforts are a waste. If there aren't peace and love in our homes, then it's meaningless. Proverbs 21:9 says, "Better to live on a corner of the roof than share a house with a quarrelsome wife." Ain't that the truth?

When our man walks in the door from a hard day of work, he needs to feel he can catch his breath and get a break from the weariness and stresses. Yes, I know that you are thinking, "What about me? I work too. I work full time, chasing after little ones all day. I'm just as tired and exhausted. Don't I count?"

My answer to that would be...I know this sounds so "Leave It To Beaver" and old fashioned...but we do count. We are given the privilege to make it fabulous for our families. It's a valuable honor to be given such responsiblity. If you're tired, just try to remember to do a few small things. Your husband might not mention the changes, but I assure you he will notice and he will like it being more peaceful.

I'm not saying we have to be super woman, or that we have to spin around three times and have a 7 course meal on the table every night, or that we have to wear high heels or pearls and walk around giving our husband his pipe, newspaper and slippers at the end of the day. I have talked to other men and researched what they desire their homes to be like. Most would agree that they like things to be clutter free and peaceful.
As wives, we know it's inevitable that there will be messes (especially if we have little ones) and times when we need to catch up on housework, but if your home is always cluttered and in disarray, that's not good. The Bible mentions often about keeping our houses in order. Most people feel much more peaceful walking into a room that is clutter free and smells pleasant.

Some simple ideas to create an inviting environment are:
If the kids have been rowdy and fighting, play some worship or instrumental music. This helps subdue everyone. Light a few candles before the hubby walks in the door. Candles take only a few seconds to light and it makes a world of difference.

A warm smile from you hits the spot. If there's something serious you need to discuss, wait until he's had time to unwind from the day. There's always a right or wrong time to bring stuff up. It's definitely not when he just gotten home.
Try to keep clutter to a minimum. If you have noticed the rooms where your husband likes to hang out are being overcome by knick-knacks, collections, toys, etc., take a half day to remove the extras you don't really need. It's freeing and you will be able to chill more too. Keep the wall colors simple -most men are drawn to neutral tones. I hate to disappoint you, but your man does not like to be surrounded by pink, flowery fluff. It's not relaxing, he may not complain about it, because he loves you so much, but consider his feelings when choosing decor for your home, and let's be brutally honest...having to make love on a flower comforter with lace doesn't really inspire him either.

These are some things that can help make things a more pleasant place to be -and remember, creating a safe place to land and having your home be a haven begins with you. You are the heart of the home. :)

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