Something I've wanted for as long as I've been a parent (probably longer, actually), is for my home to be a soft place to land, effectively a safe place. My closest neighbours are my own children, and I want our home to be a place of ease, acceptance, hope, and comfort. Of course, I want my home to be these things to a lesser degree for everyone who will walk through our door, but for these little ones of ours? Home must be where they belong, or they'll belong elsewhere.
This has basically nothing to do with home decor, style, or space. It's the heart or the home I'm getting at, and I want them to know we've designed it just for them. I never want our kids to be embarrassed or ashamed in these walls. The world is harsh, but I want our home to be soft.
Right now, our kids are young, but it's already important. Two of our kids are in public school five days a week, and when they come home at the end of the school day, or at lunch hour, I can see it in every part of them. They let go. This isn't always a blessing, if I'm honest. My rule-following first born obeys to a T at school because she cares so much about pleasing her teacher, and she's a bit afraid of her. She knows our love for her is unconditional and doesn't worry much about earning our love with good behaviour, and sometimes I think we get the short end of the stick, haha!
But at the heart of it, our kids know home is the place they can err and still be loved. Home is where their acceptance has nothing to do with their accomplishments, even though the world is the polar opposite.
These four walls are their safe place. Brad and me are their safe place. Their siblings are their safe place. Jesus, ultimately is their safest place, and it all builds up to that. It would be so much easier to parent a different way. To guarantee their respect and obedience. To save ourselves from the frustrating, exhausting work or forgiving. If our parenting looks like the gospel, if only an imperfect resemblance, then home will be their safe place.
How precious is your steadfast love, O God! The children of mankind take refuge in the shadow of your wings.
- Psalm 36:7
"Home is the nicest word there is"
- Laura Ingalls Wilder