By: Ps. Rich Harding
Back when I was a kid (not that long ago!!), there was a TV show I used to love watching with my sisters called Fun House. It was a kid's show where people applied to compete against each other. I just remember longing to be on that show. It was full of incredible games, go-karting, mazes of soft play. But i think my favourite part of the show came right at the end. The winners were sometimes allowed to 'gunge' one of their parents! (Maybe that was why my dad never let me apply!!).
But it does bring me to the question: How fun is your house and how far are you willing to go as a parent to make it fun? Our homes are the most important place on the earth. It is where we find refuge and security, it's where we go when there's nowhere else. The sad thing today is that so many homes have become places of pain and suffering. The atmosphere is heavy full of criticism and arguing. Everyone hides from each other in their activities, in their rooms, on the computer or watching TV. Communication goes as far as "uh" and meal times hardly exist.
Our homes as parents are our responsibility, to set the atmosphere for the whole family. The attitude of one affects the whole house. The way we treat each other, the way we communicate are all so important to building a stable, fun home that everyone in the family loves to be in. Many parents spend all their time telling off their children or nagging them - and then wonder why their children leave home so soon, or simply run away. The home should be the place a child loves the most in life, where they have fun and feel safe, protected and edified.
Whilst everyone shares this responsibility, ultimately it comes down to God's authority over the family, the father to make sure this happens. It is a father's role to spend time with his children, to build up that atmosphere in the house by engaging with the rest of the family.
Since we got married God gave me a word for my house. That I should seek to establish His Kingdom first in my house and to do that through the fruits of the spirit. That my house would be a house of love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control. Just take a minute to imagine what your house would look like if these nine things governed through the Holy Spirit.
When Adam was placed in the garden, the perfect paradise, God gave him a purpose as the man:
"Then the Lord God took the man and put him into the garden of Eden to cultivate it and keep it." Genesis 2:15
Today our homes represent that paradise, but only as far as we learn to keep and cultivate it. It requires work, and effort. You have to actually be proactive about cultivating your home, but if you want the best in life you must start here, in your home.
If you're willing to work hard at it, your home can transform into paradise, the perfect home where love and patience rule and where everyone longs to be.