“Four walls do not make a home, even though it may be built of marble and covered with the rarest decorations. A family may be reared in a palace that is filled with the loveliest works of art, and yet the influences may not be the kind that leave blessings behind them. The home-life itself is more important than the house and its adornments. By the home-life is meant all the interaction of the members of the family. It is a happy art – the art of living together in tender love! It must begin with the parents themselves. Unless their life together is loving and true, it will be impossible for them to make their home-life so. They give the keynote to the music. If their communication is marked by bickerings and quarrelings, they cannot expect their children to so anything other than imitate them. But if gentleness and affectionateness characterize their bearing towards each other, the same spirit will rule in the family life. For their children’s sake – if for no other – parents should cultivate their own lives, and train themselves to live together in the most Christ-like way. They will very soon learn that good rules and wise counsels from their lips amount to very little good, unless their own lives give an example and an illustration of the things which are thus commended.
“We enter some homes, and they are as full of sweetness as summer fields are of fragrance. All is order, beauty, gentleness, and peace. But we enter other homes, where we find jarring, selfishness, harsh- ness, and disorder. This difference is not accidental. There are influences at work in each home which yield exactly the result that we see in each. There are different kinds of shells in the sea. Some of them are very coarse, ugly, and unsightly; while others are very lovely – like the nautilus, which is ‘many- chambered, softly curved, pearl-adorned, glowing with imprisoned rainbows.’ But each shell exactly corresponds with the nature of the creature that lives within it. Each little creature builds a house just like itself; indeed, it builds its own life into it! In the same manner, every home takes its color and tone from its makers. A refined spirit puts refinement into a home, although it may only be one plain room without an ornament or a luxury; while a coarse nature makes the home coarse, even though it may be a palace that is filled with all the elegances that wealth can buy. No home-life can ever be better than the life of those who make it. It is nothing less nor more than the spirit of the parents, like an atmosphere filling all the house.”
Perhaps now would be a good time to take an evaluation of our own home-life. Surely we all desire the kind of home that Mr. Miller describes as being filled with “order, beauty, gentleness, and peace.” But are we taking the time and effort to cultivate an atmosphere where all the family members are living together in tender love? No matter what role we fill in our family, let’s pray to the Lord for grace to fill our houses with the sweet-smelling aroma of Christ-likeness, which shall transform our “four walls” – no matter how humble or luxurious they may be – into a real home!
Do you have any musings on the topic of cultivating a Christ-like atmosphere in our homes and families? Feel free to share your thoughts and questions with all of our readers in the comments section below!
God bless you and your family, this day and always.
All for the King’s glory,
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