Biblical and Practical Thoughts on Parenting, Part 12: Suggestions for Remodeling Your House into a Home (By Howard and Jeanne Hendricks)
As we go through our series on parenting, I wanted to share this list of suggestions for how to make your house into a home. This was written by Howard and Jeanne Hendricks. “Prof” Hendricks left quite a legacy behind when he went to be with the Lord earlier this year. I could share countless bits of wisdom from him and his precious wife, Jeanne. This is only one of many contributions, and I am happy to pass it on. How does one remodel a house into a home?
- Review the status of each member of the household to see that everyone feels he is a V.I.P. in the family. He can believe in himself because this “in” group where he lives likes him, accepts him, and trusts him for himself.
- Check the basic structure. Dad is to be the head, the mother transparently supporting him, and the children all sharing responsibilities.
- Scrutinize family values. A dominant, unifying focal theme is needed. Anything other than Jesus Christ is too weak for permanent cohesion. A personal commitment to Christ, backed up with positive reasons, should be the parental example. At some point every member should privately be confronted with the claims of Christ in his life.
- Develop family pride through accomplishment with skill and talent. Plant the seeds with sports, music lessons, hobbies, good books, etc. Use every ability God gave you.
- Build up the fun side of the family with laughter at mistakes and imaginative recreational pastimes. A positive constructive home is magnetic.
- Ease up on forced togetherness. Give each one encouragement to be away sometimes. At home provide privacy to foster personal relationship with God.
- Overhaul the emotional air conditioning system. Avoid charging the atmosphere with tension. Keep the home ventilated with positive comments and relaxed attitudes.
- Sweep out old grudges like worthless debris. Forgive and forget the past “even as Christ has forgive you.” (Eph. 4:32).
- Renew the outlets, so that the family is wired for positive communication. A free exchange of ideas, without condemnation, is essential. Remember that communication is largely by life, not lecture.
- Keep the door open to family friends, allowing the fragrance of a virile Christian home to benefit others. Disease is caught, not taught.
- Expect periodic spills in immaturity and imperfection. Clean them up with firm, calm, reasonable discipline. Plan a “better way” for next time. Let out enough developmental rope to allow each individual to weave his own personal image.
- Allow the Holy Spirit to make you authentically like Christ. No artificial front can stand the daily erosion of home life. What you are is far more important than what you say.