Is it a House or Home?
How do you measure success in your family? Is it based on some financial consideration—how much money you have in the bank? Is it based on the house that you own or the car that you drive? Do all or any of these things determine whether a family is happy and successful? The answer is no. A family can have many riches and luxuries and appear to be very successful, but what good does it do if the family is dysfunctional? And how do you explain families that live in poor huts with no worldly goods who seem to be perfectly happy? Perhaps the better question to ask is, how is success in a family genuinely measured?
I have come to find that true family success is not determined by what you own or how much wealth you have accumulated; it really comes down to where you live. Do you live in a house? Or do you live in a home? The key is learning the difference between the two. For most, a house is merely a structure that accommodates a family. It is filled with nice furniture and the latest entertainment gadgets, but it is not used for anything else than for eating, sleeping and coexisting.
A home, by contrast, is a warm, welcoming place that feels safe, where families do not focus on what they have or do not have. Instead, they aim to make it a place that offers unconditional love and where they can share good values, create memories and establish lasting relationships. More importantly, a home is where God’s love dwells, and is demonstrated in each member of the family. A home is where families pray, worship together and experience God’s joy.
Ellen White writes, “a home where love dwells and where it finds expression in looks, in words, in acts, is a place where angels delight to dwell. Parents, let the sunshine of love, cheer, and happy content enter your own hearts, and let its sweet influence pervade the home. Manifest a kindly, forbearing spirit, and encourage the same in your children, cultivating all those graces that will brighten the home life. The atmosphere thus created will be to the children what air and sunshine are to the vegetable world, promoting health and vigor of mind and body” (The Adventist Home, p. 426).
A Godly home is definitely a powerful testimony. It can be a “light to the world” that reveals God’s power to change lives. Therefore, as we continue to strive to have successful families, it is important to focus on what matters most: putting Christ at the center of our homes. Let us be “ambassadors” for Christ in our homes so that others can see Christ in, and through, us.