Almost a year ago, my husband and I became the directors of a new non-profit, the F4 Foundation. Since then, we’ve spent a lot of time reading, researching, and listening to people who are trying to solve many issues in society–the high number of children in foster care, homelessness, human trafficking, etc. We’ve listened to victims as well as those who are trying to help them, and one thing is for certain:
Homelessness is the biggest problem of our time.
I don’t just mean homelessness in terms of the person on the corner–though we all agree that’s a problem needing attention.
I mean the kind of homelessness that is written in the eyes of children being rushed from school to activity, from activities to homework, from homework to bed. The kind of homelessness felt by wives whose husbands are too busy building their careers to build their families; the kind felt by men who return to frazzled wives calling for takeout day after day after day.
Of course, everyone has busy days they spend mostly in the car, everyone has busy weeks at work, and everyone calls for takeout occasionally (*raises hand–thank the Lord for Chinese tonight at my house!) But those normal happenings aren’t what I’m talking about. I mean the kind of homelessness that’s chronic; the kind that happens when the people who live in a house are doing so without any one of them being focused on being a bringer of life to that home.
Without a heart, a home is just walls and a roof.
We seem to have lost the understanding that home is to be a place where dreams as well as bodies are nurtured; where imagination is stoked by stories of heroes and dragons; where scrapes are kissed and emotional wounds acknowledged and tended to; where chores are training ground for character and life skills and the table is a place to come for grace and Grace.
“Home is not merely a dwelling. It’s not merely a state of existence. It’s a story, a narrative spun out day by day, a story molded by the walls and hours and tasks and feasts with which we fill our time, reflecting the reality of the God whose love animates every aspect of our being.”~ Sarah Clarkson in The Lifegiving Home
When we look at our nation’s resources, we usually think of those things which provide something tangible for us– food, power, transportation. Truly though, our greatest resources are actually the precious ones who live within our walls.
Many of us grew up in lifeless homes and feel helpless as we try to build our own well. If you’re looking for help in bringing life to your home, I highly recommend Sally and Sarah Clarkson’s new book quoted above, as well as the resource lists available at lifegivinghome.com . The most important thing, though, is to realize your power as a parent. You have the potential to breathe life into those around you. First, of course, you must take life in.
“I came that they may have life, and have it abundantly.” John 10:10
Your home and family are not only our nation’s most priceless resources, they are both a great privilege and responsibility. Your home should be a place everyone feels loved and welcomed; a soft place to land for every member. When home becomes that, the people who live there are enabled to reach their full potential.
What can you do today, to bring life to your own home?