It is a rear privilege to write on the title “Your home in your hands.” It is important to remember that every action and inaction exhibited in the society today originates from ‘the home.’ It is a true saying that you cannot give out what you done have’. Therefore, whatever a child gives out to the larger society must have been imbibed from the home. Thus it behoves us to take care of our homes.
The larger society is made up of families. And a nation is made up cities, towns and communities where the families live. The impact of families either negative or positive is felt by the larger society (communities and towns) and the nation in general. The prevailing negative penchants among our youths today (kidnapping, drug addiction, smoking, cultism, robbery and rape) and other social vices indicates the rot in our society. This scenario is a signal that we must not rest our oars to making our homes a haven on earth for our families.
What is a home?
The Microsoft Encarta (2009) describes a home as “dwelling place, constructed as a home for one or more persons.” It further noted that “whether crude hut or an elaborate mansion, and whatever its degree of intrinsic architectural interest, a house provides protection from weather and adversaries.” John Clarke, an English scholar who lived in the 17th century stated that “Home is home, though it be never so homely.” Home will be homely if it is comfortable and will never be homely if it becomes a battle ground and frustrating.
A home is the abode of every human being. The home is where we reside, a place of shelter. The home is our dwelling. In St. John 14:1-3, Jesus emphasized what the home should be like. From this passage, Jesus told His disciples that “in My Father’s house are many mansions …, I go to prepare a place for you …” Two critical lessons to be learnt from the conversation between Jesus and His disciples are:
1. A home should be accommodating (without troubles). The home should be the desire of every family member, most especially, the husband and children. The Wife (mother) of the home should be able to make the home like a ‘magnet’ that will always drag the people closer. Nowadays when children tends to be attracted and enraptured by social life and worldly vices, let the teaching and activities from the corridors of the home remain their thoughts. The home should be at the minds of the family members as a place of abode. Ellen White noted that “the woman should have the Spirit of God (should be controlled by the Spirit of God), or we can never have harmony in the home. If the woman has the spirit of Christ, she will be careful of her words; she will control her spirit, she will be submissive (Ephesians 5: 22, 23) and yet will not feel that she is a bondslave, but a companion to her husband.”
2. A home should be well kept (neat and attractive). The home should be receptive. It should be a resemblance of the paradise that Jesus has gone to prepare for us. If you wish to enjoy your family you must make your home neat and attractive for your children and husband, it is part of the duty of the woman.
From the conversation between Jesus and His disciples in the book of John, it is evident that Jesus is preparing a home that would accommodate us that is free of trouble; a home that is beautiful, neat and gorgeous. In fact, an anonymous writer depicts the home prepared by Jesus in the Seventh-day Adventist Hymnal number 450 as ‘Beautiful.’
Beautiful Zion, built above,
Beautiful city that I love,
Beautiful gates of pearly white,
Beautiful temple, God its light.
Beautiful trees forever there,
Beautiful fruit they always bear,
Beautiful rivers gliding by,
Beautiful fountains never dry.
Beautiful crowns on every brow,
Beautiful palms the conquerors show,
Beautiful robes the ransomed wear
Beautiful all who enter there.
The description of the home Jesus is preparing by the song writer gives us a sense of how our homes here on earth should be. A critical look at the stanzas shows that the home encompasses everything.
What is the role of a mother at home?
There are several roles of a mother; the Home builder and a model for her children to emulate. The Bible noted that “every wise woman buildeth her house” (Proverbs 14:1a). Your family members should feel your impact through encouragement and support. A wise woman must strive hard to build her home according to the instruction of God’s word.
To make a home conducive, certain factors must be maintained consciously. These include.
1. The relationship between the husband and wife
The husband and wife are duty bound to see each other as partners in the building of their home. Sister White noted that “Jesus looks with pleasure upon the family relationship where sacred and unselfish love bears sway.” The couple is married as one body. Marriage is lawful and honourable (Hebrew 13:4); Jesus in his time attended a marriage ceremony in Cana (John 2:1). Therefore, the couple should work hand in hand to see to the success of their children and progress of their home.
2. Home as a School
Home is the first school of a child. Children learn how to pray, greet, cook, read and write from home. This goes with the saying that “charity begins at home” This is because a child ought to learn virtually everything done in the society from the home where he/she grew up. Undoubtedly, it is the mother that shoulders the responsibility of teaching their children many things. Understanding that this task would be enormous on the women, God created women differently from men using “bone” Genesis 2:22, 23. God from the beginning (Gen. 2:18) knew that the responsibility of women would be greater; He therefore designed women to be special. In fulfilling their role as a teacher, Ellen White wrote that “instead of sinking into a mere household drudge, let the wife and mother take time to read, to keep herself well informed, to be a companion to her husband, and to keep in touch with the developing minds of her children.” Messenger of Hope: Connecting with Jesus; Counsels for the Church, p. 1405.
Understanding the need to educate children from home, many have advocated that home should support schools in training of children. This is because, early training (teaching) of children from home has been found to be rewarding in their upbringing. The Bible further admonish us to teach our children the doctrines of God, (Deut. 4:10; 11:19); and “…the songs of victory shall ye teach it to your children” (31:19). Doing this ensures that children are aware of their origin and brought up in the way and manner so that when they are old, they will never depart nor deviate from it (Prov. 22:6).
3. The Home as a source of spiritual growth
The challenge facing families today is to train their children to become responsible citizens in the society. There are evil vices and bad influences that tend to change the hearts of the young ones. E.G. White admonish women to “use wisely the opportunities now to influence her dear ones for the higher life; let her take time to make the dear Saviour a daily Companion and familiar Friend. Let her take time to study of His word, take time to go with the children into the fields (Church) and learn of God through the beauty of His works.”
4. The home as center of love
Love should pervade the home. Sincere love is to be the ruling principle of the heart that love God and love to the husband can alone be the right ground of action. John H. Mchaughton, the author of the Seventh-day Adventist hymnal, number 652 did not mince words when he wrote the song “Love at Home.” He described the situation of the home when there is love. He went further to say that Jesus who is the strength and Head of every home should make us wholly His own. The song writer also imagined heaven smile at us when love permeates the home. Love is needed at home from the parents to the children and vice versa. When there is constant flow of love from the mother to the father and to the children, it makes every member of the family to think of coming home. Children should also be given responsibility at home. They should be engaged meaningfully, because the idle mind is the devil’s workshop. Engaging them in the activities of the home will make them feel belonged and help them become responsible and yearn for home.
We must remember that your home is in your hands. You should know that God created you as a desire of your family members, and everyone in your family looks up to you. It is very important to build confidence in your family that through you, your family will succeed.
Microsoft Encarta Premium (2009). Home.
The Holy Bible, Authorized King James version.
White, E. G. (n. d.). Messenger of Hope, Connecting with Jesus: Counsel for the Church. Everlasting Gospel Publishing Association: Korea, Seoul.
Elder Omeluzor Sat