When Did HOME Become a 4 Letter Word?

In much of today’s American culture the word home is nearly the equivalent to a hotel with a restaurant.  In fact, in some cases, it is downright despised, uttered in contempt or spewed in disgust.

The late Sono Harris (mother of Josh Harris) said,

“Home became the place you went to when everything else was closed.”

At some point, home stopped being the centralized point of the family.  Perhaps when women entered the workforce as the rule rather than the exception or when our society became less agrarian or when school became compulsory was the point when the home took its first hit.

But it doesn’t really matter what started the fire, the house has nearly burnt to the ground by lots of little “matches” along the way.  Pointing fingers of blame isn’t nearly as necessary as rebuilding.

God created the family and where the family dwells together naturally needs to be a nurturing atmosphere.  It can’t be 3 years of nurturing and then we dump everyone out of the nest and get on with our lives.  It has to remain the constant forever.  Yes, even into our grandparenting years.

What is your home like?  Is it a place where everyone lives separate lives?  Or is it a thriving community?

What can you do to rebuild the home today?

-Be there!  Seems simple enough, but many, many families don’t have a home culture because they aren’t home!  Stay home.  Learn about each other.  Spend time in your home just being together…no extra entertainment and frills, just good conversation and open hearts.

-Tell the family story.  Connections are made from the moment your family becomes a family.  Tell the stories of how marriages began, how babies were welcomed into the home, how life has been lived over the years.  Make those connections by telling those stories.

-Work toward a home that is vibrant and alive in Christ.  I talk about this a lot in my book 10 Days to a Peaceful Home.  Having a home worth coming home to starts at the very core and rests on the cornerstone of Christ.  A family without hope and without focus will never be a place people want to be.

We don’t have to live like this.  We have the ability to choose right here, right now what kind of home we will build.  It is never too late.  No, it may not look like perfection, but doing nothing is never the answer.  What will you do today that shows your family how important this place you call HOME is?


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22 thoughts on “When Did HOME Become a 4 Letter Word?

  1. Our family is buying our first home, and this thought has been on my mind lately. We’ve already committed to more family time and less screen time. Thanks so much for this encouraging reminder!

  2. I was reminded of Kelly Crawford’s poem, ‘A House’s Lament’ (which can be read at http://raisinghomemakers.com/2012/are-we-self-destructing-champion-for-the-home-2/). My home hasn’t been a very relaxing place lately because there’s just always so much that needs to be done. I’m going to try and make my home more welcoming for my husband this evening by making some yummy applesauce so he comes home to a nice smell. Thanks for the encouragement; I needed this today.

  3. Amy, this is exactly what’s been on my heart recently. As we have begun to dive into our homeschooling year and are home more, I find myself enjoying being home so much more!! The thought of having to go out and grocery shop this week does not sound appealing. Looking forward to getting your ebook on a peaceful home. Just finished your quick read in “decluttering” and the process has begun. How freeing! I can’t wait to get into the next room, and the next. A local church is having a yard sale in a couple of weeks, perfect opportunity to get this stuff out the door and bless someone else. AND I have somewhat of a deadline to work towards. Woo hoo! Thanks. God bless!

  4. “Home became the place you went to when everything else was closed.”

    That was very much the case for me in my single days! It’s been a difficult transition to make home more of a focus, but God has been teaching me gently over my married years.

  5. I read an essay recently by Sharon Astyk in which she talks about the idea of society accepting the beauty of a “working home” – that if we’re truly living in our homes, they’re going to messy sometimes and full of half-done projects, homeschool papers spread around, chicken coops in the back, etc. I think it’s really true – we have to get over our desire for a magazine looking home, which is impossible if we want to be comfortable in our homes and not just own houses.

  6. We have the opportunity to re-evaluate this in our family every so often when we move, not just houses but countries. 6 months ago we put everything we own in storage to come to an unknown country. It was a good time to re-evaluate how much we value the “stuff” in our house compared to each other. Though there is great monetary value in the stuff in storage, it is nothing that makes “home”.

    Home is anywhere where we are together as a family!

    (Though I won’t discredit the ability to make things homely to create a sense of home that everyone appreciates & feel they are a part of)

  7. It is such a blessing to have a place that you look forward to being and you feel comfortable in. Indeed it is a blessing the carries over the to the next generation that will look to create that same environment.

    We the Scriptures says for women to be keepers at home it was not to demote them, but rather to give them a place to be uplifted for the work the do!

    To all my sisters in Christ…….Favour is deceitful, and beauty is vain: but a woman that feareth the LORD, she shall be praised.

  8. Thank you for reminding me! I feel like there is such pressure to always be going, going, going. Your kids need to be in sports, co-ops, scouts, and lessons or else you’re not up to par. I prefer to be home (and so do my children) at least 4 or 5 days a week but I am embarrassed to admit this when other moms are rattling off their list of activities. It makes me feel like I’m not doing enough or being lazy by staying home.

    • I completely understand, Jamie! I used to feel the same way – almost like I was somehow incompetent because I couldn’t seem to keep the house running if I was away as much as some mothers were. Now I realize it is very difficult to truly “keep” a home when you aren’t there and children actually thrive in a rich home environment. Kudos to you!

  9. I loved this blog! After seeing how some children’s home lives are, I am so happy I am able to stay home and make a comfortable, safe place for our children.

  10. I really appreciate this post. I have been thinking about how home is disdained by many, especially since my niece (who has lived with us the past four years) just went off to college. Before we took her in, she was not raised to appreciate home life. Now, her life at college is so exciting (and somewhat surreal) that I feel pushed aside… as if our home and relationships didn’t really matter much.