This post is part of the series A Heavenly Peace
Other posts in this series:
- Four pillars for mental health in a time of uncertainty (A Heavenly Peace)
- How to create a godly atmosphere in your home (Current)
Our home should be a safe haven from the chaotic, outside world, a place of comfort, rejuvenation, peace, and joy. A heavenly atmosphere in the home does not just happen. It requires intentional planning and diligent nurturing on the part of the family that lives there.
Today we are going to discuss seven key principles that answer the question of how to create a godly atmosphere in your home.
1. Invite God into your home
The first step in creating a heavenly atmosphere is to invite the Creator of the world into your home, into your hearts, and into your lives.
In Revelation 3:20, Jesus Christ says: ““Look! I stand at the door and knock. If you hear my voice and open the door, I will come in, and we will share a meal together as friends.” (NLT)
This is not a literal door but the figurative door into our lives. If we want a godly atmosphere to fill our homes, we have to be willing to invite God in as an active part of our daily lives.
2. Be a house of prayer
By inviting the Creator of the universe into our homes, we are allowing Him to become our guide, our compass, our center. Not sure how to do that? It is as simple as asking. James 1:5 encourages us: “But if any of you lacks wisdom, let him ask of God, who gives to all generously and without reproach, and it will be given to him.”
Prayer is the intentional communication between human beings and the Divine. Think of it like a conversation with Christ. Open and honest communication is vital for any relationship to grow successfully, and our relationship with the Lord is no different. We need to incorporate prayer into our daily routine: in the morning when we wake, before meals, during study or worship time, before bed, and upon request.
Psalm 34:7 says: “The angel of the Lord encamps around those who fear Him, And rescues them.” (NKJV)
As we fill our lives and home with genuine moments of prayer, we are giving the Lord permission to wrap our home and our families in His powerful protection. It is through prayers for guidance, help, and strength that we give permission for His guarding angels to gently guide us in the better ways throughout our day.
3. Prioritize the right things
The third step is to plant the right seeds. Imagine for a moment that your home is a garden. The type of seeds you plant and nurture will determine what the garden will ultimately become. If you plant cactus seeds, you will eventually have a garden filled with cactus. If you plant flower seeds, you will eventually have a flower garden.
Philippians 4:8 tells us: “Finally, brothers and sisters, whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is commendable, if there is any excellence and if anything worthy of praise, think about these things.” (NASB)
We need to choose the seeds for our home wisely, but the seeds alone are not enough. How a garden grows depends also on how well it is tended, if the soil is rich in the right nutrients, and if the climate is a good match for the plants we wish to grow.
Likewise, our words, our actions, and our activities all play a role in what kind of atmosphere is nurtured in our home. We may have planted seeds of truth, but if we lie, gossip, and share misleading or false information, we are not creating the best environment for that seed of truth to grow. It is so important to prioritize the right things in our lives — in our homes — and pay careful attention to nurturing them.
4. Add God’s Word to your home life
We can nurture the right kind of atmosphere in our home by incorporating God’s Word, the Bible, into your daily home life. This can be done through a combination of Bible reading, Bible study, and Scripture memorization.
In Psalm 119:105, the psalmist wrote, “Your word is a lamp to my feet and a light to my path.” (ESV)
Read the Bible
For Bible reading, I recommend choosing a Bible version that is responsibly translated from original sources, void of commentaries, and uses plain language that you can understand. There are also audio versions of the Bible can you can listen. (Audioverse.org has a few free versions you can check out.) A Bible reading plan can be useful and also a daily devotional. If you have children, choose a child-friendly Bible that can be read aloud at storytime, worship time, and/or bedtime.
Study the Bible
Studying God’s Word is different in that you take time to study smaller portions within their immediate context and within the greater landscape of the Bible. It may include research into the original language of a text, comparisons with similar passages elsewhere, and applying cultural or historical context. For studying God’s Word, I highly recommend a stricter translation, at a minimum a topical index but preferably an extensive concordance, and a notebook. Commentaries by theologians can be insightful. A good Bible study series, like [truth]Link, is a great place to begin.
In Psalm 119:11, the psalmist also wrote, “Your word I have hidden in my heart, That I might not sin against You.” Memorization is not easy for everyone, but I highly recommend giving it a try. The Word of God is filled with powerful encouragements, guidance, reminders that can brighten our darkest moments. There are hundreds of verses perfect for memorization but you only need one to start with!
Whether or not you have children, I highly recommend the Scripture Memorization System from Simply Charlotte Mason. I love this method for a number of reasons but the most important is that you take it at your own pace. There is no pressure to move on to the next verse. You can stay with one verse however long it takes you to memorize it and feel comfortable. And when you do move on the next, there is a very simple and fast way to review all the verses you have memorized.
Whether you are starting with your first verse or you are on your hundredth verse, it only takes maybe five minutes a day.
We waited until our oldest turned four, and then we began doing our memory verse every morning at breakfast (when we remember). We are on our third verse now and getting close to moving on to a fourth.
For our family, we started with:
You can start with whatever verse touches your heart.
5. Fill your home with music
I am a huge proponent for the power of music. Music can weld great influence over our minds, our emotions, our attitudes, and like many things, the type of music you choose to listen is important.
However, it is not my place to dictate to you what genres are appropriate or inappropriate. Using your priorities from #3 and Philippians 4:8 to guide you, I encourage you to fill your home with uplifting, positive, lovely, godly music.
For our household, we love to listen to classical, instrumental, hymns, praise and worship, education/learning songs, and fun toddler/preschool-age songs. Sometimes we listen to Celtic or country music or oldies. Sometimes we listen to holiday music. We actually have eclectic tastes but we choose our music selections based on if the music is lovely, honorable, praise-worthy and helps, not hinders, the godly atmosphere of our home.
6. Be mindful of your conversations
It is impossible to always leave the baggage of the outside world at the doorstep. Stress from work, concerns over the pandemic, financial strain, uncertain economic and political futures, tense relationships… we carry them all and more with us when we step inside our homes. It is important to share news or concerns with our families; however, we need to be mindful of our conversations, the words we chose to speak, and the attitudes we choose to share.
It is too easy to present our best selves out there in the world and then display our worst selves at home. I am not advocating masking our true selves or trying to pretend to be people we are not. All I am suggesting is to give our dearest loved ones the same consideration and grace that we often offer to strangers. When we open our hearts to those around us, being honest and vulnerable with ourselves and our loved ones and creating a safe space for them to likewise be honest and vulnerable with us transform the home into a place each member of the family wants to come to and linger.
And much of it begins with being mindful of what we say, how we say it, and the attitude or emotion we are projecting.
This becomes even more important when there are children in the home. They are observing how we cope with stress, how we chose to communicate the good and the bad aspects of life, and how we talk about ourselves and others. If we desire to raise our children into godly, compassionate, wise, and informed men and women, then we need to be modeling that behavior in our own lives. How can we expect them to become compassion adults if they hear us on a daily basis calling people who we disagree with names or belittling the lived experienced of others? How can we expect them to become calm, rational adults if they watch us repeatedly explode in unbridled, passionate tirades? What atmosphere do we desire for our homes?
Does that mean we can never get upset or passionate? Of course there is a proper time for these things, but we should always be mindful that what we say and what we do are being internalized by our children. Take a moment to truly consider if something is worth saying at all. With other things, kindness, grace, and gentle words have a far greater effect than we often realize.
7. Nurture through the little things
Never under-estimate the little things in life. I highly encourage using little things to nurture the godly atmosphere of our home. It can be as simple as keeping the kitchen clean or the living room tidy or opening windows or lighting a candle or hanging artwork that inspires you or having the delicious aroma of a favorite meal or treat wafting through the house.
You know best what makes you and your family comfortable. You know what fills your hearts with joy. You also know what is feasible with your schedule, your finances, and your abilities. Throw out those Pinterest pins and home magazines that discourage you and fill you with guilt for not being “perfect”. A lived in home filled with life and love is so much more inviting than a glamorous showroom of a house void of warmth and love.
If the clutter bothers you, make a plan to tackle it at a pace that is doable for you. If the cleaning is overwhelming, figure out what is most important for your sanity and space it out in doable chunks throughout the week (or even month).
If the kids’ toys are driving you bonkers, get some bins to hide the mess in only a few minutes. (Check out my 6 Tips for a Tidy House with Toddlers.)
If you have too much stuff, sort out items that you can donate so someone else can be blessed by the item(s) you no longer need or want.
But most importantly, do not neglect the little things that bring joy to life. The evening walk to the park. The unplanned afternoon cuddle during naptime even though the sink is filled with dishes. Planting a garden and watching the sprouts grow. Turning off the television and playing an old-fashioned board game. Reading a good book or sipping on your favorite tea. Laughing at silly jokes, dancing around the room to a kids’ song, and tickle hugs.
Embrace your heavenly home
Whew! That is quite a list, but you made it to the end, my friend. Let’s quickly recap. The key principles to create a godly atmosphere in your home are:
- Invite God into your home
- Be a house of prayer
- Prioritize the right things
- Add God’s Word to your home life
- Fill your home with music
- Be mindful of your conversations
- Nurture through the little things
With these seven key principles, yours can become an inviting home filled with a godly atmosphere — that is, one of love, joy, peace, and laughter. It takes intentionality to determine your priorities and plant the right seeds, and it takes determination to carefully tend and nurture through the months and years, through the ups and the downs of life.
Sometimes, just like a garden, we may experience a harder season. Perhaps your home is suffering due to a loss or challenge. Do not give up hope. Just like with a garden, with proper care, we can get the heart of our homes back in order.
In Philippians 4:19-20, the apostle Paul concluded his letter with these words: “And my God will supply every need of yours according to his riches in glory in Christ Jesus. To our God and Father be glory forever and ever. Amen.”
May your heavenly home be filled with love, joy, peace, and laughter.