I think it goes without saying that every one of us, whether a wife, a mother, a sister, or a daughter, want to live in a happy home. We need a place where we feel secure, loved, and comfortable…a place that is full of sunshine!
Here are eight things that will bring S.U.N.S.H.I.N.E. into our homes:
If we want our homes to be happy we need to put our Savior first. Speak about Jesus in the home often. Talk about how He is working in your life. Talk openly about spiritual things. Make the Scriptures a part of everyday life. We’re familiar with the verses in Deuteronomy 11 where it says to lay up God's words in your heart and in your soul….to teach them to your children, speak of them when we sit in our house, and when thou walk by the way, when we lie down, and when we rise up…. even write them on the doors of our house. The Word of God must reign in our hearts and in our home. Our homes will be happy when we lift up Christ by talking constantly about Him and to Him. When we do this we then want to serve one another…which also brings sunshine. When everyone in the family puts the Savior first, the home will be a very happy, sunshiny place.
Proverbs 24:3 says, “Through wisdom is an house builded (we are all building our house right now, whether it is with wisdom or with foolishness); and by understanding it is established:” (That word established is referring to the attitudes and character traits that will carry through to the next generation – it’s your legacy.) Being understanding is giving one another the benefit of the doubt. As we seek to understand one another in the home, it will become a Christ-centered home. We all experience bad days from time to time…We all cope with stress, tiredness, and trials differently. It’s easy to make assumptions about our spouse, siblings or parents and this can cause tension in the home and it gives place to the devil to do his dirty work. We can bring rays of sunshine into our homes when we are kind, tenderhearted, forgiving, and understanding, instead of being judgmental, complacent, or complaining. In the tense moments, try to listen well and speak softly so that you can understand the other’s feelings.
Commitment is a great act of love. Constant, steady faithfulness is certainly lacking in our world today and is being replaced with selfishness. Relationships take work! You may have heard the saying, “We hurt those we love the most.” If we want sunshine in our homes it will mean covering a lot of things in love. Not to say that we hide sin in the home, but sometimes we must excuse little pet peeves or personality quirks and just learn to accept them and overlook them. We have no idea what storm clouds are in the future…sickness, financial issues, or loss. This is when your commitment is being tested. But when a family is committed to each other you face things together in the Lord’s strength. “Two are better than one.” Staying committed to your family through thick and thin will keep the sun shining in your home.
Smiles, Smooches, & Silliness
A wife really sets the tone of the home. “If mama ain’t happy ain’t nobody happy!” Our attitude can either discourage our family or it can make the home a place that each member would much rather be. Greet each other with a smile (despite how you feel), a loving touch, unlimited kisses…play with each other, do things together, even the mundane things like grocery shopping or cleaning.
The job of a homemaker is organizing the family, setting up the home, caring for each member, and a lot of planning. We can either do that with drudgery or with joy. I’m reminded of a verse in Proverbs 31 – “She looketh well to the ways of her household, and eateth not the bread of idleness.” Idleness is a misuse of our time and energy. It takes work and selflessness to set a happy tone in the home and to fill it with fun.
Honesty in the home is SO important and will promote happiness, even when the honesty is “the ugly truth.” Beware of hypocrisy! We can easily set up certain pretenses in the home to makes everyone feel like they can’t be honest or genuine. Honesty means when we fail at walking in the Spirit we repent and seek restoration with both God AND our family members. I’ve known so many homes that have fallen apart because the parents would much rather cover the sin and pretend everything is OK.
A real, genuine, transparent relationship with God is the foundation of a happy home. Talk openly with your husband about your personal struggles. Don’t be afraid to express how you feel, even when you know those feeling aren’t always right.
James 5:15 says, “Confess your faults one to another, and pray one for another, that ye may be healed…” and Proverbs 28:13 says, “He that covereth his sins shall not prosper: but whoso confesseth and forsaketh them shall have mercy.” Of course, humility always brings the favor of God.
Several years ago a newly engaged woman asked me if it was OK for her to tell her fiancée when something bothered her. She was afraid of being a burden to him. Wives should never fear being transparent or vulnerable around their husbands! Men sometimes need it spelled out and they will do anything to help solve our problems. Pretending things are perfect all the time really can destroy our homes, especially children. We really shouldn’t feel the need to impress the people in our home.
Say “I love you”
Not only should we say those words often but we must be looking for ways to communicate love in our homes. What are your family’s love-languages? Is it quality time, words of affirmation, physical touch, the giving of gifts, or acts of service? Find them out and prove your love to them based on their language. When love is dished out specifically, liberally and genuinely, our homes are going to be happy and pleasing to the Lord.
There’s a little saying, “The man is the head and the woman in the neck and the neck can turn the head any way she wants.” I think this may be really referring to manipulation…but that’s bad! Please do NOT manipulate your family members 🙂 However, this statement does have a positive point to it: wives (the neck) hold tremendous power in the lives of their husbands (the head)! We influence our husband by our words, spoken and unspoken alike. We can choose to manipulate our husband, or we can submit and strengthen him.
Without a neck the head would have a hard time staying upright or even turning. We’re familiar with the phrase “an help meet for him” as mentioned in the Book of Genesis. The word “help” in the Hebrew is “ezer” which means to rescue or save; to give strength. This is a picture of how the Lord is our strength (Ebenezer). He upholds us and encourages our spirit. Wives have that same capability. The word “meet” in the Hebrew is “kenegdo” which means fit for; exactly corresponding to, like when you look at yourself in a mirror.
We’ve got to be his biggest fan! This doesn’t mean we use flattery…that we just praise him all the time. In fact, we need to be careful NOT to inflate our husband’s pride! Men don’t need any more pride. Pride will actually destroy him. But rather we ought to use our words and actions to empower him to be a greater servant to the Lord and to his family.
We know that unrealistic and unspoken expectations ruin our relationships, so in order for us to experience a happy home, we should constantly be evaluating the expectations within our family. Especially in a marriage, we have to continue to discuss and reevaluate expectations. Even with children… we can make our kids angry simply because they don’t know our expectations of them.
It makes me think of the verse in Colossians 3 – “Husbands, love your wives, and be not bitter against them.” This bitterness can develop because as women we sometimes would rather not bring up our expectations, then when our expectations are not fulfilled we punish our husbands, thus making him bitter toward us! Don’t be afraid to lovingly spell it out to him – "would you please take out the trash, bathe the kids, put the dirty clothes IN the hamper" etc 🙂 Really they just want to make you happy and be your hero, so help them do that.
Don't forget to ask what he expects from YOU. For example, when he gets home from work... Some men like a tidy home, some like food ready to eat (really all men), and some may not like to come home to you in over-sized clothes and a messy bun…and, some don’t care! Talk about your expectations. There’s a sense of security when the doors of communication are open and everyone is working together inside the home.
You may look at your home and say, I wish it was happier. My own home has gone through times of unhappiness, usually because of stress, exhaustion, or due to the daily struggle of raising kids. Be encouraged! It’s NEVER too late to bring sunshine into a dark, dreary home. But a desire unfortunately is not enough…it takes work, commitment, and us daily yielding to the Lord and allowing Him to first change us.