As homemakers, we’re daily entrenched in a variety of tasks and responsibilities. From loving our husbands, to caring for children, possibly working outside the home, and keeping up with household chores, it’s easy to feel like a juggling circus clown attempting to keep all of our “balls” in the air. Some days our only moment of peace is when our exhausted head hits the pillow!
As Christians, we’re privileged to serve a God of peace and order. His ways are not our ways, but we can be certain that they are not chaotic or disordered. As we faithfully seek to care for our home, and the precious ones who reside in them, we ought to be cultivating an atmosphere of peace within our walls.
Writer, and pastor’s wife, Jani Ortlund says: ”I believe that a godly home is a foretaste of heaven. Our homes, imperfect as they are, must be a haven from the chaos outside. They should be a reflection of our eternal home, where troubled souls find peace, weary hearts find rest, hungry bodies find refreshment, lonely pilgrims find communion, and wounded spirits find compassion.”
Isn’t that a beautiful picture of what we ought to strive for in our homes? The calling of ‘homemaker’ is a gloriously high one. It’s challenging, exhausting, counter-cultural, and full of much joy. By God’s grace, He will enable us to cultivate an atmosphere of peace, and order, in our homes.
Here are some ways that I attempt to do so.
Cultivating Peace in Your Home:
1) Time in the Word, and prayer, comes first
If my soul isn’t right with God, and I don’t spend time seeking Him, my whole day can quickly spiral downhill. Neglecting time in the Word, and prayer, is going to breed chaos and disorder in my heart. If my heart isn’t at peace, and filled with truth from the ultimate Peace Giver, there’s not much hope for my day.
This is a discipline, and it’s not one that often comes easily for me. When I rise in the morning, I’m tempted to open up my laptop and start reading the latest news, scrolling through Facebook, or mindlessly check my favorite blogs for new posts. Out of necessity, I’ve made a habit of not touching my laptop until after I’ve opened my Bible.
I recognize that being in a pre-child season, this discipline may come easier to me than the busy mom of little ones. Just this morning I saw an excellent article titled Seven Ways for Busy Moms to Get in the Word. I would also add one more to the list that I read somewhere (I can’t remember where) – keeping a Bible in every room, opened to a different page, may encourage you to stop for a brief moment and read a passage while chasing your toddler, or cleaning your toilet.
Even if your time in the Word is brief, it’s necessary to cultivate peace in your own heart, which in turn will bring peace to your home.
2) Keep your marriage a priority
After your relationship with God, your marriage must come first. Your husband ought to be your best friend, and that means the relationship is going to take work! Just as we turn to God’s Word every day, and build our relationship with Him, we must also be intentional about strengthening our relationship with the gift God has given us in our husband.
Do you know what causes fights and quarrels? It’s a pretty simple reason, actually, and I’m willing to bet that every relational conflict can be traced back to this motive.
When circumstances don’t go the way we want, and our self-centered desires are stronger than creating unity and peace, we fight. We desire something, and when we don’t get it, conflict arises (James 4:1-2). I am so guilty of this, and many an argument has been started in our home because I wasn’t getting my way.
Instead, let’s attempt to bring peace to our marriages, not strife, by considering our husbands needs above our own. The Bible tells us that this will bear much fruit, and we will receive blessing! “And a harvest of righteousness is sown in peace by those who make peace” (James 3:18).
I truly believe that one of the greatest gifts we can give to our children is modeling a strong, godly, peace-filled marriage. Cultivating this in our homes, and creating a safe haven for our marriage to grow in, will bring blessing.
3) Simple décor and regularly de-clutter
I have found that pursuing a life of simplicity, and ridding myself of unnecessary “stuff” has provided a peaceful atmosphere in our home. When our closets are packed to the brim with boxes of just-in-case items, my heart feels overwhelmed and anxious.
Adam and I have always lived in a relatively small home, and have found great blessing in that! As a result, we’ve made a habit of regularly de-cluttering, and taking trips to drop off items at Goodwill. I also love keeping our décor simple and pleasing to the eye. I believe the tangible environment you live in will directly influence the level of peace you experience in your home. When our home is clean, and warmly decorated, it provides a peaceful haven for us.
My hope is to create “…an atmosphere in which it was impossible to keep from thinking of God” (Peter Marshall, former chaplain of the Senate).
4) Get on a regular cleaning schedule
I love the feeling of a clean home. It’s one of my least favorite things to do, but when it’s done, I can fully relax. Typically I will spend a couple hours, every other week, and clean our home from top to bottom. Cultivating this habit has been very beneficial. When it’s planned (I clean every other Friday), I get it done, and stress is minimized.
I know that if we are blessed with children, this may become more difficult to do. I’m hoping to move to a daily cleaning routine when we move into our new house next month. By spending 20-30 minutes each day, or even three times a week, I believe I will be able to maintain a clean home (which will directly influence the level of peace we experience).
5) Plan simple meals and prep beforehand
Similar to keeping a regular cleaning schedule, I have found that planning simple meals each week, and prepping the ingredients beforehand, has helped cultivate peace in our home. Every Tuesday I sit down for about an hour, meal planning apps opened in my iPhone, cookbooks sprawled across the counter, and Pinterest opened in my browser to search for new recipes. I plan every meal for us, and do so strategically to make the most of our real food grocery budget.
A recent endeavor of mine has been prepping ingredients for our weekly meals, on the day I buy groceries. I did this last week and I was amazed at how much time it saved! I spent an additional hour or so in the kitchen, after buying groceries, and cleaned and chopped vegetables for our meals. I also planned out Adam’s lunches, and prepared a number of them for the week in travel containers. When dinnertime comes, and Adam is on his way home from work, it was a breeze to cook our meal. This brought more peace to our home than I thought it would!
6) Extend hospitality
Everything we own is the Lord’s (Psalm 24:1-2), and we are called to be good stewards of the resources He has given us. It’s difficult, but I find that when I keep an open hand with my time, energy, resources, and home, I experience peace knowing that God is sovereign over it all. It’s all His anyway!
When we welcome neighbors, strangers, and foreigners into our home, or spend time with the “lonely pilgrim,” we are emulating the heart of God. Let us not forget that before we knew Jesus, we were also foreigners who, by the blood of Christ, were adopted into the family of God. Extending hospitality to those around us, especially those who would be considered “the least of these,” is a way we can share the gospel of peace to a world that desperately needs it.
How about you? What are some ways you cultivate peace in your home? I would love to hear your ideas!