Last week, while sitting in front of the television, with my smart in hand, I looked around the living room. There was my son on his tablet, my daughter on her smart phone, and my wife with her smart phone, playing Trivia Crack...against me. Even though that was a bit unusual for us, I can't deny that at least for one night, we were a modern family.
Before cultural expectations, peer pressures, technology, and media complicated things, home life was much different. At times I believe all of our modern advancements have improved things..and at times I'm not so sure.
But trying to weigh pros and cons of the primitive home versus the modern home does not interest me.
What does interest me is ensuring that, although things have changed, my own home has some of the same core values that were a part of the primitive home.
After reading through Genesis 25 and 26, and considering the home life of Isaac and Rebekah, here is what I am learning:
Home is where we discover and learn how to use our gifts for the glory of God and the good of man.
Isaac's son Esau developed his gift as a hunter. I can't help but think he became skilled in this trade in part because his father valued it. What child won't scale mountains for the approval of his dad?
Home should be a place where we learn. Where we develop our gifts through trial and error. Where we are encouraged. Schools, camps, mentors, and tutors are great. But it is no match for the power of the home.
Home is where we feel safe enough to rest in who we are and where we’re going.
Later in the story, Isaac's family found a well that would be their family well. For them, the well signified permanence and security. The well allowed the family to rest.
As a man, I am acutely aware of the responsibility I have to provide physical safety for my family. But I often lose sight of the responsibility I have to provide emotional safety for them. So ask yourself...
What makes your spouse feel safe?
Daily learning how to let your spouse know that no one else is on your mind or in your heart is critical. Daily learning how to do the little things that give your spouse piece of mind is a true gift.
What makes each of your children feel safe?
No matter how many toys you buy your child, if your child fears that his parents may not stay together...there can be no feeling of safety. No matter how many times you tuck in your child, if your child fears he does not measure up to your expectations...there can be no feeling of safety.
Home is where God’s story forms the roots of our family tree.
Isaac's life was spent with the knowledge that he was a child of a promise. God had promised to make his father the father of a nation. Isaac was the fulfillment of that promise. Isaac was more than just a husband and father. His story was a part of God's much bigger story.
Early families lived together, worshiped together, and shared a story. No matter how large, complex, and dysfunctional your family tree becomes, work to help your children understand that your family story is connected to a much bigger story. It is that story that will make your family strong.