"Reverence for God gives a man deep strength; his children have a place of refuge and security." (Proverbs 14:26 TLB)
Life is full of storms that batter us, bruise us, and beat us up. Life is very tough, and we all need a place of safety, security, peace, and protection. God has planned that our homes be that place.
There are all kinds of storms that come into our lives, but here are three every one of us will experience:
- Change. From day to day, relationships change, jobs change, our health changes, where we live changes. Studies tell us that too much of any change — positive or negative — is stressful. So we need a place of security and support, where we know everything is going to be the same.
- Failure. Nobody wins all the time. Sometimes you get passed by for the promotion, you don't make the team, or you fail the test. And it hurts. But failure is more bearable if you're coming home to hugs, if you know that when you get home, you're going to be encouraged.
- Rejection. Everyone knows what it's like to feel criticized, pushed away, or not allowed to be part of the "in" crowd. A lot of that starts on the playground, where kids can be mean, laughing at the flaws of others and making fun of those who seem different. Coming home to acceptance and love helps children through the storms.
How do you build a home that can be a shelter in a storm?
Hear. Listen to the people in your family. Don't be too quick to come up with a solution before they even get the words out of their mouths. Sometimes they just need to vent or tell you how they feel.
Hug. Express affection. Do the things that say "I love you."
Hope. Build up the people in your family with affirmation. Make sure you're giving good input to balance all the negative they hear outside your home.
Help. Make sure that you do whatever it takes to get help when your family is going through a tough time. Unhealthy families ignore their problems or they say, "We can make it without help. We don't need anyone else's input. We're not talking to anybody about this. We can handle it" — or worse, they say, "What problem?" Healthy families are willing to look at themselves realistically and say, "We're having a tough time right now, and we need some help."
You may not be able to protect your children from the storms of life, but you can help protect them in the storms of life by making your home a place of security and support.
Talk About It
- What things can you do to make your home a shelter?
- How would you rate yourself on being affirming and supportive?
Rick Warren is the founding pastor of Saddleback Church in Lake Forest, Calif., one of America's largest and most influential churches. Rick is author of the New York Times bestseller "The Purpose Driven Life." His book, "The Purpose Driven Church," was named one of the 100 Christian books that changed the 20th century. He is also the founder of Pastors.com, a global Internet community for pastors.
This devotional © 2012 by Rick Warren. All rights reserved. Used by permission.