by Mrs. Sylvia Britton

Years ago when we first heard the calling of the Lord to homeschool, I looked around and realized that our home left much to be desired in the areas of being peaceful and comfortable.

We were comfortable in the sense that we had the blessings of raiment and food, and a warm house to live in. But the comfort of closeness and harmony was missing. Our boys bickered too much, and really despised to be near each other. My husband and I were not working together as a team to raise the children and we constantly came up against walls of disagreement in child raising techniques. We were Christians and we were active in church, but something was missing, something was eluding us.

So, I began to pray. My first inclination was to pray that the Lord would change my children into children who loved each other and change my husband into a “more godly” man who will listen to my way of doing things more readily. I also thought about praying for a bigger house since we were going to be homeschooling now and be at home all day……

{Since that time I have learned that God has supplied all my need according to His riches in glory by Christ Jesus. What I have is what I need at the time. (Phil. 4:19) It’s all in how you look at your “needs” and your “wants”.}

I was impressed to pray for God to change me. So I prayed that He would change me into the wife that my husband needed, that He would change me into the mother who could model good and kind behavior for her children and discipline them in love. I prayed most earnestly for a peaceful, holy, happy home. And something began to happen right away.

It’s not the peace of soul that I am speaking of here, but the peace of order, quiet, congeniality and kindness. These traits in the members of a family can encourage the peace of our souls which only Christ can bring.

As I prayed and read God’s Word I began to have a brighter outlook about what I did have instead of thinking about I didn’t have. I began to have a quiet time with the Lord. God impressed me to allow the children to see me praying and pointed out to them the answered prayer we received. The Lord encouraged me with His Word to enjoy my daily work and I made it a point to have the laundry done and a meal prepared for my husband who works so hard all day so that we can have what we need to live. There were days when this was just not possible due to unforseen problems, but it was my goal every day and I worked at it with all my heart and “as unto the Lord”.

Probably the most important thing that the Lord did for me was to convict me to stop trying to be Queen of the House and to request my husband’s help in raising the children. When he helped and made decisions, I did not rebel. If I had questions I asked them in love, if he would not change his mind I respected that and did not argue. If I thought he should change his mind I prayed about it instead of nagging. I wasn’t aware of how many subtle ways there are to nag until recently. A suggestion or a request is one thing, but a constant dripping is quite another.

Soon, I began to have the house cleaned and the school clutter picked up by 4 pm getting ready for my husband to get home. I greeted him with a smile and a hug every day. This called for organization and discipline, neither of which I had any real inkling of how to get, but I did have a great desire to learn and I had God on my side to help me. We started a habit of having a 20 minute clean-up at 4:30 p.m. each day. We worked fast and got alot of work done in that short amount of time. Each of us had a responsibility to pick up, put away, straighten and clean anything that was out of order because Daddy was coming home! We wanted the house to be clean and comfortable for him and for us so we could visit with him.

If you have several children then you know how important this can be in the afternoon when Daddy is home for dinner. Even if Daddy works at home, this is the time when he is “home” and available for their undivided attention. Each child meets him at the door and waits for his or her turn to speak with him and tell him of all the day’s events, all the little hurts and all the victories. What a picture this is! What a blessing to be able to watch as our children enjoy their Daddy, I don’t want to miss this because I am rushing around the house trying to get my act together!

As the days went on and I began to learn how to create an atmosphere of peace, I began playing praise music on the stereo while we worked at our chores. I did not permit rough play in the house, no screaming voices. Of course we got a bit loud when we played board games (GRIN) but generally speaking we remained quiet and calm througout the day.

Soon, I noticed that orderliness and cleanliness were the two big factors in having a peaceful home. There is no peace when a child cannot find his sneakers for the tenth time in one week. There can be no peace when there are mounds of stuff sitting around waiting for someone to put it away or dispose of it. So our peace had to be worked for by organizing our physical surroundings.

Very quietly, almost without notice, the Lord worked in my family and changed all of us. We established a family night where played games and studied God’s Word as a family. Chores were done at the proper time with a minimum of reminders. My husband became the godly leader of the home because God showed me that I had been trying to wrestle leadership away from him. I was involved in God’s work in the number one ministry priority of my life, that of my husband and my children and home. There was no time left nor desire left to be “The Queen”. We started to become exactly what I had prayed for…a peaceful, holy, happy home.

The qualities of peace and happiness can be built up to a certain extent by man. In the way we regard each other, and in the way we present ourselves to others. But only God can bring holiness to a home. Only His Holy Spirit can indwell His children and teach us how to honor Him in our homes. You start by reading His Word every day, repeating scripture about contentedness, peace, obedience and mercy. Pick out some memory verses for the children and for yourselves. Start the day, end the day and fill the day with conversations with the Lord always asking for Him to guide you in making your home one that would honor Him.

In answer to my prayers, our home did become a truly peaceful, warm and holy refuge from the world. I give the Lord all the glory and praise for accomplishing this.

© 1995-2008 Sylvia Britton

Sylvia Britton lives near Nashville, Tennessee with her husband Mark, 5 children and daughter in law. She co-leads the Titus 2 Ministry and is involved in mentoring, teaching and encouraging the women who visit the CHK website as well as those to whom she speaks in churches and women’s groups. Sylvia’s articles on marriage, parenting, Christian living, homemaking and old fashioned skills have been published in several books, magazines and cds. She, her husband and family are active in their local church and church ministries.