Fear and Atmosphere!

“Peace and war begin at home. If we truly want peace in the world, let us begin by loving one another in our own families” – Mother Theresa

Isaiah 26:3 says: “You will keep him in perfect peace, whose mind is stayed on You, because he trusts in You.” As the leaders of our homes, we have an opportunity to influence the lives of our families by determining the type of atmosphere we maintain. Let it not come as a surprise that the atmosphere in our homes has a considerable impact on our marriages and in the lives of our children. It is important that whatever the situation is, that our mind is stayed on God and our trust is in Him.

I grew up in an atmosphere that was fear driven, a bit tense and unpredictable. Everybody responded based on how Dad was when he walked in the door. If it was a bad day, we all just went along doing our own thing afraid to upset the proverbial applecart. If it was a good day, we may have dinner together and talk a bit. I did not grow up in a Christian home for the most part. When I hit my teen years things changed in that respect, but I always felt as though I was on egg shells at home. It was an atmosphere that was built on fear and intimidation. I decided early on that I would not make my children grow up the same way.

I want to get extremely honest with you right now. Domestic abuse is far more than putting your hands on someone in anger. It is verbal abuse, emotional abuse, performance base love and acceptance, and the list goes on.. When we do these things, we are setting our kids up for failure in their lives. Dads and husbands, you are to be Christ to your family! Jesus fed people, loved and cherished them. He wanted the little children to come to him. He continually encouraged, taught and spoke the life-giving Word of God to and over the people around him. Are we doing the same for our families? If not, there is not time better then now to start. Don’t be afraid to fail, just commit to the process!

How do we maintain this positive loving atmosphere? That is everyone’s responsibility, but primarily my responsibility as the husband and father in my home. I should be the one to Set the Tone, Maintain It and Be Responsible for it every day.

Set the tone by: Be mindful of the words you use with your family. Your words can build up or destroy those around you. Positive and negative words take root the same way in the human mind. Pray with your family, read the Bible with then and talk about it. When encountering challenging situations, address everything with loving intentions at all times.

Maintain it: Speak God’s word over your family daily. Eliminate words and phrases that devalue people and put them down. Pray for and with them. If this is something new, there are resources: “Prayers That Avail Much,” “God’s Promises for Your Every Need” or www.prayers.org.

Be Responsible for it: Be aware of the challenges in your home. Sometimes we would rather stick our head in the sand and let our spouse deal with it. That is not ok. Be present and available! Realize how important your role is to the family as a servant leader.

I challenge to take two weeks and when you wake up in the morning, ask yourself “What can I do today to help my family? What can I do to make their lives better?” Then act on it! Watch and see the results!

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