Making a Home Out of Your House - 15 Tips

A house is the physical structure you dwell in while a home is the internal environment in the building created by those who live in it. It is the nature of persons in a house that makes it a safe and desirable place to live in. H.L. Meckel described a home as "not being a mere transient shelter but its essence lies in the personalities of the people who live in it". Home is where your heart is; it is a cradle of comfort where you are accepted the way you are and not threatened. Many homes are theatres of conflict, violence and scheming because the occupants refuse to share love with each other or live in peace with one another. Every happy home is a composite of love, peace, validation of one another and protection of each member's interest.

Transforming a house in to a home demands the following:

1. Love which is measured by the goodwill of the family members towards one another. Love entails forgiving one another for wrongs committed, speaking the truth to each other, having empathy towards each other, being tolerant, using encouraging words while speaking and bearing each other's burden.

2. Respect for each other. There should be no name calling or pulling down of others in the family because it breeds violence. A home is where your self-esteem, self-worth and self-confidence are developed; biting criticism and derogatory remarks corrode the value a person puts on him/herself.

3. Words spoken in the home should be such that build or encourage one another. The atmosphere of homes where harsh words are always spoken are often charged with hostility and domestic violence is very common in such settings.

4. Limit the exposure of family members to violent movies or music that promote violence; this allows an atmosphere of peace to pervade the home.

5. Do not allow family members to watch sexually explicit films or engage in pornography. Such activities aside from being addictive debase the moral values of family members and open doors to every kind of filth to flood the home. They also increase the incidence of sexual experimentation and molestation in the home which could lead to incest and teenage pregnancy.

6. The family that prays together stays together. Family prayer releases power that makes family members stick to one another, love and care for each other.

7. A home where parents do not have favourites make the children feel loved equally and united. Joseph in the Book of Genesis was the subject of envy by his siblings because his father loved him specially and gave him a coat of many colours.

8. Share the word of God daily in the home. It brings the presence of God to the home and the joy that accompanies God's presence becomes the portion of every member of the family. The bible also provides moral instructions that keep the family on the path of righteousness.

9. Helping family members develop good interpersonal skills. This comes by talking respectfully to each other, being empathetic with each other and learning to see things from the other person's perspective. The family is where you learn to respect other people's views.

10. Spending good quality time together. This has a way of revealing the nature of each member of the family as they share on their likes and dislikes, their challenges and fears in life. It is also an important time for parents to teach valuable life lessons to their children telling them what values to imbibe if they are to succeed in life.

11. Safety. Children in the home must be protected from pedophiles that are always lurking in the background looking for who to prey upon.

12. Discipline must be part of life in the home. Where this is lacking, the home becomes ungovernable.

13. The home must be free from domestic violence of every sort. There should be no wife abuse, child abuse, verbal or emotional abuse in any home that aspires to be a cradle of comfort.

14. Efforts should be made to provide as much comfort as the family can afford for the children to love coming home. In this way, they would not be ashamed to invite their friends home.

15. The home is a good setting for children to discover their talents as well as learn skills such as playing the piano, cooking, drawing, and playing indoor games.

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