Mother Teresa said, “If you want to change the world, go home and love your family.”
The problem is that in our hurried, fast-paced culture the home often takes a back seat to work, sports, other activities and peer relationships that we become servants to the calendar leaving little thought as to who we are as a family and what it means to be together.
There is an alarming rise in mental illness among teenagers today- increased suicide rate, and increased depression as well as anxiety. With so much trouble, fear, uncertainty, hate and grief on the outside, where is that safe place for our families to land?
A lighthouse serves two purposes. One being that a lighthouse navigates ships to the shore and second a lighthouse warns of rough seas or dangerous weather. It both guides and warns, and some consider it “the traffic signal of the seas.” It’s light is necessary over dark waters.
“Lighthouses don’t fire cannons to call attention to their shining- they just shine.” D.L Moody
There is a lot of boasting, posting, instagramming, hashtagging, tweeting, etc. out there today bringing with it a lot of noise and distraction from the real work of cultivating life (because it takes work and intentionality to illuminate light in the darkness).
Jesus said, “Let your light shine before others, that they may see your good deeds and glorify your Father in heaven” (Matthew 5:16).
The home is a lighthouse, except we don’t steer ships, we steer souls.
If we pause, take notice of the souls within our homes, put down our phones and be intentional in building relationships instead of platforms, valuing truth, goodness, and beauty over lesser trivial and transient things- then our homes will be like lighthouses ready to shine.We simply need to turn the light ON!
L- Love We love because Christ first loved us- His love for us motivates and helps us to love others. Spell love T.I.M.E. What do you like to do together? Learn to enjoy being together- meals around the table talking with each other, family nights, date nights, community or sporting events, etc. When we go our separate ways in the day we know we are loved and accepted here when we return together in our safe harbor of home.
I- Influence Proverbs 24:3-4- “By wisdom a house is built and by knowledge its rooms are filled with beautiful treasures.” Much like building a physical house, we must build our homes with the right tools. We build our homes with truth and wisdom upon the foundation of God’s Word. We influence our homes by incorporating the 5 senses. Ask, what will my children remember of home when they grow up? What sights, smells, tastes, sounds and feelings will they recall? Read aloud together, go on walks or hike together, play worship music around the house, or light candles at dinner time. Make home a special place to be remembered.
F- Faith Ephesians 2:8 “For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith, and this is not your own doing it is the gift of God so that no one can boast.” The greatest gift we can give our families is the gift of knowing who Jesus is and the grace that he offers. The writer of Hebrews says that “Without faith it is impossible to please God because whoever would draw near to God must believe that he exists and that he rewards those who seek Him.” Join a local, gospel believing church and get your family involved. Make family prayer and Bible reading a priority.
E- Engagement A lighthouse does not shine for itself- it shines for others to see the light. We too, shine not to draw attention to ourselves, but to the light that shines within us, and that is the light of Christ. Seek to show hospitality. Invite others into your lighthouse so they can be encouraged by the light. Get involved in your community. Serve together as a family- go on mission together locally, and perhaps beyond that.
Jesus came to us so that we would have abundant life. The thief comes to steal, kill and destroy- the enemy, Satan, wants to steal, kill, and destroy the home by breaking down marriages, depressing our kids, drawing us away from one another into our devices. When we draw near to the Light of the World, then his light will shine through us and we will learn to cultivate life in our homes and out into the community in which we live.