Your Presence Speaks Day 2: What Does Your Presence Say at Home?
Be imitators of me, as I am of Christ. Now I commend you because you remember me in everything and maintain the traditions even as I delivered them to you. (1 Corinthians 11:1-2, ESV)
Finally, brothers, whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is just, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is commendable, if there is any excellence, if there is anything worthy of praise, think about these things. (Philippians 4:8, ESV)
In my opinion, home is where you speak the loudest. For most people, home is your comfort zone. This statement does not reflect that of abusive households, so please keep that in mind, but for the most part it is true. In general, we are more likely to show our true colors and turn off some of our filters at home. Want to know the true character of someone? See how they interact with their family. You may be shocked at what you find. That being said, how do you interact with your family?
As a child we all play/played a role in our homes. As a middle child and an eldest daughter, I felt I played a much different role than that of my brothers or my younger sister. I was expected to do—even trusted to do—certain things that my brothers weren’t, and vice versa. Even more than that, we all had a specific presence. This was mostly due to our different personalities, but our environment played into it as well. I would typically try to be a helper to both my parents and sometimes my siblings, while one of my brothers would have been the one to keep everyone laughing. Neither of those positions is more important than the other, because we need both. Our presence in our homes as children should be to create balance and reflect who Christ calls us to be. We are expected to respect the authority of our parents, while bringing our own special talents to the table.
As leaders of our own families, we are called to a much greater role. While the role of a child to a parent is important, the role of a parent to a child is one of God’s greatest gifts and it is to be carried out with great care. As a parent, you are creating a space for your children to learn, grow, and feel safe. Your presence should be much like Christ’s in that it should bring your children peace and comfort because you have established a place of trust and love. Most importantly, your child should be able to understand the importance of God, the gospel, and having a personal relationship with Him just by observing your life. This is a great responsibility, to say the least. Now, just because you’ve tried your hardest to establish a healthy, God-centered environment doesn’t mean that your children won’t stray from Him. As individuals, they are responsible for their own decisions. You are simply giving them the toolbox they’ll need, but they have to choose to use it.
If you want to work on your presence, the home is where you should start. As I mentioned, the home is where we are typically most ourselves, whether it be good or bad. However, the home is also the place where we should reflect God the most. After all, when Christ referred to the people He was closest to, He called them brothers. Why is that? Because the bond of a family is the greatest bond there is, and when we neglect that bond, we do ourselves and our family a great disservice. Just as anywhere else, our presence in the home should point our family to Christ and lead them closer to Him. So be a light.
My challenge for you today is to reflect on your home life. Whether you’re still living with parents, newly married, or raising your own family, think about how you are reflecting—or not reflecting—God at home. If you’re feeling bold enough, ask your family members to describe how your presence makes them feel. Find your weaknesses and bring them before God. Ask Him to help you reflect more of Him at home so that you can be a safe space for your family.