Creating a haven can seem so difficult if you don’t know where to begin. There’s an incredibly important secret to creating a haven, though!
If you’re intent on creating a haven in your home, you may wonder what you should do first.
- Do you need to start decluttering?
- Create a killer cleaning schedule?
- Buy all new furniture so it can look like your home was featured in a magazine?
The answer to all of those ideas is a resounding NO. (Especially the last one. For the record, haven creation can never be bought.)
The incredibly important secret to creating a haven is both simple but difficult.
It all lies in relationships.
Cultivating healthy, loving relationships in your home is the incredibly important secret to creating a haven.
Without it, your home might look perfect – but if it’s filled with anger and arguments, complaints and conflict, it will be the furthest thing from a haven. You and everyone who lives in your home will seek a haven outside your home.
Building into relationships
Building into relationships seems like it should be easy enough, right? You live with the people in your home. Since you share a living space together, relationships are a given.
Yet building into relationships can be so difficult especially if you don’t see eye to eye with each other.
- Maybe your grouchy husband makes The Grinch seem like a saint.
- Maybe your teenage son has so much angst that he’s turned your entire household upside down.
- Maybe your daughter’s mood swings make you want to plead for mercy.
- Maybe your roommate is just there to help chip in on rent, but you can’t stand the sight of each other.
When your relationships are strained and creating a haven seems like an impossibility, the best thing to do is start praying. When you feel frustrated, pray. When you’re tempted to make a snarky remark, pray. When you have no idea how to keep living in this situation, pray.
While you’re praying, look for ways to bless those who live with you. Even when you’re wronged. Even when your feelings are hurt. Even when you feel so exasperated you’d rather give up.
As 1 Corinthians 16:14 says, “Let all that you do be done in love.” This doesn’t mean conditional love, but unconditional. Regardless of how you’re treated. Regardless of what you get in return.
And as Psalm 34:13-14 instructs, “Keep your tongue from evil and your lips from speaking deceit. Turn away from evil and do good; seek peace and pursue it.”
Paired with prayer, your daily pursuit of peace and love can melt the hardest heart.
Think about it – it’s easy to stay angry with someone who is willing to put up a fight and keep a bitter attitude. But when someone is loving, kind, and seeks to keep the peace no matter how they’re treated? It’s nearly impossible to not soften toward them.
This doesn’t mean being bullied or put in danger in your home – honest, just living is essential, too.
But it does mean you should attempt to keep a loving, peaceful composure when you’re dealing with strife. It means acting in love – even if and when it needs to look like tough love.
Spending time together
As you continue to pray and peacefully treat everyone who lives in your home with love, you can rest in the fact that you’re creating a haven at the most basic, essential level.
Once any difficult relationships start to mend, then spend time with each other:
- Enjoy mealtimes with each other.
- Talk to each other to find out what’s happening in life. (A simple “What happened in your day today?” can go far – especially when you sit down to actively listen.)
- Turn off your devices and actually pay attention to each other.
- Find something to do together – whether it’s cooking or playing games or entertaining company or serving others.
- And laugh together.
Once your relationships are thriving, then you can use more energy on helpful but non-essential parts of haven creation, like actually caring for your home.
Relationships always come first, though.
That alone is the incredibly important secret to creating a haven.
What is one of the best ways you build into relationships in your own home?
This post originally appeared on HilaryBernstein.com.
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