Creating a Peaceful Home

Have you ever gone into someone’s home and felt a sweet peace and calm come over you that was infectious in a positive way? Conversely, have you ever gone into a home and felt the opposite, a lack of peace in the atmosphere—maybe the home even looked clean, but it just didn’t feel right?

 

The atmosphere you create in your home is powerful and affects how everyone in the home feels and interacts. How are atmospheres created? Think about that for a minute. What types of atmospheres do most people enjoy, and most importantly, in which types do most people respond well to one another? Consider being outside in nature, or at a ballgame where your team is winning or attending a wedding where everyone is excited for the couple getting married. There may be other experiences you would add to this list of atmospheres that have a positive affect for you, but in these examples, what makes them feel peaceful?

 

In nature there are lively colors such as pretty greens, calming blues, earthy wood tones or maybe bright flowers. Depending upon the season, you may see beautiful fall colors or glistening white. Sounds in nature can also impact our sense of wellbeing. Consider a bird’s joyful song, the wind blowing with it’s melody with the rhythmic sound of water flowing in the background. There may be sunny skies or fluffy white clouds floating by. These are all things in nature we consider to be peaceful.

 

What about a ballgame? Again, there may be the peace inducing aspects of nature if it’s an outdoor game. Also, the comradery of cheering for your team together can add to a feeling of peacefulness. The act of wearing the same colors and uniform helps create a sense of unity.

 

In the example of attending a wedding, notice everyone is happy about the couple getting married. Again, there is a sense of unity with others for the couple getting married conveyed through complimentary words being spoken. There may be flowers, candles and relaxing or fun music. The order and organization of the event and knowing everyone is there for a common goal of celebrating the joy of this union with the couple getting married— all these add to a feeling of peacefulness.

 

So let me ask you, if you could take some of these elements from the three places that I mentioned and consciously apply them to your home life, do you think it would improve the joy and peace in your home? I remember going to Shaun’s parent’s home for the first time: It was very peaceful. There was soft instrumental music playing that had running water and birds in the background. There were several plants in their home, they had beautiful flowers on the outside and their house was painted in cheerful light tones. I remember they had wind chimes outside that were very light and beautiful. Just the music and the plants made me feel very welcome and at home immediately. Whether it’s music or creating the feeling of nature inside the home, music is a great way to bring peace into your home.

 

Thinking about music and birds in the air makes me think of specific music. I remember a time after speaking in church that I was talking briefly about music and how it affects how we feel. A man came up to me and said, “You know that’s right about music.” He continued to tell me how he used to be angry and upset every day when he got home from work. One day his wife said to him, “What do you listen to during your drive time”? He responded that he listened to hard rock and metal music. So she suggested that he start listening to peaceful instrumental or worship music on the way home to see if it helped his mood. He did that for a couple of weeks and everything changed. Things that used to bother him quit having an effect on his emotions. He said they just didn’t get him upset or worked up anymore. The words in music do have an effect on us. In fact Mark 4:24 tells us to “Take heed to what we hear …” In other words, if we’re supposed to be listening well to what we hear, we certainly don’t want to be putting junk in our ears. What you and your kids hear and see will eventually get in your heart.

 

Let’s think about the words spoken in your home. Do you and your family make a habit of edifying and encouraging each other? This can make or break the peace in a home. Practice speaking highly towards your family and your friends instead of saying things that criticize. Look intentionally every day for things that you can say to edify your kids, your spouse, your friends and those around you because what you continually say will eventually get in your heart. Proverbs 4:23 says, “Guard your heart above all else, for it determines the course of your life.” The words you speak over your kids will help direct their future and determine the course of their life for good.

 

What else can you do to make your home peaceful? Take a look and evaluate the colors used in your home. Do they invoke feelings of peace, comfort and joy, or do they bring about feelings of darkness or heaviness? Or are they just plain boring? Evaluate your home and think about how you can do to cheer it up. It doesn’t have to be expensive. Often a few small changes or rearrangements can make a space feel more peaceful. Simple changes such as adding fun scented candles, changing paint or curtains are some of the best ways to change the atmosphere. Decluttering a space can make a big difference, too and this doesn’t cost any money at all! Studies have shown that our brains go into overload if we have too many things to look at or too many things to choose from. For this reason, clutter can cause definite problems in our home and take away the feeling of peace.

 

I once read a study about a grocery store that did research on this. They had people at tables for customers to sample different jellies sold in the store. At first they put out 20 jellies for people to sample. Interestingly, after trying a bunch of samples, most of the people didn’t buy any of the jellies. The next day they put out only 4 samples all day. They discovered doing this back and forth with 20 samples one day, 4 samples the next – back and forth over a period of time – that people were over 50 percent more likely to purchase one of the jellies when they had fewer choices. Why? Their brains weren’t overloaded with too many choices. Think about this in your home. Is there loud music or video games going all the time, clutter in your key spaces such as the kitchen or bedroom, boring or depressing colors or maybe even bad odors in the home? If so, this doesn’t feel peaceful, does it?

 

I want to encourage you this week to take a little inventory and decide three small things you could do to add peace to your home. Don’t write down a bunch of things that will take you a long time to do, just make three baby steps toward peace and then it will be easier. Each month add a few more small changes. Maybe it’s to practice encouraging the others in your home with two or three positive comments or appreciation daily. Maybe it’s to have some peaceful nature music playing in the background each day when you get home from work or school. Or maybe it’s to clean your kitchen counter off and keep it clutter free. Maybe it’s to paint your bedroom a cheerful color and keep your window shades open more often. Whatever it is, pick three things and make those changes in the next week. Soon, you’ll begin to see peace improving in your home. Make little changes in your environment, and it will add up to a more peaceful atmosphere for you and your family. As UCLA coach John Wooden used to say, “It’s the little details that are vital.” Little things make big things happen! 

 

With love, 
Pastors Shaun & Amy