Take These Steps to Create a Safe House

My wife and I have four children and the youngest is leaving home to go away to college this year. Flowing from my lips as I sat in the once bustling living room the other day came this phrase: “This is a SAFE house.”

We have always tried to make our home a SAFE place for our children, friends and family. The word SAFE has strong significance for us. The world around us is NOT always safe for our children. Everywhere our children go there are those who would want to confuse them, harm them, control them or use them. Everywhere our children turn there are unhealthy attitudes, harming addictions and destructive videos.

The word SAFE has strong significance for us. The world around us is NOT always safe for our children.

We have wanted our home to be a refuge; a place of love and warmth; a place of truth and freedom; a place of acceptance and value. Perhaps you do too! Here is a tool using the word SAFE that may help:

S: Self-Denial

The world around us tells us to elevate the self – to think of the self first and to get the most for the self as possible. The world tells our children that there are no barriers to right or wrong; whatever the self wants is right.

In our home, we certainly want to value the self and pour out love on the self, but to elevate God first, and the family and self second. When we elevate God first, we are putting his values first, his desires first, his will first, his love first, his joy first, his freedom first, his power first and his glory first.

If our children don’t learn self-denial, they will constantly be at war with the world around them for self-satiation. But, when God is first, the self becomes filled with God’s fullness, and the self becomes thoroughly content.

A: Aware of Christ’s Presence

The Bible makes it clear that believers in Jesus are “temples of the Holy Spirit” [1 Corinthians 3, 6]. What happens to a home that becomes aware of the constant presence of Jesus Christ? Things change… Arguments become opportunities for unity; pain and suffering become avenues for healing and prayer; relational eruptions have a barrier to the damage they can cause, because the presence of Christ always brings resolve and hope.

Some of the most difficult times to pray are times in the middle of disagreement or argument, but in the presence of Christ, even this is possible.

F: Freedom from Clutter

Have you ever tried to play with the kids in the middle of the living room when the room is full of clutter? It can be dangerous! Last year’s ice skates, last week’s pizza boxes and yesterday’s dishes get in the way of today’s enjoyment.

Freedom from clutter is more than just cleaning up the physical stuff, however. Clutter also comes in the form of unforgiveness, grudges, regret, guilt, self-hatred, etc. All of this clutter makes the home unsafe. The only way to clean up this kind of clutter is through the saving power of Jesus Christ; his work on the cross washes a household clean. He gives the power to forgive and release others. He heals regret. He washes away guilt. He anoints the self with love and takes away the hatred.

E: Earnest in Love

It is true, children can do aggravating things, and spouses can be harsh on each other. But, a home that is earnest in love always has a phrase that trumps any discomfort: “I love you more.”

When a child acts in a way that is disconcerting, this phrase enables a parent to discipline in healthy, encouraging ways. When an obvious wrong takes place, the family with that is earnest in love can overcome by saying, “we love you more.” Nothing can take away a love that comes from Jesus: Nothing can trump it, nothing can steal it, and nothing can destroy it. The love of Christ always wins, always heals, always triumphs, always rebuilds.

Is this helpful? I pray that your home becomes a SAFE home, filled with the presence, love and grace of Jesus Christ. There is nothing better.

– Dave Huizenga