Suppose that you’re seven years old. You arrive home from school, and your mother welcomes you with a smile and a snack. Later your father comes home. Mom and Dad greet each other with a kiss and loving words. Dad gives you a warm hug. That night, after you finish your homework, the three of you enjoy a family game. Finally, you say your prayers and fall asleep.
Now put yourself in another seven‐year‐old’s place. You come home from school to a mother who, when she’s home at all, is on the phone or watching television. You eat a bag of candy by yourself. Later your father returns. Mom complains about the unfinished garage project. Dad replies angrily and walks past you to the kitchen. You watch television all evening, then crawl into bed and fall asleep listening to your parents argue.
One home is safe and nurturing; the other lonely and contentious. Too often, children grow up in homes like the latter—or worse. So ask yourself: Which scenario best describes your family? Further, how would you describe the mood of your household? Divided or united? Amiable or argumentative? Supportive or sarcastic? Every day, the story of your home is etching itself into the spirit and memory of your children.
Just between us…
- How does the way we were brought up affect the mood in our household today?
- How do you think our children would describe our home?
- How can we make sure our home is a positive environment?
From Night Light For Couples, by Dr. James & Shirley Dobson
Copyright © 2000 by James Dobson, Inc. All rights reserved.