By Randy Lawrence
It was not your typical Saturday morning around the Lawrence household. While entrenched in some video projects, our videographer Ryan had asked if I knew of any families with young children that he could come get some footage of. Busted! Having four children all under the age of 6, the lot fell upon our home. So by 8 am our house was transformed into a mini studio—lights, camera, action! After the shoot, I was helping Ryan out to the car with his gear when we heard the pitter-patter of small steps behind us. We both turned to find my 2-year-old daughter, Cali, running after us. Stopping at the end of the walkway, she yelled at the top of her lungs, “Romans 10:17 says, ‘Faith comes by hearing and hearing by the word of God!’ “ She grinned from ear to ear, laughed, and then turned abruptly, and ran back inside! We both looked at each other and laughed hysterically!
As I said goodbye to Ryan and walked back inside the house that day, my heart was absolutely racing. Why? Not from the walk back to the house (I’m not that out of shape), but from the joy of knowing that the culture that my wife and I had been working to establish in our home was working! That’s right; I said the “culture” of our home. Dr. Samuel Chand says, “Culture, not vision or strategy is the most powerful factor in any organization.” I would suggest that you could replace the word “organization” with “home” and the sentence would still ring just as true. Let me ask you a simple question. What is the culture of your home? I love the Message translation of a popular verse, Romans 12:2, "Don't become so well-adjusted to your culture that you fit into it without even thinking." How easy it is today for secular culture to invade and dictate the culture of our own homes!
How can we create a healthy culture in our homes?
1. We must be intentional.
The word “intentional” means, “done on purpose; deliberate.” A healthy culture in your home will NOT happen by accident. You must intentionally create the culture that you desire in your home. As parents (especially husbands) you must commit not to be the cultural thermometer of your home, but to be the thermostat! Too often we simply go with the phrase, “Know what is going on in your home and with your kids.” However, I’m afraid we’re selling ourselves short. Don’t just know the climate; set the climate.
In the chaos of our family dinners (remember, four kids under the age of 6) two things are guaranteed to happen. First, we will hear from everyone on their “highs” and “lows” from the day, and secondly, we will work on our memory verses (henceforth, the dramatic presentation from Cali of Romans 10:17). This is one simple but yet intentional way we work on setting the atmosphere that we want in our home.
2. It is better caught than taught.
The best way to teach the desired culture of your home is simply to live it. Some of my favorite memories of childhood are walking into the living room to find my mother reading her Bible. I’ll never forget opening my father’s door on many occasions to inquire of why he was crying, to find him on his knees in prayer. If we want a healthy culture in our home, don’t just teach and talk— reach and walk! Live it out!
3. It will not be easy.
While speaking to thousands of young leaders, noted author and minister Chuck Swindoll said this simple yet powerful statement: “It’s always hardest at home.” There are no shortcuts in creating a healthy culture for our homes. It is hard work, but it must become our priority.
Jeanne Mayo said, “It is precisely the people and the values that are the most precious in your life that the enemy will try to make the most common.” As this year comes to a close, may we commit to evaluate the priority and culture of our home. To me, that is relevant.