Monday, March 12, 2012

How to Create a Peaceful Home

It's a place he enters into that is another source of stress, he tells me as we're washing up getting ready for bed. The place that is supposed to be restful and peaceful at the end of a day and it's eye-opening, this reality that makes me gulp in hearing. But I have to hear it to understand why. Why of all places is our home a source of stress to him?

I had never asked. And he has always appreciated everything I juggle. And he's not complaining. It was just a topic that had come up in our couples study earlier, which we were now discussing and he's sharing honestly, and I didn't realize.

I didn't realize he experienced peace differently than how I viewed it: by how messy or clean the house was, how loud or quiet the children were, how much arguing or correcting was occurring and I thought we were doing pretty good under the circumstances.

But it's the little things, he tells me. It's the tasks left undone for days or weeks. It's having a space that is his, that is always touched by little hands or with my piles, and it's not just me. It's the never-ending household projects he has yet to cross off of  his list.

The water trickles as he brushes his teeth and I stand stunned as I think about how I am failing because what good is all of my efforts in creating a peaceful and orderly home if he doesn't feel it?

And I know that I should consider him first. I know that if I uphold him and he upholds me, together we uphold our family and there is cohesiveness. And I know that it is all too easy to fall into the trap of expending all of my energy on the children.

Yet, if I am expending all of  my energy with my priorities out of order, how much of my energy am I expending in vain?

We draw back the covers and crawl into bed and our conversation has ended, but I'm still thinking that maybe it's not about having a perfectly clean or a reasonably quiet space. Maybe a peaceful home is simply the space where love and respect abide; a safe place where needs are met and pressures lessened. One upholding the other so that the cares of the world seem small. Peace in the midst of life happening; a place where we create order best when we have ordered our priorities.

Do you consider your home a peaceful place?

Helpful questions you may consider asking your husband:

Is this a peaceful place to come home to or a stressful place?

What are the sources of stress in your life right now?

How can I help in alleviating that stress?

What is one thing I can do today that will bless you?
I'm focusing on intentional living over the next weeks. I hope you'll join the conversation so that, together, we can persevere in our challenges and encourage one another!


  1. oh, this is something that does NOT come naturally to me, and I'm really, really trying. I'll admit, I get discouraged easily when he doesn't "see" the effort. Thanks for this today!

  2. Oh..great conversation...learning each others love style...we helped a young couple...she wanted the beautiful meals...with lots of love and preparation...He did not care if it was chicken nuggets and mac and cheese...they we totally missing each other...he did not thank her like she thought he should...and he just wanted her to come sit on the couch...maybe talk...maybe just watch a little something together...learning to serve our spouse through their eyes...not what please ours....
    great questions...good no matter how long we have been married....blessings as you continue to create this wonderful place called home...

  3. "...Maybe a peaceful home is simply the space where love and respect abide; a safe place where needs are met and pressures lessened. One upholding the other so that the cares of the world seem small. Peace in the midst of life happening; a place where we create order best when we have ordered our priorities."

    Yes. This makes so much of a difference. Lovely thoughts. Challenging me today too :).

  4. Sounds like a great conversation.


  5. This type of discussion with my husband actually led me to change some major things in our lives. A peaceful home is crucial but can't be created without intention and commitment on our part...thank you for confirming I made the right choice.

  6. Great post and certainly something to ponder.


  7. Hmmm, I wonder where my husband finds peace in our home. Good question.

  8. Thanks for sharing, be blessed.

  9. Enjoyed this reminder that our homes are to be homes of peace.

  10. Good food for thought Theresa.I do know what brings my husband peace and thankfully we are similar in this area. But 22 years helps with knowing this. But I love your questions and the one, what would bless you today, that is a good one. Thanks for the encouragement. This is a great post.

  11. It's funny because I would consider our home very peaceful, yet I think my husband would agree that it's the little things would tend to make it not quite as much so. The laundry basket of clothes in the corner that have been waiting to be folded for days, the dishes on the counter needing to be put away, etc. These are distractions to him...things that for whatever reason overload his brain when he walks in the door. He might be stressed by things at home differently than I am, but I try to meet him where he's at, and do whatever I need to in order to make things more peaceful for him.

    It's great you two are communicating about it....even when it can be a blow to the pride & ego...

    God bless!

  12. I struggle with this so much. My husband and I have different ideas of what constitutes peace, so it's often a struggle for me to provide what he needs. Thanks for reminding me that it's important and that peace comes from knowing home is a place you can be respected and loved no matter what.

  13. Theresa, so convicting. I'm a relatively new wife (just over a year) and we have no kiddos. But all too often, our house tumbles into disorganization and mess. And it's not a peaceful place -- for myself or for my husband. Great ideas of questions to ask as well. Appreciate this so, so much!

  14. I've struggled so many times with this -- even though my husband hasn't said the words. One thing I've begun doing is making sure my husbands desk is cleaned off when he walks through the door (he teaches online), a candle lit on it, flowers in the summer, a special snacky treat like his favorite cashews or a bowl of ranch oyster crackers. It's the first thing he sees when he walks through the door and I can see on his face and the words he speaks how much it means. So even if there are dishes in the sink from preparing our dinner, a load of laundry half folded in his bathroom, his "spot" has love and peace speaking together.

  15. These are great questions. My husband and I think of our home as a sanctuary from the rest of the world. But you are so right here. Sometimes what is peaceful to me might not be peaceful to him.

    It's so important to have these kinds of conversations, open to what the other is really saying. Beautiful post.

  16. Anne, yes, I think it's overload...well said!

    Pamela, I think you nailed it! Thank you.

    All of your comments, my friends, are deeply encouraging to me. Thank you for understanding through your own lens.

  17. Great perspective. Sometimes I forget that what is peaceful for me might not be what my husband needs. He's very patient, but working out what each of us needs home to be is definitely an ever-evolving process. Thanks for the reminder!


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