Many ideas have been swirling around in my mind regarding potential blog posts. While I think there are many interesting and pertinent topics to discuss, I have felt led to begin here. You see, the atmosphere of the home is a foundation upon which the faithful family is built. A family will have difficulty surviving let alone thriving in faithfulness unless that foundation of atmosphere is appropriately laid.
A little reminder I will try to include in each post I share is that our family is a work in progress. We are on this journey. I am not saying we have in any way arrived. However, we are learning and growing and want to share with others who may be just starting down the path.
I am a big fan of the writings of a turn of the century lady who made a large impact on education in her time in England. Thankfully, her writings and philosophies of education are making a come back today. Her name was Charlotte Mason. She stated over and again that one third of education was atmosphere. I heartily agree. A book written by Karen Andreola entitled, A Charlotte Mason Companion, has done a wonderful job of taking Charlotte’s ideas from her original writings and sharing them afresh with it’s readers.
On page 49 of Ms. Andreola’s book she shares a quote by M.F. Jerrold from an article written in Parents’ Review. It says,” there are many important aspects of home-life from a child’s first training to his highest education, but there is nothing in the way of direct teaching that will ever have so wide and lasting effect as the atmosphere of home.” AMEN!
So many parents are trying so hard to provide the best of everything for their children- the best education, the best activities, the best toys, the best clothes, the best hobbies, the best church with the best youth group. And yet, they do not thrive as a family. Why? I believe it could have much to do with pursuing many things but forgetting the all important foundation of home atmosphere.
Another writer of earlier times of whom I am very fond is J.R. Miller. His book, Home-making, which has been republished under the title, Family, is a beautiful witness to the power each member has upon the outcome of the family. His chapter on the Home-Life has much to say about this topic of atmosphere.
Mr. Miller says,”There is nothing insignificant in the life that we live within our own doors. There is nothing that is without influence in the building up of character.” He goes on later in the chapter to state, “There is nothing in the daily routine of family life that is unimportant. Indeed, it is ofttimes the things we think of as without influence that will be found to have made the deepest impression on the tender lives of the household.”
A couple of upcoming posts will address areas that I see as those often unthought of things that make the “deepest impression on the tender lives of the household.” Discussion will include: the environment of the home from decor to order and management, and the attitude of the home – towards God, each other, learning, work and dying to self, and gratitude. In the meantime, think of the atmosphere of home in light of this scripture, Philippians 4:8, “Finally, brethren, whatsoever things are true, whatsoever things are honest, whatsoever things are just, whatsoever things are pure, whatsoever things are lovely, whatsoever things are of good report; if there be any virtue, and if there be any praise, think on these things.”