"H.O.M.E." 2013/01/04 - KL pending I shared this acronym on my radio show, and people gave great feedback on how helpful it was. So, I'm sharing it here as well.

My wife and I were on a road trip this summer discussing ways to improve things in our family. (I have a bad habit of turning vacation time into goal setting time.) This discussion surfaced a number of sources of stress and disarray in our lives. As a result, we came up with this simple acronym to frame the four key growth areas of our family. It's called H.O.M.E. 

H - The "H" stands for Honor. If you ever hear me talk about relationships, especially marriage, you will hear me bring up the often overlooked element of honor. Honor is the true indicator of relational health. In fact, you can do lots of things "right" and see little results because you simply lack honor. Honor is not just what we say but how we say it. It's not just what we do but the attitude we take in the doing. Imagine if the President of the United States walked in right now; I don't care if you voted for him or not, your would hop to your feet and treat him with honor. Imagine if you began to treat your spouse that way. Instead of "forgetting to call" when you are running late, you would be sure to call. Instead of always looking for ways to get your way, you would begin to bless your spouse with what you know they appreciate. Honor says, "I will prefer you over me." I urge you to evaluate the honor in your home. How do you speak and treat your spouse and kids? Resolve NOW to bring the honor back in your home.

O - The "O" stands for Organization. If you have a kid or two, it doesn't take long to discover that the work is never ending. You have probably felt overwhelmed by the tasks, chores, "honey-dos" and expectations that only seem to grow. I believe most of the stress in families today comes from very manageable things becoming unmanageable. For instance, doing a load of laundry isn't hard for anyone (ok, maybe for single guys). But the problem is not one load of laundry, it's the week or weeks of laundry that had piled up and is now unmanageable. This happens all throughout our homes. Everything from basic chores to managing the finances to helping your kids with homework.  It is vital that today's families, especially the husbands and wives, moms and dads, to address the organizational concerns of the home. I strongly advise having an organizational meeting to discuss how your life is working, not working and what to do next. Change will not come without a meeting. This is where you make assignments, create deadlines, talk about schedules and finances. When you address these things, you usher peace back into your family.

M- The "M" stands for Mission. Most families forget that we all benefit when we give our lives away. Investing and serving others is vital to our well being. My wife and I are constantly talking about ways we can expose our children to opportunities to serve. Through mission, we teach our kids one of life's most important lessons - you are not the center of the universe. For instance, this last Christmas our family adopted a single parent family to buy gifts for, which we do every year. This year we added a new tradition of serving the homeless at the Memphis Union Mission. Through these opportunities we help our kids see that our faith in God is not passive; we get involved.  If you have teenagers, this is critical. Teenagers are looking for ways to matter, to make their lives count! Take the time and invest the money if necessary to expose your teenager to mission opportunities either locally or around the world. They will likely walk away feeling like their life does matter and confident that God does have a plan for their lives.

E - The "E" stands for Enjoyment. Every family needs to have fun. In fact, I know too many "Christian families" that work very hard to make sure their kids get religion but fail to work hard at having fun. The result is kids who don't like being at home! God invented laughter, smiles and adrenaline - God invented fun! Have lots of fun with your family. This does not have to cost money. If you are a father to kids under 12 just get in the floor and wrestle. Take your kids on dates. Play board games. If you can't enjoy family time - identify the reason and do whatever it takes to bring the fun back.

As this new year takes off, I hope some of this post will cause you to think of things you need to do differently. I pray you will see each part of H.O.M.E. will thrive in your home.

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Posted by Andy Savage at 6:22 PM
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