Dr. Deb's Mental Health Vitamin: Home

Dr. Deb Wade

By Dr. Deb Wade
GCU Vice President, Counseling and Psychological Services

Where does your mind go when you think of home? Whether the reference is the home you currently live in or the home of your family of origin, are your thoughts positive, reminiscent of happy times, or are they painful, reminiscent of harsh and difficult times? There is an abundance of snappy and sappy phrases that relate to Home:

  • “Home is where the heart is.”
  • “Home is where love resides, memories are created, friends and family belong, and laughter never ends.”
  • “Home isn’t a place, it’s a feeling.”
  • “Home is where you hang your heart.”
  • “Home – a place your feet may leave but your heart will always be.”

Although these phrases may sound nice on a wall hanging or printed in a greeting card, for some people the home represented in these phrases is completely false and/or foreign. The family of origin home may have been wrought with conflict, with negativity, with condemnation, with anger – and the result was a conditioned response of staying out of sight, hiding, feeling fearful and shutting down. A child in this type of environment may have a low sense of personal value and may not know what it is like to be encouraged, championed, invested in and loved unconditionally.

But, there is good news. In fact, there is GREAT news. Although you may have come out of a home where it was “unsafe” to emote, express opinions, feel confident or explore life, now that you have your own home, you can conscientiously create a place that is loving, warm, positive and nurturing. You can have a home that is full of laughter, yet where it is also safe to cry, a home where mistakes are something you may make, but are not who you are, and a home where encouragement, praise, love and acceptance abound. Yes, it is never too late or even premature to think of the home you will create. Let’s take a peek at some intentional qualities of a good, healthy, nurturing home:

  • A place of refuge: A place of safe harbor, where those who reside there feel supported, cherished and accepted, and where opinions, vulnerabilities and emotions are welcome. It is a home base – a place to return to when the world has gotten harsh, difficult and rejecting. A place where you can lay your head at night on the soft pillow of acceptance and love.
  • A place of consistency: Home is where children know the expectations, and where people are predictable. It is a place of black and white – children don’t have to guess at what is right and wrong, and they know what is – and what is not – acceptable.
  • A place of role models: Although the world has heroes, the true heroes are at home. The parents have taken seriously the role of being living examples of high values, morals and standards. And this home provides daily examples of living right and of loving without conditions.
  • A place of guarantees: Love abounds and people are predictable. Children never have to wonder if they are accepted, welcome or wanted.
  • A place of fun: When home is a place where laughter and frivolity are welcome, home becomes a place where people want to be.

Although memories and reminisces about the home of your own family of origin may have been ones of pain, sadness, fear or uncertainty, we can all bask in the reality that our current home is one we get to create and/or aspire to. We can build a home that is strong, that is comfortable, and where – within the walls – people know their worth, they know they are wanted and they know they are welcome. The home is built on a strong foundation of godly principles and the people live by the blueprint outlined in the Bible, where the Heavenly Father is the ultimate model of unconditional love. We can aspire to have the home where the sign on the walls tell this truth to the world  … “Home Sweet Home”!

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GCU Magazine

Bible Verse

David said to Michal, "It was before the Lord, who chose me rather than your father or anyone from his house when He appointed me ruler over the Lord’s people Israel — I will celebrate before the Lord. (2 Samuel 6:21)

To Read More: www.verseoftheday.com/