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A House or a Home?A House or a Home?
by Teresa Bell Kindred

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The following paragraphs were reportedly taken from a 1950’s Home Economics book and do not reflect the views of this author!

How To Be A Good Wife

Have dinner ready. Plan ahead, even the night before, to have a delicious meal on time. This is a way of letting him know that you have been thinking about him and are concerned about his needs. Most men are hungry when they come home and the prospect of a good meal is part of the warm welcome needed.

Prepare yourself. Take fifteen minutes to rest so that you will be refreshed when he arrives. Touch up your makeup, put a ribbon in your hair and be fresh looking. He has just been with a lot of work weary people. Be a little gay and a little more interesting. His boring day may need a lift.

Clear away clutter. Make one last trip through the main part of the house just before your husband arrives, gathering up school books, toys, paper, etc. Then run a dust cloth over the tables. Your husband will feel he has reached a haven of rest and order and it will give you a lift too.

Prepare the children. Take a few minutes to wash the children’s hands and faces, comb their hair, and if necessary change their clothes. They are little treasures and he would like to see them playing the part.

Minimize all noise. At the time of his arrival, eliminate all noise of the washer, dryer, dishwasher, or vacuum. Try to encourage the children to be quiet. Be happy to see him. Greet him with a warm smile and be glad to see him.

Make him comfortable. Have him lean back in a comfortable chair or suggest that he lie down in the bedroom. Have a cool, or warm drink ready for him. Arrange his pillow and offer to take off his shoes. Speak in a low, soft, soothing and pleasant voice. Allow him to relax and unwind.

    I don’t know about you, but if my husband came home from work and our house was like the one described above, he would turn around and leave. He would assume I’d either flipped my wig or he was at the wrong house.

    Times change, and so do our definitions of “family.” The traditional family seems to no longer consists of a father who works, a mother who stays home and 2.2 children. Whatever type family you have, large or small, two parent or single parent, there is one thing that hasn’t changed when it comes to families; more than anything children needs a parent who loves them enough to spend time with them.

    Today, most of us have multiple televisions, several telephones, two car garages, and still we want more. We work more hours or take a second job so our kids can have expensive tennis shoes like their friends or go to ball camps in the summer. We make payments on a house that we hardly do more than sleep in because we’re either at work or chauffeuring the kids to social or athletic events.

We may be overlooking what is really important...
    Think about it! Do you have home or just a house where people change clothes before they go somewhere else?

    Many children don’t need another Nintendo® game, but they do need a father who reads the Bible to them in the evenings. Many children don’t need another pair of expensive tennis shoes, but they do need a mother who will listen to their prayers.

    In our haste to make money, we may be overlooking what is really important; serving the Lord and knowing the joy of contentment. When this life is over, God won’t care what we owned, but He will care about what we did with what we were given. Did we share? Did we feed the hungry? Did we clothe the naked? Did we train up our children in the way they should go?

    Let’s remember where to deposit our treasure and where to invest ourselves in this life!

“Lay not up for yourselves treasures upon earth, where moth and rust doth corrupt and where thieves break through and steal, but lay up for yourselves treasures in Heaven...” (Matthew 6:19)

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      © 2003, Teresa Bell Kindred. Used by permission.

      Title: "A House or a Home?"
      Author: Teresa Bell Kindred
      Publication Date: July 8, 2003

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Teresa KindredTeresa is a lifelong Kentuckian, a former teacher, a wife, a mother, a freelance writer, and a frequent contributor to HEARTLIGHT. She is the author of the book The Knot at the End of Your Rope: 10 Ways to Hold On When You are Stressed Out. Learn more at her web site.


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