Wednesday, August 12, 2015

Defending the Sanctity of the Home

I was watching some boys for a friend the other day when one of them mentioned an upcoming trip where he and his dad were going to see his favorite Nascar driver Jeff Gordon.  I said, "Oh, I've met Jeff Gordon...twice actually."  I had an instant fan.  "Really, where?" he said.  I said that Jeff had come in to where I used to work (CNN)on a few occasions and that it was my job to speak with him when he came in for an interview.

Later on, the same boy asked me, "Where do you work?"  I said, "I work at home, raising my children and making my home a place we all want to be."  He said, "Oh...I thought you'd work somewhere serious."  I laughed, and asked, "Like where?"  My son said, "Like CNN?"  I told the young man that I had chosen to stay home and work for the benefit of my family and that I take my job quite seriously!

Sister Oscarson has taught, "We should “make our homes” places of order, refuge, holiness, and safety. Our homes should be places where the Spirit of the Lord is felt in rich abundance and where the scriptures and the gospel are studied, taught, and lived. What a difference it would make in the world if all people would see themselves as makers of righteous homes. Let us defend the home as a place which is second only to the temple in holiness.

Here are some things that I do to defend the sanctity of my home:

1. Keep the gospel standards and teach them to your children.

A few years ago, my sister set Primary's My Gospel Standards to music.  As a family, we memorized her song and so began a journey to discover what living the standards really means to us. In the August 2015 Ensign, you can read more about how we've taught our children the principles found in My Gospel Standards in the article, "Teaching Gospel Standards: One Family's Experience."  I firmly believe that parents need to walk the walk in order for children to follow in our footsteps.  The article before it by Jan Pinborough also gives great advice on teaching standards in the home.

2.  Prioritize family time above all else.

Ever since I heard President Packer say in General Conference that "Family time is sacred time and should be protected and respected," I have made that my motto.  We carefully scrutinize outside activities in which we engage in order to optimize our time together.  We ask ourselves these questions on a regular basis: Does the activity add value to our lives?  Does the activity add too much stress?  Can the activity be done by all members of the family at the same time?  Does the activity interfere with family night or other important family events?  Can we replicate the activity in our family without committing major amounts of our time for a season?  Because we limit/eliminate activities that would take us away from each other, we are free to do MORE with our time at home and go on more outings as a family that bring us a lot of joy and shared memories.

3.  Defend your family against evil influences.

As a family, we choose our media carefully.  About every six months, we meet together to update our family media plan, which you can read more about here on my blog, and here on Sugardoodle, and here in the August 2014 Ensign article "Taming the Media".  President Packer's admonishment to protect our nestlings is well-illustrated and understood in the following brief video:

4.  Encourage guests in your home to keep the standards while visiting there.

Visitors to my home feel the spirit when they enter.  I often have Elders tell me that my house feels like or reminds them of their home.  That familiarity which they feel is the Holy Ghost, which is hopefully always a welcome guest.  When young friends visit, I give them reminders if necessary (and reminders to my own children) of how we act in our home.  Visitors to our house often are happy to oblige my request to use appropriate language, to use the Lord's name respectfully, to speak kindly to siblings, and to choose appropriate media.  When we do this our homes become a refuge where others can experience how peaceful home can be.

5.  Do your best at home.

It is easy to give our best at school or at work and to forget about doing our best even at home.  While returning home is often a trigger to finally exhale, we must not relax the signs of respect and love that we show for one another.  We once had a missionary frequent our home who had a lot of challenges, but one thing he always taught us was to just "do our best."  Although I am far from perfect at it, I try to remember to do my best in how I interact with my children and husband.  I try to plan fun activities and work and service that will bring out the best in our interactions with each other.  And I try to remember that sometimes my best is substandard to the day before, but that my best efforts are all that the Lord requires.

I love my home.  I believe in the sacred nature of homes and families and I am honored to work hard every day to defend the sanctity of the home.

This post is part of a blogger round-up! Read the tips and experiences these bloggers share in making their homes a sacred space.

 Mandy @ A Bliss Complete | Camille @ Chicken Scratch 'n' Sniff | Jen @ Lexical Creations Grace Lane @ Upheld | Jocelyn @ We Talk of Christ | Montserrat @ Cranial Hiccups

Defend the Sanctity of the Home Blogger Round-up: These bloggers offer their advice and experience on making their homes a sacred space. 


  1. lovely essay on family and our purpose here on earth. love the video!

  2. Amen. I always felt exactly the same way. It was an honor for me to be home, and I found it to be quite a stimulating creative challenge as well.


    1. Thanks, Sue. An honor...I think that's the right word for it!

  3. Lovely article, as always I enjoy your inspiring words. Has your sister published her song? I would love to purchase it, if it's available.

    1. She has not yet...I will see what her plans are and get back with you!

    2. She has not yet...I will see what her plans are and get back with you!

  4. Amazing! I cherish my homemaking duties. My husband gets grief at work because he is the only one who "works". I am grateful that he understands and appreciates my job in the home!

    1. That's wonderful! We have some friend who are both doctors, but when they were living in Utah, they looked around at all of the young families and noticed how happy their children were. The commonality, she said, was that all of the Mothers stayed home. So although she was a doctor, she made a point to be a stay-home mother to her children when they came along. All work is important. We only get one life and must choose where we will put our time in and how to use that time the wisest.

  5. I felt like I should show my kids the protect your nestlings video a few weeks back and my 7 year old son just cried and cried. It really hits home

    1. They did a really good job with that. We watched Spiritu AL Crocodiles the other week...gotta watch that as well!!


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