How to Build A Sweet Home with Your Children
This one thing did more to bring peace and kindness into our home than anything else I’d tried. Who would’ve thought it could be so simple and powerful?
*Every year I receive numerous requests to share our “Sweet Home” experience. So here it is. The following is a true story…..
That’s one memory I’ll never forget.
That’s how the conversation began.
“I’ll always remember that sugar cube castle,” our teenage daughter told me.
My mind did a quick shuffle, sorting through thousands of files until the right image came up.
Oh, yes. I remember now.
But why? Why did that particular memory stand out so?
The children were young – six of them under the age of nine years. The youngest babies weren’t too much trouble, but the “older” ones were giving me grief.
They had picked up the very bad habit of picking at each other.
A little snide remark here and a slight put-down there.
It was a very destructive habit, and I knew it.
The Sugar-Cube Castle
So one night as I lay there crying out to the Lord for wisdom, this idea came to me.
It wasn’t one that I’d read about in a book or article; it just popped into my head out of nowhere.
The nearest thing to a vision.
And in this dream, I pictured a little house made all out of sugar cubes. It was beautiful and sweet, made with the hands of my own dear young children.
Along with the picture came this particular verse:
The wise woman builds her house, but the foolish pulls it down with her hands (Proverbs 14:1).
With that, a plan was set in motion . . . .
The very next day I announced enthusiastically that we were going to do a craft together. What great fun!
So all that morning we built a lovely home—made out of nothing but sugar cubes and frosted mortar.
We were like sugarplum fairies in a storybook.
And, oh, when it was done – such a charming sight to see!
As we worked, I shared with the children that we were like the wise woman who builds up her home, adding a caution that we should be careful not to tear it down. To this, they happily agreed, and we all drifted into the kitchen to fix some lunch.
But good intentions are not always enough to overcome bad habits.
And, sure enough, the little tearing-down remarks soon started up.
I didn’t say anything this time, however, but merely walked over to our Sweet Home and carefully . . . deliberately . . . pulled one of the cubes out of its special place.
A dark, gaping hole was left staring its ugliness at us all.
A horrified gasp!
Once again, I gently explained that every time one of us “tears” at each other, we are essentially tearing down our house. The reverse is true as well: each time we lift each other up, we are building it up.
So if that “hole” in the wall bothered them—and believe me, it did enormously!—it would help them remember what they were essentially doing to our own home.
That if they wanted to build up, to create and to make beautiful, they would need to say something kind and uplifting instead.
After that, I rarely said a word. I would either quietly remove – or add – blocks as was necessary.
I can’t say how long this went on—maybe a few weeks? But this picture did more for them than all my lectures and corrections seemed to have done in the months previous.
I really do wonder now if it was a heavenly vision after all.
My hope is that it brings Good Memories – and a Sweet Home – for many years to come.
And I hope the same for your home too.
In His grace,
100 Ways to Love to Your Son/Daughter
You love your son and daughter–but that doesn’t mean you always know the most effective ways to show that love, ways that will connect with their hearts, and stick with them no matter what life throws their way.
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