A home-centered life

Home is a place of freedom and comfort. Yet many adults run away from home in search of money, meaning, and personal fulfillment. I see so many busy people around me; Well-intentioned parents schedule all kinds of activities for their children.

I often wonder what they are after and suspect that all of this frenetic behavior is a way of avoiding silence and deep contemplation. It does not seem that there is a lack of material goods and comforts, but a true longing for love, intimacy and healthy relationships. All of this can be found at home, but families must be willing to strive for simplicity amid all the distractions.

I used to think that home life was unglamorous and boring when I was in the workforce. Important things only happen outside the home, I thought so. Building a strong home life is what makes for successful marriages, strong families, and strong partnerships. As homeschoolers, we are developing strong relationships with our children, while siblings are developing strong relationships with each other. We are making a full-time effort.

Embracing a home-centered life is often a slow evolution for many because home-centered lifestyles are not encouraged in our culture. Material desires and consumption habits often “require” that both parents work. Work is presented as more glamorous, while staying at home is seen as menial.

When we spend time at home, we not only eliminate the distractions and noise of life, but we can take time to ask ourselves the important questions in life and how we can best serve family and others. People with hectic lifestyles seem to come home to recharge their batteries for another day of life apart from each other.

Much of the work we do as adults to improve ourselves and our relationships can be traced back to childhood experiences. The home is the first and central place where we form values, virtues and a vision of the world. The home provides the foundation for our emotional development. You can see why spending a lot of time and energy on a home-centered life is necessary!

Developing a home-centered life can begin with a conscious choice of homeschooling or homebirth. It may start with an unexpected illness, accident, or unemployment. Those who see the value, opportunity, and serenity in spending more time at home often expand their home life. Moms who leave the workforce to raise their children sometimes decide to homeschool.

After the family has enjoyed a homeschooling lifestyle for a few years, there may be a yearning to create a home-based business. We do not withdraw from society or isolate ourselves from the world, but rather detach ourselves from institutional and fast-paced life to develop a deeper understanding of life and the world in which we live.

I believe we would have more world peace if people had more love in their hearts and if families lived lives centered around the home. Think of a world where children were seen as blessings and not possessions or obstacles; where young children witnessed and learned about babies, breastfeeding, and committed relationships; where children were required (and indeed desired) to show concern and respect for the environment, the poor, the powerless, the unborn, the elderly.

What about a world where people solve their own problems and take responsibility instead of turning to “experts”, lawyers, doctors or the government without first exhausting their resources and social network? How about a world that doesn’t place as much emphasis on grade point averages, IQ scores, SAT scores, appearances, or salaries?

If we don’t develop strong relationships within our families, along with a sense of commitment and sacrifice, we will continue to see high divorce rates, selfish behavior, greed, and the darker sides of human behavior. We need a more attached and less detached upbringing. World harmony develops from family harmony.

Too often, institutions are dehumanizing and meant to serve the masses, not the individual. As long as we continue to submit to institutional life – babies born in hospitals, day care centers, schools, nursing homes – we will move further away from developing the family unit into a strong and powerful force. “The family” -or society’s building block- has collapsed, except for a few families that have the wisdom to know and act on what is really important.

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