By Nicole VanGelder
When God created an “enclosure” or garden for Adam and Eve, we can assume that it was exactly the way that He wanted it to be. There were no mistakes. He didn’t have to throw out any of His desires because of budget considerations. He didn’t lack the foresight or imagination to make it all that it could be. It was…well, perfect. Beyond anything we can imagine. However, we can kind of imagine it, because we have the picture given to us in His Word about what it was like. I already discussed how it was a place of protection, now I want to focus on something else. The garden was a place of provision.
The garden had everything that Adam and Eve (and whatever offspring they produced) would need. This means that it had food and water. And, not just food, but good food. However, there was much more then food and water provided for them in the garden. The garden had not only what they would need to survive, it had things that were provided simply for delight. For example, the garden contained gold. What purpose was there for gold? Was it provided because of its monetary value? There was no use for money. I think it was provided simply because it was shiny. It wasn’t the only precious metal or jewel that the garden contained, either. I think that the garden was a place of absolute, breath-taking beauty and delight.
What does that have to do with parenting? If we create our homes in the pattern of the garden, we must keep in mind that our homes have to be a place of provision. Obviously as much as we are able, we need to provide good food, clothing, etc. so that our children never worry about if they will have what they need, or if they will have enough. More then that, though, our homes should to be places of beauty and delight. (And, this does not require money!)
Our children may be small, but they are people. They have ideas and desires, emotions and dreams. They need a place where it is not only safe to have those things, but where those parts of them are nurtured and encouraged. Our children are going to find places of inspiration, it’s what they were wired for. If that is true, what better place for that to start then within our home? Within our home we can be guiding them, helping to instill a value system that will serve as a strong foundation for them and lead them in wisdom. If our homes are places that provide for all our children’s needs, then we will be creating a safe place for them to discover who they are and blossom into maturity. (Which is much better then many of the possible alternatives–them finding their identity in places that manipulate or use them, or among people that don’t have their best interests in mind.)
So, how do we do this? We make sure our house becomes a home. A place that is warm and inviting. There doesn’t need to be expensive furnishings in a home to make it beautiful. Taking time to add little touches here and there that display the personality and character of your family will do this beautifully.
A home is also a place that is safe to dream in. This requires not allowing the tyranny of the urgent to dictate our lives! Instead of living from one “to do” list to the next, let’s let those things that are really important take precedence. What delights the hearts of your children? Creating art? Legos? Silly conversations? Jokes? What delights your heart? Your spouses? Make sure that your home is filled with these delights. As you do, you will find that your home becomes much more then a shelter from the rain or a place to lay your head. It will be a place where your family begins to dream and grow and blossom. That is what the garden was like. It was a place of provision and delight. And, that is the invitation for our homes as well.
Read more at http://www.joyfilledhome.org!