The Signs of a Christian Home
By John Preiss
The Christian Home has been called the domestic church, for it shelters and protects and nurtures a community of Christians. The husband and wife, head and helpmeet are brought together by God to bring salvation and sanctification to each other as well as the children for whom they have been blessed. Children are truly a blessing and a fulfillment of marital love and they should be formed carefully from the seedbed of the domestic church, the Christian home. The home is a community of life and worship, of work and recreation.
What makes a home Christian? The Christian home should have a dedication to the reign of Christ and the heart of Mary. Many days and nights, months and years add up to the life lived between the birth and death of an individual. The Christian way of life must be seen and cultivated not only from a spiritual perspective but also from a physical perspective.
The Living Room
The walls in the living room in a Catholic home should not be filled with utter clutter. The living room should be the place where the family prays together thereby making this a special place. In this room we should have a picture of the Jesus, the Blessed Mother and also a crucifix on the wall. In many years past it was a tradition for the father of the home to carry a crucifix in the home before any other item was placed. Thus, reciting a prayer to our crucified Lord that He will be forever the Lord of all who lives here. It also shows the example of the father being the head of the home like Christ is the head of the Church.
Many homes have television in the living room. When this particular room becomes filled with pictures depicting our faith, a family will tend to monitor what is watched on television. This is the area the Lord reigns and the daily petitions and thanksgivings are poured forth in prayer uniting the family.
The Dining Room
The dining room is a reflection of the Last Supper. Many homes have the famous picture of the Last Supper. The dining room table is an important meeting place for the family. It is a place for the father to share his endeavors in religious meetings or work and to keep the family united as one. It is a place for all members of the family, to share their daily thoughts and endeavors. The father will lead the blessing for the food prepared, and at the end of the meal he will lead the prayer in thanksgiving.
Many families rarely sit at the table to eat as a family. It is a shame because not doing this breaks the family bond of gathering for food and drink and thanksgiving. In a Catholic home the family should eat at least one meal together as a family but it would be great if they can share all three meals together.
The bedroom should have a crucifix on the wall to give us the constant reminder of Christ’s death on the cross. Besides family prayer there should be individual prayer in one’s private place behind closed doors. A picture of the Holy Family would be adequate for the bedroom. This is the place where we kneel down to say our night prayers and the prayers that are closest to our hearts.
In the rooms of our children and teenagers religious pictures and crucifixes should dawn the walls. If your children are directed toward God they will not have the secular pictures of rock stars or movie stars all over there walls. It is easy to let evil come into the home and most of the time it comes in through the evils of our society. Teenagers will try to push these things because of the secular popularity, but parents need to stay strong and keep their home a Christian home.
A often heard quote made by the Father Peyton says, “The family the prays together stays together”. This is so true, because the power of the devil has invaded many homes through all types of media. They now say that one out of every fifteen men is addicted to pornography. Also, teenagers are not living in purity in the home. The divorce rate is extremely high even among Catholics. Many parents are not monitoring the home because they are too busy trying to have a successful career. In the eyes of God a successful career means nothing when a parent losses sight of the main goal and that is to bring up a child to follow Christ. When we die the only thing that we can take from this earth to heaven with us is the souls of our children.
Make your home a Christian home in a spiritual way, as well as a physical way through Catholic art and statues. If someone comes to visit you at your home they should know you are a Catholic by the images on your walls. The devil is like a roaring lion waiting to devour souls. Don’t open the door to your home and invite him in by the ways of the secular world. The home defines who you are. We have to ask ourselves, “ Are we protecting our spouses and children from the dangers of the world?” Decorate your home with the Lord and make it a dwelling place for Him. Pray without ceasing to live pleasing to Him