I actually asked Mark months ago what keeping a home looked like to him. Sometimes it is so refreshing to see another’s opinion. I really enjoyed what he had to say, and so am sharing it. The questions were ones I asked to get a more rounded answer.
Q: What does a kept home look like to you?
Q: What does a relaxing home look like to you?
Q: What does a fun home look like to you?
Q: What does a functional home look like to you?
A: The purpose of a house is to provide a safe and comfortable living space in order to facilitate the development of relationships within the family living there and between that family and any visitors that arrive.
Time and money are invested in the house in order to better equip it to fulfill its relationship facilitating purpose. However, if too much time or money is required to keep the house in a state of usefulness then there is a problem.
A kept home is a home that is not necessarily spotless, but that is in a state that is conducive to it fulfilling its goal of facilitating relationships.
A functional home is a home that has been set up in a manner that allows it to be kept without requiring excess time and money. This allows for more of the family’s time to be spent working, playing, and relaxing together without having to put so much focus on the necessary tasks of maintaining the house.
The main aspects that determine whether a home is fun and relaxing is really the attitude of the inhabitants towards each other. No matter how much work there is to do if the family approaches it together and with a joyful attitude it can be fun. The most activity filled home can be relaxing in the midst of it all if the family is at peace and there is not strife or dissension.
Q: What atmosphere is most important in a home?
Security. Of all the places in the world the home should be a place where a person’s guard can be lowered. Where they can open up physically, emotionally, intellectually, and spiritually without fear of being attacked. When this is done a person’s ability to learn, grow, and bond with others is most optimally facilitated.
Q: What does the aforementioned atmosphere look like physically?
– Clearly defined boundaries
– Mistakes and failures are dealt with with grace and compassion
– Personally interactions are characterized by love
– Authority is understood and respected
– When correction is needed it is not done in a critical manner, but with grace and compassion
– No question or point of ignorance is ridiculed or made fun of
Q: How would you interpret being a keeper of the home?
I would say that being the keeper of the home means to manage and orchestrate the operations within a home in order to maximize the ability of everyone in the home to develop deeper relationships with each other and G-d.