7 Secrets to a Happy Home

Secret#1 – Peace at home is foundational to a productive life.

Proverbs 17:1 says “Better a dry crust with peace and quiet than a house full of feasting, with strife.” Having all the resources to enjoy elaborate feasts means nothing if there is no peace at home. A dry crust with peace and quiet is superior to having celebrations that only mask stress and strife. My observations and counseling with others tell me that few things are more painful and debilitating than continuous tension and trouble at home. Have I learned the art of compromise? Am I doing all I can to contribute to family peace?

Secret #2 – Investment in one’s children prevents disgrace, foolishness, and grief.

Proverbs 17:2 says “A wise servant will rule over a disgraceful son, and will share the inheritance as one of the brothers.” “To have a fool for a son brings grief; there is no joy for the father of a fool.”(Prov. 17:21) “A foolish son brings grief to his father and bitterness to the one who bore him.” (Prov. 17:25) Too many parents have their hearts broken by children who grow up to be rebellious and foolish. The way to address that problem is to invest in them while they are young. Parents need a long-range perspective. Certainly children are to be enjoyed when they are young, but if that’s the only goal and focus, parents are asking for future disappointment. Because parenting is not about my immediate gratification and enjoyment in having kids; it’s about investing and instructing so that when they grow up they will exhibit grace (not disgrace), wisdom (not foolishness), and produce joy (not grief).

Secret #3 – The generations need and benefit from each other.

Proverbs 17:6 says “Children’s children are a crown to the aged, and parents are the pride of their children. How did we arrive at the generation gap and age segregation that now dominate our culture? We read here that the aged are blessed (i.e., “crowned”) by their grandchildren; and children are blessed (i.e., “proud of”) their parents. By the way, note that children are said to be proud of their parents, not the other way around! When was the last time you communicated to your parents how proud you are of them? A happy home is one where the generations are aware of their need of each other, and bring blessing to each other.

Secret #4 – Some personal slights and offenses need to be dropped.

Proverbs 17:13-14 says “If a man pays back evil for good, evil will never leave his house. Starting a quarrel is like breaching a dam; so drop the matter before a dispute breaks out.” Trust me, when you live with someone long enough – anyone – you will eventually be offended. But why pay back evil with evil? Why start a quarrel? Learn the discipline of “drop[ping] the matter before a dispute breaks out.” Unfortunately, we’ve gone to extremes with confrontation and brutal honesty about our feelings. Some things are best dropped.

Secret #5 – Adversity is an opportunity for relational growth.

Proverbs 17:17 says “A friend loves at all times, and a brother is born for adversity.” I’ve seen it both ways; so have you. Adversity can either ruin a relationship or solidify a relationship. So what makes the difference? I’m going to give you the key that determines what adversity will do to your relationship…YOU are the ky. It’s that simple. Adversity is a given; no one can avoid it. But a brother or a friend can make all the difference. Will you be that kind of support for a loved one? If so, you’ll have a happy home.

Secret #6 – A cheerful and winsome disposition produces health.

Proverbs 17:22 says “A cheerful heart is good medicine, but a crushed spirit dries up the bones.” We have a choice to make: we can either give out healthy medicine or destroy another’s bones. We can lift someone’s spirit or crush that spirit. Relationships and homes have the potential to be more effective than hospitals when it comes to dispensing health. The habit of a winsome smile and cheerful attitude will make any home a happy one. Try it!

Secret #7– There’s a time to keep quiet, and to let less mean more.

Proverbs 17:27-28 says “A man of knowledge uses words with restraint, and…is even-tempered. Even a fool is thought wise if he keeps silent, and discerning if he holds his tongue.” There are times to practice verbal restraint, to hold one’s tongue, to keep silent. Every opinion need not be shared; every observation need not be commented on. Simply restraining one’s words would improve the atmosphere in untold numbers of homes.