The most welcoming atmospheres usually evoke positive sensory experiences. Maybe there is a candle burning, or another form of fragrance and the house smells good; it is relatively tidy and looks warm and cozy; perhaps there is soft music playing and it sounds nice; most likely, there is food or beverages prepared and available for your visit (or your guests). All of this fills makes you feel pleasant and peaceful.
In Family Fragrance: Practical intentional ways to fill your home with the aroma of love , J. Otis and Gail Ledbetter share the power our senses have upon our perceptions--for good and for bad. "It is through the senses," they write, "that an overpowering desire is created within the human soul to stay connected with the home, or to separate and remove oneself."
The gist of the message is that we want our homes to not only look and smell nice, but to feel nice. We want our children and our spouses to learn that the aroma of the home will be consistent and uplifting, not filled with moodiness, impatience and tension. They write, "The Apostle Paul talks about the atmosphere we create when we live our lives before believers and unbelievers alike: 'But thanks be to God, who always leads us in triumphal procession in Christ and through us spreads everywhere the fragrance of the knowledge of him. For we are to God the aroma of Christ among those who are being saved and those who are perishing.'" (2 Cor. 2: 14-15 NIV).
While we will all have bad days, the acrostic they use to help us aim for a peaceful atmosphere with our families in our homes is AROMA:
"If a sweet aroma is to be accomplished, it will take a determined focus on our part. It will require an intentional effort."
So at the close of this Messy Monday, I'd love for us to think about how we can create a pleasant aroma in our homes. What is one practical thing we can do to improve relationships within our home? What is one practical thing we can do to make our home feel more welcoming? (On my end, we are working on teaching the boys not to give into the sinful nature and fight physically when they're upset at each other; I am also aiming to set the table a bit more nicely, so at least some nights of the week it feels like a special celebration, instead of the same old-same old).
"A caring aroma that is inviting and inspiring can be created with a little time, effort, and creative thinking. How can you create an intoxicating family atmosphere in your home? How can you draw your children in?" -- Family Fragrance: Practical intentional ways to fill your home with the aroma of love