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“There’s no place like home.” Those were the magic words that returned Dorothy from Oz to her home in Kansas.

Home, they say, is where the heart is.

Sometimes, home is where the hurt is.


Dorothy only found “Oz” because she was running away from home.

Feeling like running away from home – not as a child from your parents, but as a parent from your responsibilities?

Parents can feel like they’re carrying the weight of the world on their shoulders. Jocelyn and I have been there. Here’s what we learned.

8 Ways To Make Your Home A Haven

1. Imperfections are allowed. There’s a perception that families of faith, and especially a pastor’s family, shouldn’t have problems. Not true. Just read through the Bible and see for yourself how God uses imperfect families.

Families don’t have to be perfect to be good.

2. Differentiate between childish irresponsibility and willful defiance. We saved ourselves a lot of heartache with this little maxim. Spilled milk in our home was treated as an irresponsible behaviour. Even if it happened twice at the same meal, we took a cloth, cleaned it up and carried on enjoying our family time.

Willful defiance was when a clear line had been drawn regarding behaviour or attitudes that were unacceptable and the line was intentionally crossed. Defiance resulted in discipline.

There were only a few important lines and a clear understanding of consequences when they were crossed.

3. Reclaim mealtime. I made sure I was home for dinner at least five nights a week. Even if it was only for 45 minutes before heading off to a meeting, we enjoyed dinner together.Jocelyn gets the credit for making mealtimes, good times.

Mealtime is a precious time to talk together; laugh together; be grateful together; do the dishes together.

4. The family that prays together, stays together.

We said “grace” at every meal, at home and in restaurants.

Gratitude was always in style for the Jones family wherever we were. Every day finished with prayer. Sometimes our boys got to stay up late until “daddy got home” so we could read and pray together. (Sometimes daddy ended up asleep before the story’s ending and missed the prayer.)

5. Be alert to teachable moments. There is no place like home to develop faith.

Faith is better caught than taught. See the sacred in the ordinary. When parents put up their “God antennae,” it’s amazing what they can learn and teach!

6. Just “be” with your kids. When parents stop trying so hard, they actually are more successful in relating to each other and to their children!

7. Surrendering your parenting to God will make you a better dad or a better mom. Faith in God was the determining factor in whether our parenting life was merely full or fulfilling.

Do you have an insight or practice that helped you as a parent? Please leave a comment below. Thank you.



  • Kerri Nykolaychuk says:

    Thank you for the insights. I practice being humble with my daughter. Let your children know you are not perfect and can make mistakes. Apologize to your children when necessary and ask them for forgiveness. Also role model for your children by allowing them to hear you repent and pray to the Lord for forgiveness.

  • bob jones says:

    Healthy practices, Kerri. Saying “sorry” is a two-way street in families. Wise. Thank you!

  • Jocelyn Jones says:

    It was fun parenting with you and now we get to throw it all out the widow when it comes to the grandchildren – just kidding!

  • bob jones says:

    I hope “widow” is not a Freudian slip. Yes, it was awesome parenting and “grandparenting” is even better.

  • Wendy Connors says:

    The day I realized my children are God’s first was the day my parenting changed. I love my children with all my heart but it does not compare to God’s love for them. He created them and knows their future. Being a parent/grandparent is a blessing and if you trust and release your children to Him, it allows you to love and teach your children through His grace – we never parent alone.

  • bob jones says:

    You are a great mom to your boys. Have a great Mother’s Day weekend, Wendy!

  • bob jones says:

    I hope “widow” is not a Freudian slip. Yes, it was awesome parenting and “grandparenting” is even better.

  • Jocelyn Jones says:

    Oops the power of a “n”

  • Anonymous says:

    Beautiful way to live and love as a family Together in everything . Parenting was the hardest thing in my life especially as I widow ,to raise three young teenagers , I always had to tell them this my first time as as a parent so I might not be perfect at it. But I Love you. And my intentions are good to keep you safe ( also told them any crimes. Drugs etc. would shut the doors to any travel plans ). Now that their grown. They say that’s the best advise I ever gave them !! So now I’ve got to give. The same advise to the grandchildren. Aren’t I Blessed

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