I’m sitting in church with two sons, the oldest and the youngest, and the speaker hands out little sheets of paper. Each has a picture of a house on it, and I think, cool. Since I’m in the middle of my 31 days to loving my home series, you know.

He reads the passage from Joshua, the one that ends with as for me and my house we will serve the Lord, and he talks about making a declaration. About deciding and stating what each of us wants our homes to be. A kind of mission statement for the home, I suppose, and he shares his desire for his home to be a place where people feel comfortable and God is shared and his children grow up in an atmosphere of love and godliness. Very good, and then he asks us to write our own declarations.

There isn’t much time, and I write these words on my paper: Fun, Happy, God-honouring, Loving, Comfortable. I peek at my quiet, oldest son’s paper and I don’t think he’s written anything. I peek at my not-quiet youngest son’s paper, and he is going to town.

He writes: Fun! holy! Godly! Loving!!!!!!! (seven exclamation points for Loving). And then he starts with the art. He draws a picture of himself in the window, playing a video game and drinking a pop. The ultimate indulgences in his eleven-year-old world. And the guy on top? That’s the Fiddler on the Roof.

We watched the movie a few weeks ago and he was fascinated. He struggled with the symbolism, though. He kept trying to understand why the Fiddler was playing on the roof. Who is he in the story?, he kept asking, and I kept explaining that he is showing us that the traditions that we build our lives around can be easily dismissed, and that we have to find those deeper things, those core things, to hold on to when life gets shaky.

Like love, he says.

Yes, I say.

One day soon I’ll sit down and create a more sophisticated declaration for my home. But I doubt if I will be able to do any better than his.

Loving!!!!!!!

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