This past weekend my family completed a whirlwind trip back home to Winston-Salem. The original reason for our return was for a wedding and a graduation party, yet the amount of activities we committed ourselves to grew exponentially before it was time to come back to Southport. Regardless of how crazy our schedule was, the time we spent with family and friends was irreplaceable.

Though it was great being back with people who have meant so much to us over the years, it was just as satisfying to pull into our driveway last night and be back in our own home. One thing that my wife and I have jealously pursued is to make sure that wherever we are as a family, that is our home. That may sound odd to some but for us it means that location becomes irrelevant when our family is together. Home is not defined by a building or a location. It is defined by the people that God has blessed us with.

Home means many things to many people. For me and my family it is defined by a set of values that allows each one of us to flourish in an environment that is healthy and nurturing. Here are a few of the values that we strive for in our home:

Home is safe. With our two oldest children in school, we realize that whenever they are away from us they will be exposed to some influences that will run contrary to the values that we wish to instill in them. There is a chance they will encounter other kids during the day that come from homes that don't share the same values that ours do and as a result they may hear and see things that don't mesh with what we want to teach them. Home, then, is a place that protects them from those influences that do not exalt Christ. While we don't want to raise our children in a bubble, we do want them to know that home strives to be a place that is free from unhealthy influences. Our goal is make our home a place that is full of positive reinforcement and instruction that helps all of us grow.

Home is secure. Let's be honest, there are mean people in this world and from the moment you walk out the door each morning you run the risk of being mistreated, made fun of, or even persecuted for who you are and your beliefs. Home should be anything but that. In our home, there are no bullies, no one who is criticized for being too slow or not smart or pretty enough. Those concepts carry no weight here. Instead, in our home our aim is to ensure that each member is secure in their identity as a person and as a member of this family. This applies to anyone who comes into our home.

Home is sacred. Our highest goal is to ensure that Christ is central in our home. I may not be able to control how famous Jesus is when I'm at the grocery store or when my kids are at school, but in the Griggs' house He is the center of our affections. While we may not be walking around uttering Gregorian chants and quoting Scripture at each other, our desire is that what we say and do in our home pleases God and is for His glory. That means that we pray as a family, we pursue Bible study together as a family, and that we worship as a family.

Our home is not perfect and there are times where we compromise on the values that we hold dear. Yet we never downplay the importance that our home plays in the lives of each individual member of our family. Home is to be safe and secure but most importantly it is to be the central place where our children learn of the love of Christ and where they will see God glorified above all else.

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