Within the world-famous San Diego Zoo is a truly magnificent bird sanctuary. It is breathtakingly beautiful. It is a perfect home of safety with the provision of water, food, and fresh air for these birds. They have nothing to fear; absolutely nothing. Maintaining the bird sanctuary requires exorbitant labor at a high cost.

Likewise, people buy a house, hoping it can become a home of safety and provision. However, a house becomes a home only when people occupy it. Wise homeowners or renters plan and prepare to make it a sanctuary home. Unwise homeowners fail to meticulously plan, choosing just to “let life happen.” 

The good news is sanctuary homebuilding does not require a college education. Rather, it demands conscious commitment and a game plan. To make it happen, a weekly family business meeting is suggested much like an employment business meeting. An agenda is prepared for a maximum time of 30 minutes. How to accomplish the meeting?

  1. Each family member attends a peaceful home setting and sits facing each other.
  2. Each brings a notepad, pen, and a positive attitude.
  3. Each writes and shares one point of thankfulness.
  4. Each list and shares 3 positive qualities worth striving for in a sanctuary home. (Over time, this list may increase to 10 positive qualities.)
  5. Each list and shares 3 negative qualities that should not be in a sanctuary home.
  6. Each shares 1 quality from the positive list that each individual exhibits well.
  7. Each shares 1 quality from the negative list which that individual will not do this week.
  8. Then positively close the meeting.

One strong recommendation: Negative comments and criticism are not permitted. If such a statement is made, a time out is called, giving the negative person a chance to say, “Please forgive me.”  If that person refuses, he may need to be excused from the meeting with forthcoming corrective measures on an individual basis. Leadership, nevertheless, should not display anger.

A sanctuary home is one of the richest experiences in a lifetime. A war-zone home is a sad experience. I know; I grew up in such an environment. For this reason, the Crowell family today works daily to create a sanctuary home. Let me be clear it demands every bit of commitment and dedication as the bird caretakers at the San Diego Zoo.

May the Lord grant you the wisdom to have a sanctuary home!