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We may not see the little things that we do every day as important: scrolling on our phones, what we eat, and how we put the kids to bed. All of this can seem very minor, day-to-day. But these daily rituals and habits and small moments are already a significant portion of your life. Recognizing this truth is the first step. Figuring out how to work it out for our good now- that’s something that can cause dramatic change.
In Justin Earley’s ‘Habits Of The Household,’ the author discusses the seemingly mundane daily rituals that, in reality, hold a profound influence in our lives. This book is not just about embracing the power of routine to transform our lives one day at a time but, more importantly, recognizing the spiritual purpose and ramifications of our daily habits. Rather than simply being a guidebook on how to implement routines, it includes many story driven spiritual themes.
“The neurological downside of habits is as powerful as the upside; the same feature that allows us to perform a good habit without thinking about it, makes it hard to change a bad habit. Even when we are thinking about it, that’s how strong our brains are.”
When touching on how habits impact us, Earley gives the analogy of a wheel stuck in a rut. It takes no effort at all to stay in the rut, but it takes incredible effort to pull the wheel out of it. In other words, you can’t think yourself out of a pattern you didn’t think yourself into, you practice yourself into it. Therefore, you have to practice your way out of it. Often, we’re waiting for something to happen, but until we make a change, we will remain in that rut.
Habits are hard to break, and hard to form.
If you’re repetitive, repeatedly doing things, even if you don’t like the way it makes you feel, a habit is already there, and you’re going to have the repercussions of that habit; the guilt, the shame, all the things that flow into the heart, and out of the heart. But when we establish and practice those habits that we actually do want, our heart will follow, a pattern will be made, and it will become easier over time.
“The heart always follows habit.”
Woven throughout the book, there is the encouragement that when a good habit is formed, your heart follows it and God uses it. Once you have a good habit established, He can use it for good. Additionally, God’s love inspires our action, but our action does not inspire God’s love. Our habits will not change God’s love for us, but God’s love for us should change our habits.
When it comes to how our daily routines and actions affect our children, Earley states: “We become our habits, and our kids become us.” We are providing an example for our children, which will become our legacy. All the habits that we’re doing on a daily basis become who we are, we exemplify that for our children, and they become like us.
“We must always pay attention to what is grabbing the attention of our minds and imaginations, because where the imagination goes, so goes the heart.” It is essential to pay attention as parents to what is grabbing the attention of our kids’ minds and their imaginations, because where the imagination goes, so goes the heart. “This is a fight over who forms who.”
In other words, the human heart is not a car. There is no neutral.
Thinking about all of the things we want to change in our lives can be overwhelming. However, we should not be overwhelmed by all that we think we need to be tomorrow, but rather just ask God to help us do something today. Whatever it is, it is likely that God has already put it on your heart. Just do it again, be consistent, and don’t have an expectation of what it might look like. The fact that you’re doing it means you are already miles away from where you were the day before.
“If our goal was to do something perfect, we’d still be doing nothing.”
Grab your copy of ‘Habits of the Household’ here: https://www.habitsofthehousehold.com