Every Family Needs an Imaginary Door

If you are a parent who has children in your home, there is a door that it would be helpful for you to always keep in mind. It’s a door that I first heard about when I read Edith Schaeffer’s book What Is a Family? back when my own three kids were running around filling my house with laughter, and tears, and adventures.

Swing It Open or Shut It Tight

This oh so important door to keep in mind is simply a door with hinges and a lock.

Now you may be thinking that doesn’t sound so special. After all, most doors have hinges and locks. But when you think about what those two things can mean for your family, they become much more significant. In fact, they could become two of the most important things you can think about and intentionally put into practice for your family.

A door has hinges so it can swing open wide. And as it’s open it gives freedom for us to go out and explore the amazing world that is around us. But it also allows others to come into our home and share life with us – for meals, and parties, and quiet conversations by the fireplace. People that we – and our children – can learn from and be inspired by.

A door has a lock so we can shut it tight. So we can say that this time is just for us. For our family – for meals, and games, and stories, and prayers, and dancing, and crying, and wrestling, and dreaming together. Times when we take the time to just be us, alone, together, at home.

One of the best things you can do to help your family learn to live life together in community with others, and also to build a sense of love and belonging within your family, is to keep in mind that your family should be like a door that has hinges, and a lock.

So how are you doing with this imaginary door?

If you are already spending times with the door open wide and other times with it locked up tight, keep it up! The time you are spending with your family in these ways is well worth the effort.

If you can’t remember the last time you as a family invited someone else into your home, or the last time you all stayed home together doing something together, I would encourage you to plan to do each of those things at least once during the next month. Then intentionally plan to do it again, and again…

What is a family? A door with hinges, and a lock.


Related: A Simple Checklist for Moms & Dads