Imagine a hospital as big as King's College Hospital all packed into a train, and having to be self-provisioned, water, sanitated, lil, cleaned, doctored and nursed and staffed and officered, all within its own limits. No outside person can realise the difficulties except those who try to work it.
How many women, I wondered, were waiting out there in the distance for news of these men who were lying on the floor?
How strange that these people should still picture the minds of soldiers as filled with the glitter of bright bayonets and the glory of war!
They know so little about each other, and they don't ask. It is only I who wonder-I, a woman, and therefore of the old, burnt-out world. These men watch without curiosity, speak no personalities, form no sets, express no likings, analyse nothing.
Disappearances. One after another slips out of the picture, the unknown heart behind the face fixed intently on some other centre of life.
In our relationship, Larry was the more "public" person. I was the "safe place" for him to come to and find peace. It took him a lot of years to accept the fact that I was what he called "milquetoast" until one day I said to him "This is exactly what you like about me --I am the only steady and calm thing in your life." Instantly he knew I was right. He had to go out into the chaotic world and slay dragons every day, and I was able to stay at home and make a place where he could find refuge, comfort, and love when he returned. He appreciated that.
"As parenting declines, the need for policing increases. There will always be a shortage of police if there is a shortage of effective parents! Likewise, there will not be enough prisons if there are not enough good homes."
Being consistent in our homes is important for another reason. Many of the Savior’s harshest rebukes were directed to hypocrites. Jesus warned His disciples concerning the scribes and Pharisees: “Do not ye after their works: for they say, and do not” (Matthew 23:3). This strong admonition is sobering given the counsel to “express love—and show it,” to “bear testimony—and live it,” and to “be consistent.”
The hypocrisy in our lives is most readily discerned and causes the greatest destruction within our own homes. And children often are the most alert and sensitive when it comes to recognizing hypocrisy.
A public statement of love when the private actions of love are absent at home is hypocrisy—and weakens the foundation of a great work. Publicly declaring testimony when faithfulness and obedience are missing within our own homes is hypocrisy—and undermines the foundation of a great work. The commandment “Thou shalt not bear false witness” (Exodus 20:16) applies most pointedly to the hypocrite in each of us. We need to be and become more consistent. “But be thou an example of the believers, in word, in conversation, in charity, in spirit, in faith, in purity” (1 Timothy 4:12).
As we seek the Lord’s help and in His strength, we can gradually reduce the disparity between what we say and what we do, between expressing love and consistently showing it, and between bearing testimony and steadfastly living it. We can become more diligent and concerned at home as we are more faithful in learning, living, and loving the restored gospel of Jesus Christ.
Feeling the security and constancy of love from a spouse, a parent, or a child is a rich blessing. Such love nurtures and sustains faith in God. Such love is a source of strength and casts out fear (see 1 John 4:18). Such love is the desire of every human soul.
We can become more diligent and concerned at home as we express love—and consistently show it.
I would be most content if my children grew up to be the kind of people who think decorating consists mostly of building enough bookshelves.