In 2007, Wendy and I wrote a book with this title, Love in the House. It was a response of sorts to the TLC episode on our family that aired that February. Kids by the Dozen showed internationally, an expose on our family of then-13 children.
Understand that there were several times in our marriage that we thought we were crazy for having so many children. But the subtle (sometimes strong) conviction to keep having them was something we couldn’t ignore. The TV show made it sound like we had everything figured out, and we felt it left a lot of the depth of our lifestyle and values on the editing floor.
Don’t get me wrong: the TLC show was a blast and an awesome experience. But it demanded a follow up, which is what Love in the House initially launched as.
But you know what? It became so much more than just an expose on a large family. When we were forced to lay it on the line and explain why we live this “radical” life of a huge family, we discovered something deep about ourselves. Come to think of it, Love in the House is our most cherished book (we launched four more since then). The subtitle speaks to something I believe families are yearning for: Filling Your Home With the Greatest Commandment.
This idea of a “greatest commandment” comes from the story where a religious leader asks Jesus what the most important commandment is. I can identify with the person who asked the question. Sometimes in the confusion and conflicts of life, I’d like to ask God, “what’s this all about, God?” Give it to me straight. “In a nutshell, give me the most important thing I must do to get life right.”
Jesus replied, essentially, love God and others. Everything else hangs on this.
Wendy and I missed the mark on love in a few key areas of our family what we explore in the book. Unfortunately, we believe many parents miss the mark. We get wrapped up in “other things” and fail to give #1 priority to those in our lives whom we should, sometimes our very own children.