In this essay, Lewis talks about a friend of his, a pastor who preaches about living in harmony with your family. He talks about home being a sanctuary where you can kick back and “be yourself.” He makes life at home sound easy, relaxing, and almost heaven-like. However, when Lewis goes to eat lunch with the pastor and his family, he finds a very different story at home. He discovers that the pastor is very unpleasant, very prone to gossip and rude to his family. Lewis is disappointed that the pastor painted such an easy picture of “society” at home when his own at-home life is so different from the peaceful, safe, environment it should be.
Lewis proposes instead that life at home is not at all easy. He argues that because of the Fall, no place can be a little “heaven” away from the rest of the world. Our private life is just as tainted as any other facet of life. He says that family life is not easy. In a family, love cannot mean just the natural affection we have for one another because at times that affection is not present. Love is a decision – something we must make a conscious effort to do each moment of every day. Lewis also argues that not only should our homes have the same rules as the public does, they should have more rules about treating one another with respect. “There is nowhere this side of heaven where one can safely lay the reins on the horse’s neck. It will never be lawful simply to ‘be ourselves’ until ‘ourselves’ have become sons of God.”