Have you ever driven by a home and said, “I wish I could live there”? My husband and I went to a popular home decor chain tonight and I saw lots of beautiful signs with wonderful sayings.
Some with “house rules” and some with the words “family” made out of rustic wood and whitewashed welcome signs. The perfect decorations to make our home inviting and cozy.
I love those kinds of decorations, but that’s not what makes a house a home. I know because I’ve experienced the destruction of a house. I’ve witnessed the four walls of my childhood home disintegrate right in front of my eyes.
If you want a home that withstands the storms of life and a place where your family hears words of life and unconditional love, I want to share something with you today.
House on Fire
I was fourteen years old when one of the most traumatic events of my life occurred. We drove down our dirt driveway that was on roughly one acre of land. The lights from the siren’s lit up the dark night and exposed the smoke billowing from what was once our home.
We didn’t have cell phones back then. No one was able to warn us that what we left before dinner that night would not be there when we came back.
As my dad drove us down the road, we let out yells and gasps in response to what our eyes witnessed. Our home had burned completely to the ground. It seemed so unreal. My young mind couldn’t process the idea that my home wasn’t there anymore.
What were we going to do?
The garden of Eden was a real place. If you go back to Genesis 2, you will see the Bible gives us land descriptions and location in regards to where it once was. And this was Adam and Eve’s first home.
We learn a lot of what God expects from a godly home in this chapter. We don’t only see the beauty in Eden, but we see the value Eden had because of the treasures not viewable to the naked eye.
Do you want your home to be valued because of the possessions in it or because of it’s unseen treasures? I can tell you there’s a difference in the decorations of a home established by God.
Decorations you can’t be buy at Home Goods
As hard as it was that day to lose everything we owned, it was harder to try and replace it. Our house burned down in November and that Christmas I asked for everything I once had. I wanted my childhood dolls, old clothes, and things I collected. I thought if we could replace what was in our home, maybe the new home would be comfortable again.
There’s a verse in Proverbs 24:3-4 that says, “By wisdom a house is built, and by understanding it is established. And by knowledge the rooms are filled with all precious and pleasant riches.”
I’m the type of person who loves the way my home “feels”. I love the smell of our home and the conversation that takes place inside it. In my fourteen year old mind, I could not make the connection that “things” would not make our new house feel like home.
This verse tells us that the true treasures in a home are not what hangs on the walls or the possessions that fill it. It’s the valuable truths we speak and the things we cannot purchase at Home Goods.
Does God Live With You?
Dean and I only lived in two places before our home was built. We lived in an apartment and a trailer. I loved living in that little trailer. It was only forty feet long, but it was home. We talk often about how life was simple when we lived there.
But it wasn’t that life was simple, it’s that God’s presence abided with us. John 14:23 says, “If anyone loves Me, he will keep My word; and My Father will love him; and We will come to him and make Our home with him.”
The value Eden had was the presence of God. God walked with Adam and Eve in the cool of the day and they experienced perfect fellowship with Him.
There wasn’t anyone who envied Dean and I when we lived in our trailer. No one wished they could live in our home. But I loved it. God dwelt among us and His word was spoken in that tiny tin can. That’s what made the experience priceless.
When we built our current home, I walked the rooms of the framed shell. I prayed and prayed and asked God to abide there with us. I was anxious this big, beautiful house wouldn’t feel like a home. Leaving my trailer wasn’t going to be easy unless God promised to be with us.
What Are You Building On?
When I look back to when I was fourteen, I realize now that my understanding was all wrong. It wasn’t things that made our house a home, it was family, principles, and God’s presence. Time went on, things were replaced, and we recovered.
I can honestly say I don’t miss anything that burned up in the fire. I can’t even remember anything specific from the fire that I possessed. The Lord taught me that homes can’t really be destroyed, even if they are consumed in fires.
Matthew 7:24-27 talks about two homes. One was built on sand and the other was built on the rock. Of course, the rock is the foundation of Jesus; His truths, His wisdom, and the knowledge of who He is.
The sand are the things that can be destroyed … like beautiful exteriors of stacked stone and perfectly manicured yards. The homes we envy when we drive by and wished we had what they have.
They’re the decorations that can be replaced next year at the local home decor store, and the furniture that gets wear and tear as families share laughs over dinner and movie nights.
So my friend, if your home doesn’t have all that you wished it had and maybe looked like the neighbors down the street, you’re not alone. But that’s not what makes a house a home. Because once the walls are decorated and the new tile floors are polished, what conversations are taking place?
I shared a quote a few weeks back on my Instagram page and it says, “The grass is greener where you water it.” And that’s so true. Our homes are what we put in them; the treasures of the unseen and what can’t be bought off a shelf or found on a Pinterest board.
My challenge to you today is to look around at what your home is dressed with. And I’m not talking about tangible things you need a hammer and a nail to put on a wall. I’m talking about the treasures of the unseen. The wisdom, knowledge and understanding of God’s word that He talks about in Proverbs.
It doesn’t matter what the homes on Pinterest look like or how nicely our neighbors remodel their houses. We have to be determined to serve the Lord first. Everything else is just decoration!