I love the feeling of home. If you are taking the time to read a blog that focuses on home related things, you probably have a bit of that in you as well. I love the feeling of belonging that comes in between the outer walls of a place where you are loved; the comfort of a place that is uniquely you. No matter how far you travel, there is something enchanting about coming home.
I have often pondered how my love for something so earthly like my house fits with my even greater love of a God in heaven.
And I realize God has a lot to say about home.
He says that unless he builds the house, there isn't much point (Ps 127:1). He blesses the home of the righteous (Prov 3:33). He commends women who stay busy at home (Titus 2:4-5). He knew how much home matters; his punishment to the Israelites for worshiping other gods was to make them wander without a home for 40 years.
Then I wondered...how does he want me to use my home?
He urges us to not forget to show hospitality to strangers (Heb 13:2). He says that if we throw a party invite the poor, the crippled, the lame, the blind, and you will be blessed...although they cannot repay you (Luke 14:14). Paul was blessed on his journey by people who built a fire and welcomed [him] because it was raining and cold (Acts 28:2). We ought to offer hospitality...without grumbling (1 Peter 4:9).
So, here's my question. What would my home look like if I was truly selfless?
I think I wouldn't think twice if someone stopped in unannounced. I wouldn't stress about the decorating progress (or lack thereof) I wouldn't measure the value of our home solely based on the money put in but on the love expressed there. I would brainstorm ways to serve people in addition to ways to beautify the place. I would pray more. I wouldn't wait til the house was perfect to invite people in. I would make time to welcome people over...even people I didn't feel loved by, or who I know could give nothing in return. I wouldn't get angry when my neighbors trash ended up on my lawn and throw it back in frustration. I would pick it up without complaint. Personal anecdote.
My parents serve tirelessly in the lives of young people, and I am so blessed by their example. When they built their dream home about 10 years ago, I remember them making decisions based on how they could use their home to bless others. They knew that their home belonged to God, and they want Him to use it, and them, to bless others.
Hospitality is not everyone's spiritual gift. It's harder for some people than others. But I am challenged today to think about how I am using my home as a gift to others. I think that includes how I spend my time in my home. The words I speak. The things I do.
As one final word of encouragement, I want to mention perhaps the most significant passage about home for those of us who are believers in Christ.
"Friends, this world is not your home, so don't make yourselves cozy in it. Don't indulge your ego at the expense of your soul." 1 Peter 2:11 MSG. This world is not our home, and our homes are not our own. There is a greater home waiting for us, and I think the hospitality we will experience there will be out of this world.