Whatever Your House, Make It a Home

29 Aug

Martha Bolton and Brad Dickson wrote that there are Seven Signs You’ve Made a Bad Real-Estate Investment:

  1. The words “as is” appear 749 times in the contract.
  2. The home warranty expires in thirty-six hours. And that’s the extended warranty.
  3. During the final walk-through, the home inspector falls through a hole in the roof. And on the insurance report, you have to clarify which hole.
  4. The crown moldings turn out to be made of actual mold.
  5. The sellers apparently did not realize the toilets and doorknobs were part of the deal and took them all with them.
  6. The address is 4369 San Andreas Fault Drive.
  7. That almanac-sized bundle of paper the sellers left behind turns out to be the final disclosure statement. (1)

Most of that will not be as surprised by a home we buy (or even an apartment we rent). We’re careful, knowing that our investment is a big one!

But regardless the size or “bones” of your house, you can always turn it into a home. Some of the most Home Welcome Matinteresting programs on television are the home-makeover-type shows. There’s something satisfying about seeing a drab or even an OK home become glamorous and inviting.

I (Dawn) have a number of books on homemaking and hospitality in my library. Years ago, I read Karen Mains’ Open Heart~Open Home. My new favorite is Practicing Hospitality by Pat Ennis and Lisa Tatlock. But the other day, I pulled out a book I got a few years ago that radically changed my perspective.

In The Warm and Welcome Home by Quin Sherrer, a woman named Mary Jo offered to help the author give her house a face-lift. After Sherrer gave her cart blanche to move forward, Mary Jo told her that God had “already supplied” what would be needed for the makeover. Most women have “accessories hidden in their closet, attic, or garage, or under the bed,” Mary Jo said ~ and those were the places she would look!

Not wanting Mary Jo to claw through her stuff, Sherrer rummaged through things herself and pulled out all the “extras” that seemed useable for the makeover.

Sure enough, Mary Jo arrived ready for D-day (“decorating day”)…. and the rest of the chapter described their creativity in using to better advantage the items in her home, rearranging furniture, removing clutter, adding God-honoring decor, planning strategies for hospitality, and preparing a peaceful, restful environment.

But I kept returning to one paragraph. After Mary Jo arrived, Sherrer, Mary Jo and another friend named Lib sat down in the living room and prayed. Their prayer was one that prayed when I began to re-design my “great room” ~

Woman praying“Lord, may Your creative gifts flow through each of us so that we may decorate this home to Your glory. May it reflect the personality of the family who lives here ~ not our own individual tastes. Lord, we just want to make it an even more inviting place …. Give us Your strength and joy as we work together. When we leave, may even more of Your peace pervade this home. We thank You for the privilege of helping each other and using the various talents You have given us. In Jesus’ name, Amen.” (2)

Consider some of the elements of that prayer:

  • Recognizing that all creativity comes from the Creator
  • Desiring to bring glory and honor to God in the home’s decor and atmosphere
  • Unselfishness – considering the personalities of others
  • An “inviting” home … a presumption that there will be guests!
  • A desire to create a place of peace and rest (a God-centered haven)

Whatever the style, age, or structure of your house, you can always make it a home. You can make it a godly home. You can make it a peaceful home. The scriptures say, “My people will live in peaceful dwelling places, in secure homes, in undisturbed places of rest” (Isaiah 32:18). While we may not have uninterrupted peace in our homes (especially if we have rowdy children), the Word says we can have “perfect peace” in our hearts when we focus on and trust in the Lord (Isaiah 26:3).

Turning to God first is the key. I like what Sherrer says in the beginning of her book: “I knew that the more Christ was at home in my heart, the more He would be at home in my home.” (3)

The prayer at the beginning of their “D-Day” endeavors was evidence that Christ was at home in these women’s hearts.

And after the house was redecorated, Sherrer bookmarked their labors with another prayer, a Bless This House“house blessing” ~ inviting a minister to lead in the dedication of their home. The minister prayed that the home would be cleansed from all evil and that God would make their home “a secure habitation.”

[Did you catch that? It is as important to eliminate what doesn’t belong in a Christian home ~ anything that does not please the Lord ~ as what we add in!]

Then they prayed over every room in the house, asking for God’s blessing on those who would use or occupy each room.  Finally, the minister prayed, “And now, Lord, use this house for Your glory and this family to love others to You.”

I think that the prayers over our home are every bit as important ~ probably much more valuable ~ than all of our furnishings and creative decor. It is the Lord who enables us to turn our houses into homes. But we need to take the time to invite Him in!

God isn’t just our first guest; He wants to dwell with us … and we need to be sure that He is comfortable.

(1) Martha Bolton and Brad Dickson, Maybe Life’s Just Not That Into You (Howard Books, 2007), pp. 58-59

(2) Quin Sherrer, The Warm and Welcome Home (Regal/Gospel Light, 2002),  p. 27

(3) ibid, p. 19

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One Response to “Whatever Your House, Make It a Home”

  1. Lynn Moshesr August 30, 2011 at 2:43 am #

    Oh, Dawn! I’m so glad I got to read this. I love it! What an awesome make-over pair! So much to think about. Thank you!

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