Making Your Home A Place of Delight
A while ago I was flipping through the stations on the television when I came across a show on HGTV that was all about how to accomplish big style in small spaces. They were featuring beautiful lofts and studio spaces in several prominent cities in New York. I was so amazed by how people designed their homes so creatively in order to make the most of their small square footage. They used vertical wall space like pros, had secret shelves underneath cabinets, and televisions that magically appeared from behind pieces of hanging art. They had very little space to spare, yet every single home found space for a garden or green space. When they were asked why they decided to sacrifice more living space for a garden, every single person said that the beauty of the space helps them escape the chaos of the city.
When you think of a garden, what do you tend to think of?
To many, a garden is often associated with beauty and provision. Genesis 2:8 states that at the beginning of creation, “God planted a garden” for Adam and Eve to dwell. What exactly does the word planted mean? It means to physically put or place in the ground to grow. This place in the garden was not yet established before God planted it himself. Genesis 2:8 is where we see God establishing the institution of the home in Scripture. The family unit and establishment of the home preceded all other institutions including civil government, communities, and worship assemblies. That God created the home to be the first institution shows how crucial the home is to community and order.
How do we make our home a place of service?
Picture of the Gospel
In the Bible, a home was considered a place of refuge for a weary traveler. On his long journey, a Christian traveler would seek out other believers to host him for protection and rest in the harsh conditions. All throughout Scripture there are illustrations of refuges provided by God, and many of these same qualities are characteristics of the Christian home. A Christian home is called to be a place of worship, fellowship, safety, refuge, and a place that clearly communicates the gospel. By displaying hospitality in our homes and churches, Christians are providing a safe refuge for non-believers. Though the word hospitality does not appear in the Old Testament, this idea is carried throughout as the chief bond that brought all groups unified for one purpose. In the New Testament, the practice of hospitality was crucial and played a vital role in the life of Jesus and the early church.
Tool for Evangelism and Discipleship
A popular scripture that is posted near the doorway of many homes comes from Joshua 24:15 (NKJV), “…as for me and my household, we will serve the Lord.” Serving others and serving the Lord is a worshipful act. Evangelism and discipleship is an intentional act. When many think of evangelism and discipleship, they think that it is merely an act of going out to highways and hedges proclaiming Christ. So often the home is abandoned and not thought about as a place where evangelism and discipleship can take place. The home can become a perfect place to display hospitality and be a silent and vocal witness for the cause of Christ. Biblical hospitality is not about abandoning the relationship between friends, but intentionally going out and seeking to find strangers and hosting them as well. Now this does not mean we use paper products and a pallet on the floor for strangers but fine china and a lavish guest room for our friends. Christians are to see everyone they come in contact with as a soul and potential discipleship opportunity.
Every home should be a place of shelter and delight, an Eden. A home should be a place of fellowship, a place of nurturing of relationships and spiritual maturity, and above all else, a place of service.