Thursday, June 4, 2015

A Contented Home Life

“But godliness with contentment is great gain.  For we brought nothing into this world, and it is certain we can carry nothing out.  And having food and raiment let us be therewith content.” 1 Timothy 6:6-8

Building a joyful, contented home life begins not with the size of home we live in, but the state of our hearts. The simplest home not built on the world’s idea of perfection but built on the foundation of Christ can seem a mansion to those residing there. A heart content with what God has provided sees the potential beauty of home. With creativity and a desire to see God’s beauty come to life in our homes, it will be a place we want to spend time in. Memories will be made, learning and laughter will take place, and it will be a place of people’s memories.

So often we wait until we have some idea of ‘perfection’ for our homes or until we get the “dream home.” Yet the Godly, contented home does not wait until the people reside in a larger home, or one decorated to perfection, or some ideal that we have stored in our minds. The contented home is built into the people, the hearts and minds of the family. Where the family is, there is the home.  We can prepare a place for our families, that is filled with God’s love, sparks of simple creativity and a love for God’s creation. When we pass to our families the love and care that God shows us, with a servant’s heart, they are seeing what home really is, and a small reflection of their permanent, heavenly home.

“Let not your heart be troubled: ye believe in God, believe also in me.  In my Father's house are many mansions: if it were not so, I would have told you. I go to prepare a place for you.” John 14:1-2
Jesus goes to prepare a place for us in heaven. Sacrificing for us as he did and loving us, he provides us with an eternal home, one where we will always be with Him. Abiding in Him, the vine, we can prepare a place for our families to feel safe and content, and surrounded by the love of Christ. Expensive decorations, a spacious home, a home without spots on the carpet or smudges on the windows does not make a home. That is just the exterior, the things that will pass away. The internal things of a home, time built into hearts and minds---love, patience, gentleness, parents modeling God’s character and grace to their children, simple beauty and learning---a home built on these things is lasting and fruitful. Children can begin to develop the concept of God’s love, His grace and mercy, and that it is His beauty in us that is the real reflection of home. Apart from His grace and mercy we cannot build anything of lasting beauty, but a heart abiding in Christ can prepare a simple home of beauty.
We can’t wait until the perfection of “someday” arrives to begin building a contented home life. The perfect someday may never arrive. We have what God has provided and if we have willing contented hands to work for Him, we can build up something of great value to God. He doesn’t desire the perfection of a dirt free home, or a sterile perfect home, but a heart willing to be used by Him and home that we are willing to let him mold and shape. We need hearts focused on the treasure that is our eternal heavenly home; so that we reflect that into our temporary home on earth.
Most importantly, we can build a love for God and his goodness into our children’s hearts, a love for the Bible, and a love for simple creativity and learning that will last them a lifetime. The Bible, library books, jars with leaves, flowers, branches, listening to birds and learning their different calls---these are all free and building a home of beauty into their hearts. Children’s art on the walls, using the imagination, prayer and learning about people in the Bible build character into children and a sense of independent learning they will carry with them into adulthood. Making time and putting effort into building a life of quality and substance for our children (even on a limited budget) pours into the hearts of our children more than any other expensive activity or excessive busyness can.
Laura Ingalls Wilder, having grown up in small cabins, with few possessions, never writes of any lack of joy in her home life. They had God, love of family, music and a love for learning. Her home was her favorite place, and it was probably no larger than most people’s living rooms today. The life and laughter that her parents passed onto her and radiated from their hearts built her home life, not her possessions or the perfection of her home. She said “Home is the nicest word there is.”
When the Lord is our dwelling place, He will guide, equip and lead us to build up our home, large or small, for Him. He will provide us with the creativity, spark ideas and show us more of His love and grace as we submit a heart to Him willing to build our home into a home for Him.

Prayer: “Lord, show me how to build a home for you amongst the culture that wants to tear down a godly home. Give me creativity, and a heart willing to learn from you and submit to you. Show me how to be content with the resources you have given me and use them to the best of my ability. Show me how to build my home for you by pouring into the hearts of those you’ve given me. Amen.”
“Lord, you have been our dwelling place in all generations. Before the mountains were brought forth, or ever you had formed the earth and the world, from everlasting to everlasting you are God.” Psalm 90:1-2
“But if any widow have children or nephews, let them learn first to shew piety at home, and to requite their parents: for that is good and acceptable before God.” 1 Timothy 5:4
This is all the inheritance I give to my dear family. The religion of Christ will give them one which will make them rich indeed.
~ Patrick Henry

“If therefore our houses be houses of the Lord, we shall for that reason love home, reckoning our daily devotion the sweetest of our daily delights; and our family worship the most valuable of our family comforts...A church in the house will be a good legacy, nay, it will be a good inheritance left to your children after you.” ~ Matthew Henry, clergyman

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