Making your house a home is not as easy as just deciding where you are going to live; it is more about deciding how you are going to live in that space! We want to surround our spouse and our children with an inviting, comfortable place that all consider one of the best places to be on earth! How do we make our space an inviting space?
Focus on God
My husband and I love to watch home remodel shows and see how the people on a certain show can turn a space into an amazing place to live. That is obviously about the physical things that we can see in a house. Making a house your home is not about the things or the riches that you have in your house; it is about making the people in your house feel loved, wanted, needed, and comforted. Any space can turn into a home when one or more people decide they want to live together under the same roof. Now, as Christians, our house becomes a “true home” when we put the Lord first. Joshua stood up for his family and pledged, “…as for me and my house, we will serve the Lord” (24:15). Making a house a home start with the decision of the parents to be committed to the Lord! A godly home will not happen by accident; it has to be intentional! Psalm 127:1 tells us, “Unless the Lord builds the house, they labor in vain who build it.” So, no matter how much work we put into the interior or exterior of our homes, unless God is put first in that home, nothing else matters!
One way of putting God first in your home is by having regular Bible times/studies with your family. It really helps guide your day by beginning the morning with Scripture. Maybe you read a verse with your children, possibly work on Scripture memorization, or you may have more time to read a longer passage and study deeper on that passage. If you try this regularly, I promise that you will have a better day and your thoughts will fall into place more easily (Matthew 6:33) as you are in your home or going about your day! Also, we really enjoy having nightly family Bible time with our family. Each night this might look different in the forms of singing, acting out, playing a Bible game, or focusing on certain subjects.
Focus on Protection
Our houses provide us with physical protection from the weather. We, as Christians, need to provide even more important protection—that is the protection of the soul! Is your home a place where it is less tempting to sin? Are you taking advantage of certain safeguards in protecting your souls (internet filters, etc.)? Are the music, television, and language used in your home bringing you closer to God or driving you away from Him? Our homes should be a refuge from worldliness and unnecessary temptations!
Focus on Contentment
We need to learn to be content with whatever house or space we call home right now. It might be big, small, old, new, etc. However, it is important to focus on being content in the place that you currently are. There is a Dr. Seuss saying that says, “Be happy with the things you have, and the things you have will make you happy!” It is true! We need to find contentment in the here and now. We will never have the perfect house here on earth, but our attitudes and gratefulness toward God for giving us a place to live is important! I have found that in every house I have lived in (which is about 10 different houses), I have always been able to find the shortcomings: “Oh, how I wish this house had more bedrooms”, “Oh, how I wish this house was bigger,” or “Oh, how I wish our basement did not flood” (true stories of houses I have lived in). We can all find the negatives in each house or place we live in, but it is very important not to dwell on the negatives because it will affect our happiness. Simply, do what you can with what you have and look for the blessings of your current situation.
The mood or the environment of our home is very important. So many times, we hear, “If Momma ain’t happy, ain’t nobody happy!” This is pretty accurate. We, as mommas, can create a nice, peaceful atmosphere in our homes, or one of constant nagging and complaining. Some ways to help with this would be maintaining a calm voice (even though you might want to be screaming), calming background music, candles or oils burning. Try to keep your mood lifted and it will be contagious to the rest of the household. Have you ever noticed when you are in a sour mood, that it does not take long to contaminate the rest of the family members with your bad mood? Same is true with a positive one! As women, we need to try to create a nice tone for our homes. We need to try to keep a calm voice and not be running around yelling all day and fussing at everyone and everything!
Focus on Hospitality
We also need to use our houses for the glory of God. It is really not “our” houses in the end; God owns it all. He is just allowing us to be temporary possessors of a place. Let us make sure that we are using our houses to His glory. This includes being hospitable! Hospitality is not just an option for a Christian (Romans 12:13; 1 Peter 4:9; Titus 1:8). It is necessary to show our love to others that we open our houses to friends and/or family and have an unselfish spirit about sharing our home with them. “¡Mi casa es tu casa!” (“My house is your house!”) I have learned a lot about hospitality from spending time with people in Latin America. Living there for three years, I learned that hospitality does not have to come in the form of the “best” home offering the “best” food to others. I have knocked many doors in which the people were very receptive to invite me in to their humble abode, giving me the best that they had to offer. This might have looked like a nearly broken chair and a tangerine! However, I could feel their hospitality through them taking their time to pay attention to me and giving their best to me. Here in North America, we often feel that we must have everything perfectly in place and have the “perfect” food prepared in order to invite others into our homes. Again, hospitality is not about “having the best,” but simply “sharing your best” with others. It is about taking time for other people. It involves being considerate of others.
All of us can make our house a home by focusing on God, protection, contentment, and hospitality!