A really good friend of mine (love you Lynne) mentioned to me once that our houses should be like little churches. In our community church we gather together to worship and adore God. Our homes should be a reflection of this; a smaller unit of that larger community. I have always really loved walking in to her home because the second you walk in the door you are met with a visual presentation of her family’s faith. She has beautiful art pieces here and there, and icons of saintly people and crosses hanging on the walls. I love walking in and getting a sense of her family’s faith, without them ever having to say anything. It is like their home is speaking for them saying, “Welcome. We love and serve the Lord in this house.”
I know a lot of people (our family included) tend to shy away from making their homes “little churches”, and I think there are a few common reasons for this. Maybe it is the fear of scaring away or offending people who aren’t into their faith. Maybe it’s the idea that they don’t want their home to be gaudy (no pun intended), and the idea of putting a reflection of their faith reminds them of old gothic artifacts and churches. Or maybe people just don’t know how to go about doing this in the first place. Whatever the reason may be, I think the priority of making our homes a reflection of our faith tends to sit on the back burner. I think one thing that everyone can agree on, though, is that the homes that are the most pleasing to walk into are those homes that are a true reflection of the family that lives within it. I always love walking into homes with pictures of the family hanging on the wall, and little reflections of who the family is in pieces around the home. We are all part of this grand family and communion in God, so shouldn’t this also be reflected in our smaller communities—our families?
Inviting God into our homes, though, is more than just nailing religious artifacts on the wall. Decorating our home should merely be a reflection of our faith, a sign of the life that we are living, and a reminder to us of God’s love. Our priority should start with truly seeking to serve God in our own lives, in the life of our family, and in our homes. I think one of the problems today that have a direct impact on this, is that people view God as an absentee God. I have met a lot of people in my life who believe God exists and is real, but that He is out there somewhere, not truly present to our world and especially to our individual lives. I think in some way, we all view God as a little bit absent in our lives. It is hard not to think this way, because we are trained for immediate gratification and instant results. It’s easy to give up on God when we don’t hear the thunderbolts of His response when we our seeking Him and praying to Him. It’s easy to gloss over building our relationship with Jesus because he lived 2,000 years ago, and to allow ourselves to get too busy in our lives, forgetting to take the time to invite Him into our home. How do we come to know and love Him today, when He feels so very absent and far removed from our lives? How do we invite Him into our homes, when we have not yet truly opened our hearts to Him?
We have to call to mind that God is not an absent God; He is present, and He is living. He is the God of love, and because He is the God of love He is always seeking to be in communion with us. Just as a lover seeks to know and communicate with his or her beloved, God seeks for His people to know and love Him. He wants to build a home with us and to be there for all the joyous occasions we experience, and even all the sufferings we are called to endure. God is always present to us, but are we present to God? Do we invite Him first and foremost into our hearts? Do we allow Him to enter into our homes and reside within our families?
Over the course of these next 28 days, I want to write a few tips for how we can go about opening our homes (our inner home, and our physical home) to God. I came up with a list of a few ways that I have found to be helpful in this and that I have witnessed working in other people’s lives. I also am leaving room for God to reveal to me a few ways that I haven’t thought of before, because I still have so much to learn from Him, and there is so much space for my own family to grow in this.
I think the biggest challenge in doing this is actually starting—beginning to seek God and respond in faith to His call.
I look forward to writing more about this and I hope you continue reading!