And if it seem evil unto you to serve the LORD, choose you this day whom ye will serve…but as for me and my house, we will serve the LORD. Joshua 24:14-15
It doesn’t matter if you live in a house, apartment, trailer, or just a room. There can be one person or twenty living inside with lots of room or cramped together. The size or number is only a place to dwell; you make the decision whether or not it is a home.
I thought a great deal about that when I heard a woman talking about visiting some people in another town. These people live in a large house and are trying to impress others with their many possessions. The woman said that every time she spends time with this couple, she leaves feeling the burden of their negative, condescending, and judgmental ways because the feel they are better than others. These people live in a spacious and beautiful house, but is it a home?
On the other hand, I know a number of people who are a joy to visit. They have such a love for God and others that it radiates from them. A person can’t help but be influenced positively by them. Many of them live in small, modest homes, although I have other friends I am comfortable being around that live in large, beautifully decorated homes. They make me feel welcome the minute I walk through the door.
What is the difference? Is it the size of the home? I had a revelation when I attended a meeting at a friend’s home a couple weeks ago. As soon as I stepped through the door I felt love and acceptance. After the meeting we were given a tour of the home and heard the history of the many stages of completion. It may not be a large home by today’s standards, but as we heard story after story of those who lived in the home. As she told the stories you could feel the love in her voice for her family.
When I prepared to leave I thanked her for hosting the group and for the tour of her home. I told her what a “homey” and comfortable feel it had. I related I could feel the love radiating from it.
My Grandma always told me that anyone can live in a house, but it takes love to make it a home. She too lived in a tiny house, even smaller than the home I visited. Although it was only about 800 square feet, it seemed much larger. On holidays she would drag the kitchen table into the living room and add two leaves to it. Although we were pushed up against the furniture there was always plenty of room for everyone. The walls were bulging with the love inside.
Now I am not saying you have to live in small surroundings to have a home full of love. As I said about my friend at the beginning, she lives in a large beautifully decorated home with every thing in place. Every time I go to visit I can feel the love within its walls.
With all of this said, the one thing in common is each of these people have a close relationship with Jesus Christ. Each one of them is like Joshua who challenged the people of Israel to choose to follow God. This common bond with God and the love that radiates makes their dwelling places a home.
In Proverbs 15:16-17 is the following advice: “Better is little with the fear of the LORD than great treasure and trouble therewith. Better is a dinner of herbs where love is, than a stalled ox and hatred therewith”. That fear which can be better translated as awe or reverence proves where the true treasure lies.
Magazines and home improvement shows are full of ideas to make your house the very best it can be, but the Word of God gives advice to transform it into a home. Some suggestions include how to be good housekeepers in Titus 2. In 1 Peter 3:7-9 husbands and wives learn the secret of a harmonious home. Of course what would a harmonious home be without true love found in 1 Corinthians 13 known as the love chapter.
This home improvement takes a lifelong commitment that is found in Romans 12 as we are commanded to present our bodies as a living sacrifice and to not be conformed to this world, but be transformed into the perfect will of God.
Do you live in a house or a home? Are you willing to make the sacrifice to make it a true home that is pleasing to God? The decision is yours.