(Part 3 in the Home Stewardship series of posts)
Being a good steward of our homes certainly involves the physical aspect and the practical stuff. But, first and foremost it is a matter of our hearts.
God desires for us to be filled with joy, contentment, and peace.
He examines our hearts, our motivations, and longs for our obedience to Him.
What does that obedience look like?
1. Compare Less
Exodus 20:17 "You shall not covet your neighbor's house. You shall not covet your neighbor's wife, or his manservant or maidservant, his ox or donkey, or anything that belongs to your neighbor."
When we compare our homes and our possessions with those of others we invite a spirit of discontent and covetousness. We often miss how greatly we are blessed when we are focused on what we don't have. And we allow our joy and peace to be stolen from us.
2. A Thankful Heart
Look instead to how you have been blessed. Cultivate a spirit of gratitude. I remember a time in the beginning of our marriage when my husband was still fine-tuning the virtually non-existant plumbing system in our old house. It was almost impossible to take a shower. The water was cold and there was no water pressure. We'd merely get drips and have to try our best to wash and rinse. I remember the thrill I felt when we finally had a hot shower with full water pressure. It felt so luxurious! And, I was so thankful! I need to try to remember that thankfulness even now as I go about my daily routine. So many things that we take for granted are the things we'd be most thankful to have if we had to do without.
3. Stress Less
Chances are other people really aren't overly concerned about the appearance of my home. I'm pretty sure I'm the only one who loses sleep over it. Relax! I remember a conversation I had years ago with my friend, Marilyn. We were discussing some of the insecurities each of us felt about our homes. The thing she said that sticks in my mind is that she would actually rather visit in a home that was imperfect than a home that was perfect.
When we open our homes and our hearts to others we are honoring God. This is a lesson I am trying so hard to learn and to take to heart. I want my home to be warm and welcoming...and that starts with my willingness to bring others in. It doesn't have to be Martha Stewart approved. Just having someone over for a cup of coffee is good enough.
Two final thoughts on our homes....
"Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your strength. These commandments that I give you today are to be upon your hearts. Impress them on your children. Talk about them when you sit at home and when you walk along the road, when you lie down and when you get up." Deuteronomy 6:4-7
"....He blesses the home of the righteous" Proverbs 3:33
May you and your household be richly blessed!