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Volume 8, Issue 2: Femina

Home Ownership

Nancy Wilson

God has been so kind to us in giving us homes and families to fill them. The earth is the Lord's as is everything in it. Obviously, our homes are the Lord's as is everything in them. It follows that our homes should reflect His ownership in all aspects. Our attitude toward our homes should be one in which we seek to glorify Him in our daily use of the things He has graciously "loaned" to us. Knowing it is His and that He has bestowed it on us should keep us humble (knowing we don't deserve it), content (knowing we don't deserve it), and thankful (knowing we don't deserve it). This protects us from temptations to arrogance, envy, and ingratitude.

Knowing our homes belong to God should also have a significant impact on the way we manage them and, therefore, on the way they look. A Christian woman ought to be able to apply her Christian worldview, including her view of the family, in the way she cares for, manages, cleans, and decorates her home. After all, if it is God's home, it matters how it looks. We serve a God who is holy, righteous, orderly, and the Creator of all that is lovely. Surely our homes should reflect this. If He created light, texture, design, and all in harmony, shouldn't our homes celebrate and appreciate His masterly control over all things?
One of the things the Puritans did well was recognize the goodness of the creation. This enabled them to keep God first in their lives while enjoying immensely, with gratitude, all the physical blessings He bestowed on them.
"The Puritans determined to make earthly things divine, not by forbidding them, but by infusing them with holiness" ( Worldly Saints , p. 208). They could enjoy wealth by realizing it was a gift from God, by keeping it in subordination to Him, and by using it to do good. Richard Sibbes said, "Worldly things are good in themselves and given to sweeten our passage to Heaven" (p. 59).
As we recognize the goodness of God's gifts to us and keep alert to the temptations attendant to such blessings, we are free to use our worldly possessions in a God-glorifying manner. Non-Christians have no concept of worshipping and glorifying God in how they decorate a home! Their only options are self-glorification or guilt in ownership. Only the believer can enjoy material things fully in such a thankful, and not guilty, way.
As the Christian woman takes stock of her resources and abilities, she can be motivated to make her home lovely in a Christ-honoring way. She can seek to make her home beautiful to please God. The pagans may want to impress one another, but the Christian can delight in Christ.
This may provide an entirely new motivation for Christian women to keep their homes clean and organized and to be always working to make them more beautiful, given the resources God has given to them.
Decorating a home should reflect God's ownership of our homes and our lives. Christian women should seek to honor God in the way they pick out furniture and hang curtains. A Christian home should be and look different. This does not mean different because Bible verses are hanging on the walls, but different because it reflects a desire to please God in all of life.
Because women typically are more involved in the actual decorating process, it is important they are careful to acknowledge the presence of their head in the home. A Christian home should be decorated in such a way that it looks like a man lives there, and that his wife is a complement to him, not a competitor. This does not mean a set of antlers in every room, but a Christian wife has the duty to find out what her husband likes. Does he like darker colors? Light colors? Any colors? He may never have thought of it before. He may need time. They both may need to begin thinking about this together for the first time.
Because of the feminization of our culture on many levels, home decorating has sunk, in many cases, to simply lining the walls with hearts and bunnies and tying a bow on everything in sight. This country or Victorian "cute" excludes almost entirely the masculine presence. Certainly a Christian home should reflect the presence of both the masculine leadership and feminine help.
Am I trying to lay down one particular style as "Christian"? Absolutely not. God has created us with tremendous variety and our homes should reflect this. Not only do we have a variety of tastes, but a variety of circumstances, resources, and differing levels of maturity in taste. But we should all begin or continue in the process, for our homes should be practical extensions of what we believe to be true about God and His world and demonstrate that it is all under His ownership.

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