"Love the Home You Have"
"I am not saying this because I am in need, for I have learned to be content whatever the circumstances. I know what it is to be in need, and I know what it is to have plenty. I have learned the secret of being content in any and every situation, whether well fed or hungry, whether living in plenty or in want. I can do all this through him who gives me strength."
Philippians 4:11-13 (NIV)
One day as I was putting away some laundry, I caught a glimpse of our upstairs family room through the door at the end of the hall. The sun was streaming in the windows, filling the room with bright light. Instead of simply rejoicing at the sunshine, I couldn’t help but notice how worn the carpet had become.
I didn’t love the drab color to begin with, but after years of wear and tear with an aging dog, a teenage boy and three puppies, that carpet definitely had lost its new-house freshness.
The declining condition of the carpet reminds me of an ever-growing list of things falling apart around the house. If I let myself think about it too long, I can get so overwhelmed counting the flaws (and lack of funds to improve them) that I begin to grow discontent with my home. Before I know it, I’m daydreaming about a better house in a different neighborhood.
My dream house includes a picket fence, more closet space, less clutter and definitely no drab or smelly carpet in the family room!
I almost believe that if only I lived there, life would be so much easier.
There’s nothing particularly wrong with daydreaming now and then about home improvement or a better house, but I’ve learned that what comes next can either help or hinder me.
When I’m tempted to peer over a picket fence to see if the grass is indeed greener on the other side, I know it’s time to turn around right then and there and change my perspective. The home I have is enough.
Most of the time I really am grateful for the gift of a roof over my head, but if I lose perspective, it doesn’t take much for discontent to move in and steal any contentment with what I have.
Yes, carpet can be cleaned or even replaced someday. Clutter can be removed to reveal more closet space. The dishes will have to be done in any house we live in. I will never get to every project on our to-do list.
Any home needs some TLC to transform it into a sanctuary for our families. Yet to find true contentment in all circumstances, as our key verse reminds us, I have to be transformed first.
I’ve learned that it’s not about finding the right house or keeping up with the to-do list or the Joneses, but about learning how to find joy and delight in what I’ve been given (even when it isn’t exactly what I would have chosen!).
With the right perspective, I can create a comfortable space to serve God and my family well, right here in this place.
Every uplifting word we speak to our families, every time we pick up the mess or clean the carpet or rearrange the furniture, every opportunity we take to show hospitality and love to the people who come through our door — they all matter.
Caring for the home we have with a perspective of gratitude builds up our contentment with what God has provided. As Colossians 3:17 says, "And whatever you do, whether in word or deed, do it all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through him" (NIV).
Whether your home is an apartment, a condo, a rental or your forever dream house, the ordinary blessings you count every day will keep your perspective on what matters most.
Dear Lord, sometimes I lose perspective when viewing the gifts right in front of me. I start to believe my dream house must be somewhere else, because it certainly couldn’t be right here in this mess. Help me refocus my heart and find contentment right here, in this place You so graciously provided for me. Help me honor You through learning to take care of the home I have and showing love to the people who enter through my door. In Jesus’ Name, Amen.
TRUTH FOR TODAY:
Proverbs 14:1, "The wise woman builds her house, but with her own hands the foolish one tears hers down." (NIV)