I named this series, and future book, after the phrase “We are homeward bound, heaven bound.” In our society it is common to hear sayings such as “a little slice of heaven” or a place that inspires “peace on earth”. My heart feels called to this idea that Heaven, in more ways than one, is tangible, right here, right now. No – not a supernatural vision so to speak – but by creating a space that FORCES us to think on God, or as Paul puts it in Philippians 4:8-9 “Finally, brethren, whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is of good repute, if there is any excellence and if anything worthy of praise, dwell on these things. The things you have learned and received and heard and seen in me, practice these things, and the God of peace will be with you.” I love that summation – that if we dwell on the true, the good, and the beautiful, the peace of God – the God of peace – will be with us!
Have you ever walked into a room, or a church, or even a beautiful meadow and thought to yourself “How lucky am I to know the peace of God?” I want that every day. I want the people who are welcomed into my home to think to themselves, “Wow, God is truly present here.”
So how do we do this? How do we create spaces that reflect the love and beauty and glory of God? I think first and foremost we must look to Scripture to know what God wants our homes – our daily lives – to look like.
“Likewise also that women should adorn themselves in respectable apparel, with modesty and self-control, not with braided hair and gold or pearls or costly attire, but with what is proper for women who profess godliness—with good works.” 1 Timothy 2:9-10
“Do not let your adorning be external—the braiding of hair and the putting on of gold jewelry, or the clothing you wear— but let your adorning be the hidden person of the heart with the imperishable beauty of a gentle and quiet spirit, which in God’s sight is very precious.” 1 Peter 3:3-4
“My people will abide in a peaceful habitation, in secure dwellings, and in quiet resting places.” Isaiah 32:18
“So, whether you eat or drink, or whatever you do, do all to the glory of God.” 1 Corinthians 10:31
I want to just briefly touch on a few verses to SHOW that God really does desire us to have homes that aren’t filled with stuff or excessive noise or vanity, but that he wants us to have little pieces of His peace in our homes. Throughout this series I will be further explaining many of these verses and practical applications – but for now I just want you to know that it IS possible and that it is DESIRED BY GOD – FOR YOU.
Our God is a God of beauty and of order. He doesn’t just throw things together and call it good – he crafts each and every thing – including us – and does so to glorify and honor Himself. I find this so comforting because, as a woman especially, I want to be beautiful – I want people to think of me as a beautiful person and I want the people who come to my home to think that it is a beautiful place of rest. What God doesn’t like – what he hates – is vanity – when we prize being beautiful more than anything else. When we care what others think to the degree that we aim to please them, instead of trying to please God. When our lives become about our makeup and decorations and cars and clothes instead of ‘losing our life’ and becoming the hands and feet of Jesus (Matthew 10:39). Jesus tells us that we cannot serve two masters (Luke 16:13, Matthew 6:24). We can’t serve God AND serve ourselves.
The verses from 1 Timothy and 1 Peter point to just that. Although these verses pertain to self adornment for women specifically, I believe that transfers into all aspects of our lives. When we want others to be envious of us or our lives – that is sin. Vanity is sin. And we are not called to adorn ourselves for the sake of others – we are not called to wear jewels and fine clothing, but instead, are called to shine forth from the inside out – to be beautiful because of our hearts and kindness and meekness. Can you image if that was the message your house presented? What a place of worship that would be.
1 Timothy says that godly women adore themselves with the good works of God… what a better way to serve than to open up your home to sinners, to minister to them, and to show them a little piece of what life with Christ is like?
I love the verse from Isaiah – God desires us to live in peace among ourselves, to live in homes that are safe and secure, and that can be places of rest. Wow. I think too often our homes become a place of sleep – like hotels. We dump our bags at the front door, make dinner, leave dishes strewn about, climb into bed and start again. But our homes can be, and should be, places of retreat. Places where we can minister to our friends and family. Places to sit quietly and be in the Word or prayer. Places where good food brings us together in fellowship. Places where our children can play safely. Places where we don’t think first to the clutter, filth, fancy paintings, or expensive furnishings. A place of God.
And lastly – everything we do, everything, should be to the glory of God. This is a constant battle of mine, and I’m sure of everyone else’s. The world is pulling at us ALL of the time. Buy this. Listen to this. Think this. Defend this. Etc etc etc. But what we really should be doing, whether its buying groceries for dinner or picking an album for the record player, is asking ourselves – is this good? Does this glorify my God? This, I believe, is one of the trickiest habits to begin but SO beneficial and so very blessed by God. When we start being in constant prayer with Him and asking, “Lord, does this bring glory to You?”, He rewards us for our effort.
I’m so excited to share later this week about food and how we can glorify God in what we eat, how we consume, where we purchase, and honoring God by caring for our bodies.
What do you think about having a “slice of heaven” in your home? Do you think its doable? What verses speak to you about simplifying your life to honor God?