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Is your house a home?
by pamela spurling

The other day I saw a pen cap on the kitchen floor. Being that most all the pens in our home are two-piece units, it was with dread that I searched for the now "cap-free" blue felt-tipped pen and slowly made my way to where I instinctively knew I would find trouble. No, the little boy’s name is not "trouble," it’s Andrew…and I knew I would find the pen if I found Andrew… rather, I knew after I saw the artistry on the freshly painted ivory wainscoting that I was, indeed, looking for Andrew. It’s a wonderfully wise God who would create a little boy like him and not exclude an adorable face, also. It is probably in his best interest that I adore him, his gray eyes and curly hair… and it is even more beneficial that I had, just one week previous, experienced the blessing that the paint was indeed: washable… make that, scrubbable. I have come to learn over the years that there are very few things that cannot be cleaned up, fixed, glued, painted, or reworked in some manner of acceptability. This was one of those times… I still hadn’t found the pen… and it was very difficult to discipline the budding artist who seemed quite surprised that I wasn’t as pleased with his artwork as he was…for he was decorating our home.

Is your house a home?

Your immediate response might be, "Well, of course… our house is a home! We live here!" Is your heart in it? Does the "welcome home" sign on your door really mean "welcome home" to your family?

In Proverbs 31:27 we read: "She looketh well to the ways of her household, and eateth not the bread of idleness." Looking well to the ways of ones household is more than keeping the place clean and decorated. It’s more than having a good schedule and adequate meals. It’s more than clean clothes and clean floors… it’s home… it’s the place where memories are made and stories of days gone by are retold. It’s the place where solace is given, where wounds are mended, where joys and tragedies are shared and where love is grown. Home is where the pictures tell the stories of the past… it’s where the fragrance lingers and the refreshing happens. Looking well to the ways of the household then means that the ways of the members and the needs of the members are foremost in her mind and she looks well to the ways of them.

Houses may be called homes, but not all houses are homes. It’s only a home when the residents and visitors call it home and mean it.

What makes a house a home? Is it the location? No. Is it people? No, not necessarily. Is it things? No. Is it just a name? No… it’s not just a name, because, again, while houses are houses, not all houses are homes.

A home, then, is all of these…

A shelter from the storm.
A place to learn and grow.
A place to experience joy and sorrow.
A place to be refreshed.
A place to be fed.
A place to be warmed.
A place to be protected.
A place to be nurtured and loved.
A place to be healed from sickness or trauma.
A place to be safe.
A place to trust.
A place to remember… and
A place to create memories.
A place to laugh.
A place to cry.
A place to experience birth.
A place to experience life.
A place to experience death.

Home is the only place one can feel completely at ease in a fine dress or in a robe… eating steak or sipping broth… crying in grief or laughing in joy… Home is the place that shelters one from the storm. The time honoured sayings really are true… Home truly is the place you hang your heart and home really is: where the heart is. Home is where Jesus is.

I have visited many homes in my life that were well designed houses… so orderly, so well appointed, so well coordinated. And all the while, I was aware that I was just another fixture in the structure… there to observe the decorations and the accumulation, there to observe the finery. Then, I have been in houses that were quite the opposite… not necessarily orderly, not necessarily well appointed and yet everything seemed to fit just right… it was "home"… to the family that lived there and to the friends who came in. Still other homes… that were tastefully ordered and carefully decorated… the sounds and smells invited me in… instantly welcoming me home. And because of these different observations… I have determined to work at creating a "welcome home"… a home that says: the candles in the windows light the way… come in… stay… your chair is waiting… put up your feet… your tea is brewing and your cares? Well, they are on the porch outside…

I don’t want to end this message without drawing you to the precious side of the LORD who loves you and created you… who bids you: come home. For if we live our days in forgetfulness of the LORD: our Life, then no matter where we go and no matter what we do, we will never experience the tranquility of being "at home" with Him. I pray you will join me in welcoming Him in… welcoming Him in to be the centerpiece, as it were, of your home. That His place in your home is well known, His handiwork is evident and the fragrance of His grace permeates each heart, each plan, each thought.

 

pamela spurling - The Welcome Home - 2000
http://www.AChristianHome.org

 


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