I love to curl up on the couch with a big thick stack of design magazines. I’ll admit it. I love decorating. I used to feel guilty about that and wondered what use it could possibly have on the mission field. It seemed so shallow to think about coordinating fabrics when so many have yet to hear the Gospel message.
Recently, though, I’ve come to a place of contentment and gratitude. The guilt is gone. I am now convinced that the Creator God, whose image I bear, is glorified as I work to bring about beauty in my home. I recognize that He is the Ultimate Designer and that when I get a little inspiration, it comes from Him.
It thrills my heart to look through Scripture and see how God has adorned His “homes” through the ages. First, there was the Tabernacle. The Ultimate Designer takes six and a half chapters to describe exactly how the Tabernacle should look! We’re talking fine fabrics with intricate embroidery, specific color schemes, metallic accessories and skillfully constructed furniture. He left no detail undone. Next, He accepted Solomon’s spectacular temple, and allowed it to bear His own name. The prep work alone took over 200,000 men and the building process lasted seven years. That’s not surprising with floor to ceiling cedar paneling and every single thing overlaid in gold. Finally, we read about the New Jerusalem. John described this final home as purely beautiful, sparkling like a jewel.
It’s obvious that God enjoys being surrounded by beauty (just look at creation)! So I believe we can safely say that the desire to decorate is the result of being made in His image. However, let’s look a little further to see if God gives us any guidelines for the amount of time and energy we should put into beautifying our homes.
Proverbs 24:3-4, 13-14, 21 “A house is built by wisdom and becomes strong through good sense. Through knowledge its rooms are filled with all sorts of precious riches and valuables. My child, wisdom is sweet to your soul. If you find it, you will have a bright future. Fear the Lord.”
Proverbs 31:13, 14, 22, 25, 26, 30 “She finds wool and flax and busily spins it. She is like a merchant’s ship…She quilts her own bedspreads. She is clothed with strength and dignity…Her words are wise. Charm is deceptive and beauty does not last; but a woman who fears the Lord will be greatly praised.”
From the context of these two passages, we can (and should) glean that that adorning our homes is only one aspect of our lives. Our chief pursuit isn’t decorating, but rather character produced by the fear of the Lord. As we know Him more, His Spirit empowers us to oversee our homes with wisdom and knowledge and to use them as a platform for ministry.
Not that long ago, we were planning to move overseas for the second time. I had seen pictures of the house we would be renting. I spent many, many hours looking at magazines for ideas about what to do with my lack of storage in the kitchen. I shopped for a fabric that wouldn’t clash with my psychedelic brown and yellow swirl tile. Was it a complete waste of time? Not at all. My home, in spite of all its warts, is welcoming and cozy and I love being here. Still I can’t help but wonder now, how much more beautiful I would be if I had instead spent all those hours pouring over the Word and listening to my Savior.
As you can see, I’m no expert on anything. I’m growing and learning just like you. I encourage you today to pursue Christ passionately, and then if His Spirit guides you, do something lovely to your home. Glorify Him with your creativity and bless your family at the same time.
Does decorating thrill or intimidate you? Have you ever thought about God as the Ultimate Designer? What could you do to your home today to express that you are made in His image?
(Post by: Shilo)
Images courtesy of “Country Living”