To live content with small means; to seek elegance rather than luxury, and refinement rather than fashion; to be worthy, not respectable, and wealthy, not, rich; to listen to stars and birds, babes and sages, with open heart; to study hard; to think quietly, act frankly, talk gently, await occasions, hurry never; in a word, to let the spiritual, unbidden and unconscious, grow up through the common--this is my symphony.
~William Henry Channing

Tuesday, April 5, 2011

On Home and Hearth

I'm reading a lot about the home right now. Which means I'll be blogging a lot about the home right now :-) The women of Christ Church just started reading  My Life For Yours, A Walk Through the Christian Home. I finished reading Frankenstein for Sarah and have finally started reading Keeping House, The Litany of Everyday. Both books are forcing me to look hard at what I believe about my home, what I practice (ouch!) and what God and his word have to say about the home. Did I also mention that Rob is preaching through the book of Ephesians and in a few weeks will be in chapter five? Yea, I'm guessing I'm supposed to be giving this some serious consideration so grab a cup of coffee or tea or whatever and let's chat about the home.
One of the first questions that came to mind when I started preparing for our spring reading group is what should a Christian home look like? Let's be honest, we won't necessarily decorate any differently because we're believers. A Christian home should be characterized by order and structure but I know people who are way better organized than I am that aren't Christians. So I don't think we can necessarily pinpoint the way a home looks as to be Christian or non-Christian based purely on a physical or material evaluation.
But a Christian home does serve a different purpose than it's non-Christian counterpart. It's not about how the Christian home looks as much as the aroma that pervades it. The sweet smell of a family of believers offering up themselves and their home as a living sacrifice for His use. It's not going to be just be about how pretty and pleasing or comfortable you can make your home or how thrifty you are while doing it. In chapter two of Keeping House Margaret Kim Peterson puts it this way, "Making a home involves constructing and maintaining an environment in which people can flourish in ways in which God desires for people to flourish." It's not enough that we view our homes as more than a place to refuel and sleep and change clothes. Quoting from the preface of the book, "A Christian home overflows it's boundaries; it is an outpost of the Kingdom of God, where the hungry are fed and the naked are clothed and there is room enough for everyone." It's about "...creating a sacred space, for the sake of Christ as we encounter him in our fellow household members and in neighbors, strangers, and guest."
Every room of our home should portray the Gospel...not just because we have hand painted Scripture adorning our walls or pithy Christian sayings displayed prettily. But because our lives are marked by the Gospel and everything we do...every mundane ordinary task tells part of the Redemptive story. How well we're telling the story depends on how well we understand the task.


Nonners said...

I shall miss that book until the day I buy it...which will hopefully be soon. I long to read the rest.