Not too long ago, my husband used a stone to scratch “Good Friday, April 2” into the freshly-poured foundation of our new home. As he formed the words into the fresh cement, I was reminded of the significance of Christ’s death on the cross. I also wondered how Christ’s example will affect Jim and me in our new home. Jesus Christ came to earth to fulfill a purpose. During our marriage my husband and I have grown in our relationship with the Lord and with one another. If we will practice the following principles, Christ—and His purposes for our lives—will truly be at the center of our home:
1. Remember the Builder.
Construction workers will transform piles of wood into the walls of our next house. They will do this by following the builder’s plans. Likewise, Jim and I will need to fill the rooms of our home according to the Builder’s designwith love, and wisdom, and understanding. For every house is built by someone, but the builder of all things is God. Hebrews 3:4
2. Seek knowledge.
Ask God to give us wisdom and understanding in our relationships and decisions. My husband and I do not have the knowledge or expertise to construct our new house. We’re relying on the experts. In the same way, it will take spiritual wisdom and understanding to transform our house into a Christ-centered home. And that knowledge can only come from God. We have not ceased to pray for you and to ask that you may be filled with the knowledge of His will in all spiritual wisdom and understanding. Colossians 1:9
3. Be on the alert for evil.
Satan does not want us, our friends, or loved ones to follow Jesus. There are thieves in this world who want to rob and take what is not theirs. Because of this, Jim and I may join a neighborhood watch group in our new community. Yet, what about the spiritual dangers that will attempt to invade our new home? We will need to be on the alert for evil and not allow it to enter. Be of sober spirit, be on the alert. Your adversary, the devil, prowls around like a roaring lion, seeking someone to devour. 1 Peter 5:8
4. Follow God’s directions.
As we follow God’s directions in our home, we will be filled with His joy. Friends and family won’t know how to get to our new house until we draw them a map. If they follow it correctly, they’ll end up at our house. Likewise, God gives us clear directions for each day that are found in His Word. When we follow His precepts, we will be filled with His joy. I will meditate on Your precepts and regard Your ways …Your statutes are my songs in the house of my pilgrimage. Psalm 119:15, 54
5. Keep God’s bigger picture in mind.
As we seek our neighbors’ good before our own, we will model Christ to a watching world. When Jim and I planned our new house, we had to look at the big picture of the neighborhood and not just our individual lot. We considered the location and design of our home and how it would fit in with our future neighbors’ houses. As each house is unique, so too are the individuals who will be living near us. If Jim and I truly follow Christ’s example, we will look at the big picture as we interact with our new neighbors. How will what we say and do impact their thoughts of Christ? In 1 Corinthians 13:5 the Bible says that love cares more for others than for self. That means that I need to care more about showing God’s love to my new neighbors than pleasing myself. For the sake of the house of the Lord our God, I will seek your good. Psalm 122:9
6. Live in unity. Harmony and peace will mark my home and relationships when my actions match Christ’s desires. It would be terrible if an earthquake destroyed our new home. But it would be far worse if misunderstanding and confusion split our hearts apart. Living in unity is the mark of a home centered on Jesus Christ. If a house is divided against itself, that house will not be able to stand. Mark 3:25
7. Seek understanding.
As I seek to understand others in my house, it will become a Christ-centered home. Time and effort were invested in preparing the lot for our new house and in pouring a solid foundation. And after it is built, the rooms will be filled with our material possessions. But those material possessions will not transform our house into a home. We’ll need understanding to center (establish) it on Christ. By wisdom a house is built, and by understanding it is established; and by knowledge the rooms are filled with all precious and pleasant riches. Proverbs 24:3-4
8. Ask God to bless my home.
And let others know of His faithfulness. If our builder does a wonderful job constructing our new home, he will likely ask us to endorse his work. We will be happy to tell others about his expertise as a builder.
Likewise, when we move into our new house, we will ask God to bless it. We will also tell others of His faithfulness over the decades of our married life. May it please You to bless the house of Your servant … 2 Samuel 7:29
9. Choose everyday to serve the Lord.
No matter what our culture says, we will choose God’s ways. After we move into our new house, we can either take good care of it or neglect it. It can be a place of refuge and beauty, or it could eventually become dilapidated. The choice is ours. Likewise, every day Jim and I will choose whether we will serve ourselves or the Lord. Will we be selfish or selfless? Will we be patient and kind, or jealous and rude? Choose for yourselves today whom you will serve … but as for me and my house, we will serve the Lord. Joshua 24:15
10. Remember that the Master of my home [the Lord] will return.
May I be aware each day that my house ultimately belongs to the Lord. Jim and I may live in our new house for a year, decades, or more. We can consider it ours, or remember that it is ultimately the Master’s. One day the Lord will return and ask how we used His house. Will it be a haven for the weary? Will we tell others about Jesus within its walls? Will we be found faithful? Will we fulfill the purpose God has for our home? "It is like a man away on a journey, who upon leaving his house and putting his slaves in charge, assigning to each one his task, also commanded the doorkeeper to stay on the alert. Therefore, be on the alert—for you do not know when the master of the house is coming …” Mark 13:34-35
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