From the outside, my mother’s house looks like any other traditional brick ranch. Enter the front door, though, and you’ll feel like you’ve walked into a cottage of love. The memories of the home she made for us growing up reminds me of God’s wisdom in Proverbs 14:1(NLT). It says, “A wise woman builds her home, but a foolish woman tears it down with her own hands.” This truth speaks to God’s generosity in sharing the straightforward way in which He distinguishes a wise woman from a foolish woman. A wise woman builds, and a foolish woman tears down. One of the reasons this verse should be so important to us is because our Heavenly Father is a Righteous Judge. As single Christian women, we want to make sure that when He judges our actions, He can reward us in the present for what He knows we are committed to build in the future.
I grew up in a small town in the south. People worked very hard and they were thankful to have jobs locally, so they’d be able to adequately care for their families. The amenities of city life were miles away, so we didn’t venture outside our small area much. If you wanted something glamorous, fancy, or eccentric, you were forced to use your resourcefulness and imagination if you had one. My mother definitely had one. She could turn the most insignificant objects into something beautiful. She’d cut branches from trees in the backyard, spray paint and decorate them beautifully, and made whimsical table arrangements; not just for our home, but for the neighbors as well. I’m amused sometimes when I see certain creations that people post on social media. They charge exorbitant amounts of money for them as if these are new discoveries. Those with limited resources and vivid imaginations have been making something out of nothing for years. This was commonplace with my mom. She made the ordinary seem extraordinary.
When I purchased my first home, I knew I wanted to make my home feel like my mother’s. The colors on the walls, the type of furniture in each room, even down to the smell of the house when you walk through the front door. I wanted every detail to emulate warmth and love like my Mom’s home did, and still does. I wanted every person that came to my home to feel like they never wanted to leave.
People love their childhood homes for different reasons, but as a single woman desiring marriage, the love of Christ is a characteristic that must be passed on to all those that will be influenced or impacted by our legacy. Ephesians 1:22(NLT) tells us, “God has put all things under the authority of Christ and has made him head over all things for the benefit of the church.” Letting the love of Christ rule our homes is for our benefit. It is the glue that keeps our unions and families strong. A nicely decorated interior makes a house look beautiful, but the love of Christ is what makes a beautiful home.
Our home is the first place we should practice what we preach. It’s the place where the authority of Christ should reign supreme. God tells us in Ephesians 5:24-25(NLT), “24 As the church submits to Christ, so you wives should submit to your husbands in everything. 25 For husbands, this means love your wives, just as Christ loved the church. He gave up his life for her.” We’re groomed in today’s world not to be too chumming with the word ‘submit’. Society has placed a very negative connotation on it. We think it means that someone can rule over us, tell us what to do, and we have to do it even if we don’t like it. Love will always require submission, we learned this from the sacrifice of Christ. He said in John 10:18(NLT), “No one can take my life from me. I sacrifice it voluntarily. For I have the authority to lay it down when I want to and also to take it up again. For this is what my Father has commanded.” Christ yielded himself to the point of voluntarily giving up his own life for our sake. He didn’t have to do it. He did it because it pleased the Father. He did it because he loves God and he loves us.
Jesus Christ submitted himself to the Father’s Will totally and completely. This is what God requires of us. Marriage teaches us this lesson so that we will have a greater understanding of what God requires. To submit is the greatest honor we can give a person. It conveys our humility. Husbands are not taking something from us as wives. We are willingly yielding and submitting, and we can do this under the authority of Christ because of what we’re getting in return. The husband is commanded to love the wife as Christ loves the church. This is the greatest love we could hope to receive.
When God’s Word is followed and obeyed, the outcome is always going to be a blessing. Rewards will chase us down when our commitment is to honor God preeminently. So, the question we need to focus our attention on is what are we doing now to create a home where the love of Christ abides? This tells the true story about our preparedness to maintain a loving and warm home once we’re married. We must take care that we’re established in the practice of building up and not tearing down. We may not be able to do what our mother’s have done, but God has given us our own brand of special, and He will reward us if we’re diligent to have a home where the love of Christ will abide.■
Scripture quotations marked (NLT) are taken from the Holy Bible, New Living Translation, copyright © 1996. Used by permission of Tyndale House Publishers, Inc., Wheaton, Illinois 60189. All rights reserved.
“Home Is Where Love Abides” written for findchristianman.wordpress.com. Copyright©2021. All rights reserved. All done to the glory of God through Jesus Christ, our Lord.