Decorating your home can become a dilemma for the Christian family when choosing whether to make it simple or fancy as you go about creating a welcoming, peaceful environment for all who live there.
Think of the times when you have entered into other people's homes, whether to visit relatives, church members, or to sell a product going door-to-door. I am sure you get a first impression of that particular family home environment as you enter their abode. It may be a positive or a negative one and many times we size people up by how they live.
We often think of our home as being our castle, or, as many like to put it, our own little private sanctuary. However, it may be private to us, but certain things in or about our homes may reveal particular things about ourselves: our personalities, attitudes, hobbies, beliefs, and lifestyles. As you look in and about your own home, what do you think it says about you and your life? This is indeed something to consider.
Without uttering a word, we all say something to the outside world when the outside world comes knocking at our doors. What would you like for them to know about you?
Once I visited a lady who had several dogs (20 to be exact). She had rooms and rooms full of every kind of breed possible, so it seemed. I was greeted as well as angrily barked at by several dogs who met me at the door. It was very obvious that her dogs meant more to her than most humans as she catered to their every need and thought only of them and of their comfort. She explained that people didn't understand her thoughtfulness and compassion towards these animals and decided to keep them in her home. At the same time however, her home reeked of dog feces, urine, and complete doggy chaos!
Another instance was of a family from our church who keep their home beautiful and immaculate, with great finery and tons of expensive figures and statues in and around their home. The wife told me that decorating her home cost a fortune and that she and her husband spent much of their savings on fine furnishings throughout the home. So sad though, because she herself was an alcoholic, her husband has had several extra-marital affairs, their two children used drugs and had gotten in trouble with the police, and they were in heavy financial debt at the time!
When you are decorating your home, think of the way in which others may perceive you if they come around to visit. Does it reflect your Christian walk with the Lord? Would others see evidence of that? What kind of books, paintings, artifacts, furnishings, and so on do you have in your home that may become a stumblingblock for someone visiting you? Or, do you live a life of humility where it shows up in your few possessions and obvious simplicity?
I have come across many people who believe that life consists of getting all you can get in the world by accumulating things. In doing so, they go out and buy much of what they think will make them appear important, rich, or valuable to others through their expensive purchases.
Their houses are huge, expensive, and furnished with the finest pieces of furniture all throughout their homes; they buy the most expensive vehicles; they send their children to the most distinguished and prestigious private schools, and so on. Many of them are in competition with their neighbors and feel they too must maintain the same expensive lifestyle they have, and that of their entire neighborhood.
As they continually put money into the decorating and entertaining in their homes, it becomes an ever-ending and all-consuming passion to obtain more and to out-do whatever their friends and neighbors are doing or have.
Dear friend, the Bible has something to say about this kind of lifestyle and behavior. Consider these verses also as if you are living this way or thinking of doing so:
We must meditate on these principles from the Word of God as we go about our lives and in our daily walk with Him. Let others see Christ in you and through your humble spirit as you seek to follow Him in living a life that pleases Him.
Getting a new look for your home can be daunting at times, depending on what type of decorating you are planning to do. That from just changing up one room to renovating the entire house can become a huge job if you don't have a plan and/or have established why you want the new change in the first place.
Could it be that you and your family are expecting a new baby into your home? In this case you may decide you need to create a nursery for the little one. Or, perhaps you have aging parents and are planning to move them into your home? That will perhaps require additional decorating and planning as well. Do you have a college kid who just graduated and needs a place to crash for a time until he/she decides where to go from there? You will need a plan here also. Isn't that the way it is though? Life can bring so many variables and challenges our way that it can either add to or disrupt a home so quickly, if we do not plan for some of these situations ahead of time.
It's true that one can go overboard with decorating a home if there is no stopping point to the madness. I have had personal experience while shopping for home decor in that my eyes truly were larger than the money in my pocketbook, especially for those things I thought I needed or had to have.
You too can create a nice cozy home for you and your family, but I would suggest to do so within your financial means (only you would know what that number is). Doing so on a budget can put a small limit on how far you should go in things like adding on to what you already have, painting, repairing, or even in creating a new look for the entire home.
Many problems can arise when there is no budget to work with. Construction or repair jobs may go undone; you can run out of money pretty fast and not be able to finish a project. Sometimes contractors are not always willing to finish a job if not paid in advance. Also, bad tempers, bitterness, and resentment within family members can hit an all-time high because of work half-way done. I've been through this scenario before with my own parents as they attempted to decorate, make home repairs and such. Not a pretty picture!
As you get one finished project done with your home decor, you can always add to it later, as long as you have the money set aside for it. If at all possible, try to abstain from using credit cards for your projects as it will create more want, which will obviously continually tempt you into spending more money.
In closing, decorating can be a fun family project for all. Include as many family and friends as possible, creating wonderful lasting memories as well. Rejoice and fellowship with one another as you praise and thank God for giving you the means and the opportunities to serve Him in and throughout your abode.
As you are decorating your home for fun, enjoyment, and relaxation, create also a place that is welcoming to all those who may come and go, in praise and worship of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ, honoring Him as King of your life.
I love the verse from Joshua 24:15, which gives us this exhortation, "And if it seem evil unto you to serve the Lord, choose you this day whom ye will serve; whether the gods which your father served that were on the other side of the flood, or the gods of the Amorites, in whose land ye dwell: but as for me and my house, we will serve the Lord."
Think on this verse and apply this principle to your home and family. The Lord delights in those who delight in Him. God bless your home.