Tuesday, October 24, 2006

Home "making" -- Building a Refuge

"My home isn't like this," she said. Sitting across the candlelit family room in my comfy "chair and a half" she sipped her tea and nibbled on the homemade pumpkin cake before continuing. "Your home is . . . peaceful."

A quick moment of reflection led me to realize that she wasn't referring to quietness or lack of activity, for even as we spoke her daughter and several others were gathered at the kitchen table, laughing -- loudly (around here we take the scripture quite literally regarding doing all things heartily as unto the Lord!) At the same time there was a steady stream of newcomers through the front door. Meanwhile some of my younger children were busy getting ready for bed. No, there was no absence of sound or activity.

She answered my thought. "There's no contention here. We have contention -- between him and the kids, the kids with each other, me and . . . Well, the oldest one has really changed and that has been such a blessing. I can't believe it."

Her oldest one received the Lord and the baptism in the Holy Spirit this fall. That does introduce a change, no doubt! And now the mom is being stirred to revisit a relationship with Jesus that started when she was a school girl but has long since been set on the shelf. But back to the issue of "making" a home.

A Godly home is a center of ministry by simply existing. It is not a program, not scheduled, not expensive (well . . . mine costs more than a tent, but a tent could work if you wanted it to!) It simply exists -- at all times, for whoever comes in the door. Apart from a piece of pumpkin cake or a cup of tea, there is no extra cost involved: no text book, no white board, no overhead projector or meeting room fee. It's all there, waiting to be experienced by the needy, the weary, or the broken hearted. We've all been in places of need; some of us have been privileged to then partake of the ministry of a Godly home. Ah -- peace, comfort, wisdom.

In this day and age, many terms such as "home" and "family" are redefined, and Biblical perspective is not a part of current definitions. A family is a group of people living together who care for each other. Wrong! And that was written by a Christian author! God's idea is a bit more defined: a husband and wife in covenantal relationship, raising up Godly children, all living according to Biblical principles. It is designed to be a reflection or picture of heaven itself.

Is there a desperate need to reclaim this definition and practice? Absolutely! One encounter with a Godly home can cause the unbeliever to wonder and, prayerfully, even to thirst. And within those walls fellow believers will find a respite from the battle. What a privilege to serve them in this way.

Is God looking to enlist strong Godly women who will take the charge to be a keeper at home seriously? Definitely! We need to keep and protect our homes from the enemy's influence, rejecting every new fangled definition and paradigm. We must make homes that overflow with His presence and model His plan. If we don't, who will?

Did I say strong women? Yes! This is not an easy calling. We are going against the current of all that today's culture is promoting. We will be the "rare bird", the odd man out, if you will. Standing strong against the flow is imperative, and so very essential.

Will He equip me to do this daunting task? Of course! In all actuality, we can't do it without Him. Let go of all your own ideas and let Him teach you. Ask and He will give all you need; wisdom, energy, plans, and training. Really -- He will!

Society around us is floundering, grasping at new inventions, not knowing that they have abandoned the thing He calls good. Why didn't it work for them? For the same reason it is failing in so many situations today. Even Christians will not automatically have homes free from contention apart from the Holy Spirit. His fruit is guaranteed only to those who abide. Yield to Him and His leading, take His yoke upon yourself and learn to walk in His Holy ways.

The world is desperately looking and waiting.


Blogger Katie said...

Hi Darlene-
I have been to your site several times but never posted (see my Xanga site...). This post (and the prev one) were so great. They proclaim the desire of my heart -to have a peaceful, godly home -and have encouraged me yet again to keep working towards that. It is so easy for me (us all?) to get discouraged and stop trying and I need to "keep on keepin' on".
Thanks for sharing your wisdom with us!!

12:58 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I remember back to the days of being a college student at CFC (20+ years ago, yikes!) and finding that times spent in godly, loving, peaceful homes affected me in more ways than I ever thought imaginable. You are right, establishing these environmets (by Him and through Him) is world changing, Kingdom building business!!! Great thoughts, Dar. Will there be a Part 3? :-) Hope so!
Love you,

8:11 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Thanks for sharing your thoughts, Darlene! There is so much "world changing" that can go on from our homes. It is like the headquarters for our little [and big} soldiers in training.

10:47 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

This was perfect encouragement for my present struggles. We are definitely the "odd man out." The odd family. I just pulled my daughter out of a Christian home preschooling class after only 6wks. The mother doesn't understand why, considering I have no qualms with her program. I just believe more and more that family (husband and wife in a covenental relationship, raising up a Godly generation) is centered here at home, and not by "farming us out" to various places (cross quoting from Danica's blog).

My first up close and personal account of such an idea began with a conversation with 15yo Danica through the stall walls of a public restroom while a college student at Crane, and was seasoned by the few visits I was blessed to have made at your home. No white-boards, charts, or curriculums needed. Just one family; one example. Just a spark lit the fire and literally changed the course of our lives. Believe me, neither me nor Sonny had a shred of this kind of influence in our lives. Just an example that I was exposed to, and an email inquery when I became a mother. AMAZING!

2:12 PM  

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