I don’t know about you, but I love the show Fixer Upper and all things Magnolia, the Silos, and Chip and Joanna Gaines. You can imagine my delight, then, when the home we were looking at – and later ended up buying – back in November had shiplapped walls!
Home design books, HGTV shows, and Pinterest ideas for home design and decor are all fun resources and fine ones to pour over. However they can also bring with them some not-so-fine temptations – the temptation to believe the lie that your home has to look like someone else’s, the temptation to grow discontent with the home you have as you idolize and covet the home on TV, and the temptation to throw thousands of dollars at a home renovation when you may not really have the money to spare right now. Here are four helpful principles then to guide us through a God-honoring approach to home design:
Know that there is nothing wrong with delighting in beauty.
Let’s begin here, because sometimes we run to the far opposite extreme when trying to avoid idolizing the “perfect” home and begin to think that our desire for and delight in beautiful things are bad. The problem is not our appreciation for things of beauty – God created and delights in beauty Himself! There is nothing wrong with seeking to make our homes a hospitable place, to set up our furniture in a way that is conducive to conversation, or to implement our home decor in a way that blesses ourselves and all who enter our door. This is what we should be doing! The problem comes in thinking that things have to be just so, that if our home isn’t as beautiful as the ones we see on TV, then something is wrong. This brings me to our next principle.
Contentment is king.
Beauty and homemaking are important, but the gift of contentment will serve you better than the “perfect” house ever could. Contentment is something that will make a positive difference in your life no matter what you are going though – it is what enabled Paul to endure his various hardships and trials (see Philippians 4).
In fact, Jesus said in Luke 12:15, “Take heed and beware of covetousness, for one’s life does not consist in the abundance of the things he possesses.” Our lasting impact on the world, the joy and gift and memories of our lives, and our ability to be used for the kingdom do not come from how nice our homes look, but from how faithful we are to follow the Lord in contentment and faith.
Hebrews 13:5 continues along these lines: “Let your conduct be without covetousness; be content with such things as you have. For He Himself has said, ‘I will never leave you nor forsake you.’” Not only is this an admonition against discontentment, but it’s also an answer for how we are able to be content – because we have God Himself with us. What more could we need?
You are unique, so your home should likewise be unique.
It’s easy to fall into the trap of thinking that our homes have to look just like Joanna Gaines’ home in order to amount to anything. However, the reality is that God made us each unique with unique personalities, tastes, and family dynamics. Our homes should reflect that! I encourage you then to walk by the Spirit, and follow His leading in your own unique home design and decor. You’ll be glad you did!
This world is not our true home.
We get so caught up in the appearance of our current homes, forgetting the truth of Hebrews 13:14: “For this world is not our permanent home; we are looking forward to a home yet to come.” Jesus said, likewise, in Matthew 6:19-21, “Don’t store up treasures here on earth, where moths eat them and rust destroys them, and where thieves break in and steal. Store your treasures in heaven, where moths and rust cannot destroy, and thieves do not break in and steal. Wherever your treasure is, there the desires of your heart will also be.”
This life isn’t about us, and our treasures in this life won’t last. What will last, however, is the work we do in this life for the kingdom – that will last on into the next when we are no longer pilgrims in this world, but are in fact in our true forever Home. Keep that in mind as you decorate your current home, and you will be living out a truly God-honoring approach to home design!