Then Christ will make his home in your hearts as you trust in him. Your roots will grow down into God’s love and keep you strong. Ephesians 3:17 (NLT)
My House – The Home Series (updated) – Part 1
(back by popular request, edited and updated!)
There are eight rooms in my house: two bedrooms, one bathroom, combined kitchen/dining/kids play room, a lounge/office/parents room, a laundry and two verandahs. We bought it seven years ago, one month before we had our first child. It was a DUMP. Mouldy walls, no driveway, carpet harbouring dust age old fugitives… It was unliveable but was in our price range… so we went for it. We put in a new (secondhand) kitchen, new bathroom, ripped up the floors, painted the walls… and moved in. For a while, I was proud of our tiny house and the work we had done to it. We’d put down roots. Settled in for the long haul.
But then we had another child, and the house got a little worn and a little smaller. My friends started buying bigger, more modern homes that were seemingly cleaner. I began to feel ashamed of my little house. Does it reflect my worth? My success? My husband’s success? I rarely invited friends over, and I didn’t hang any pictures on the walls… In my mind and heart, my house was off limits. Doors closed.
I was embarrassed about what people would see or think or find if they came into the space that I lived in, the humble roots we had set down. Sometimes, I still am.
In his book, John wrote that the “word became flesh and blood and moved into the neighborhood.” (John 1:14.) Paul wrote to his friends in Ephesus and said, “Then Christ will make his home in your hearts as you trust in him.”
A home is for the living; roots are not for show, they're an anchor. A place of nourishment, connection, and growth.
The shame I felt for my house, was really shame that I felt about my life. I closed the doors of my home and heart to others so that they wouldn't see the mess, the lack, the poor designer instinct; so that I didn’t have to explain the washing on the floor or the dishes in the sink, the fingerprints on the wall, the smallness of the space, or my fears and failures and mistakes.
But here’s the thing: God comes no matter what our lives look like. He parks in the driveway walks up the path, knocks on the door and waits for us to answer. He doesn’t come in spite of what our interiors look like, but because of them. He includes the brokenness and the mess, just as he does the clean and well-presented bits. He doesn’t need a spotless, spacious house to live in, just an open one. He doesn’t mind if your lounge cost $100 or $5000, he just wants to sit.
He doesn’t want to parade our lives on Social Media, or TV screens, or at our local shopping mall. He wants to live with us. In fact, he already does. Sometimes, we’re too blind and deaf, too distracted by comparison and shame, to realize that he’s already here.
Written by Lizzy Milani