"A welcoming home is a place of refuge, a place where people worn down by the noise, and turmoil, and hostility of the outside world, can find a safe resting place. A welcoming home is a place that you and others enjoy coming home to." Emily Barnes - The Spirit Of Loveliness
A safe resting place.
More than anything else, that is what I desire my home to be. I yearn for my home to be a place of refuge, for me, for my family, and for every person who will ever walk through it's doors.
Yes, I do want my home to be beautiful. And I want it to be clean and organized, as well, but more than anything else, I desire my home, every aspect of it, to be a sanctuary and a safe resting place for all who come into it.
The world has become a chaotic space.
And for many, it may even feel very unstable. We've only recently come out of a Global Pandemic and even now, there are many who still walk in fear and uncertainty. Economic downturn threatens many peoples' livelihoods as inflation skyrockets, and extreme weather events are wreaking havoc across the country.
If there was ever a time when we needed a place of refuge, it's now.
Ultimately, our refuge is found in Jesus alone. And though it may feel like everything is falling apart at the seams, you can trust that He's still got the whole world in the palm His hands. And, if He's still holding the whole world in the palm of His hands, you can trust that He's still holding you, and your loved ones, too.
One of the ways that He holds you and provides for you, is through the home He has given you. Scripture tells us in James 1:17, that every good and perfect gift is from above and comes down from the Father of Lights. The home He has provided you with is meant to serve you, (and others) and give you the perfect place to experience the warmth of His embrace, and the safety of His refuge.
You see, home is where we unwind; where we recover; where we recuperate; especially now in this over-stimulated, frenzied world. Home is where we are able to slow down and escape the pressures and the hardness of the society in which we live. It is at home, where we are best able to reconnect with our loved ones and with our Savior. In the welcoming embrace of our safe haven homes, we are able to restore our emptied vessels, and allow them to be filled with God's peace that rejuvenates our souls.
Five Godly Principles To Establish Your Home As A Safe Haven
1. Fill your home with praise and worship music.
There is just something so very powerful about music. And when that music is filled with Scripture and the truth of God’s Word, it is even more powerful! Filling our homes with praise and worship music is a great way to keep our hearts and our minds focused on Jesus, even if, and especially when we are struggling through prayer and Bible reading.
Plus, praise and worship combats the efforts of the enemy. Just to put it into perspective, when Jehoshaphat was leading God's people into battle, he set the singers at the front of the army.
Early in the morning they got up and left for the Wilderness of Tekoa. As they set out, Jehoshaphat stood up and said, “Hear me, O people of Judah and Jerusalem. Believe in the LORD your God, and you will be upheld; believe in His prophets, and you will succeed.” Then Jehoshaphat consulted with the people and appointed those who would sing to the LORD and praise the splendor of His holiness. As they went out before the army, they were singing: “Give thanks to the LORD, for His loving devotion endures forever. ”The moment they began their shouts and praises, the LORD set ambushes against the men of Ammon, Moab, and Mount Seir who had come against Judah, and they were defeated. 2 Chronicles 20:20-22
Worship is a weapon!
If it worked for the Israelite army, it will work for us as well. And often times, as we listen to worship music, our thoughts turn toward Jesus, and we are prompted to;
There is absolutely nothing more powerful than prayer. God's Word tells us that the prayers of a righteous person are powerful and effective. God works through our prayers, and as we fill our homes with prayer, I believe it changes the atmosphere.
Have you ever had the experience of walking into a home where those who live there have just spent time in worship and in prayer and there is a kind of holy sweetness that settles over your spirit? I have. It is powerful and tangible and it is the kind of atmosphere I want people to experience when they come into my home. What a beautiful place of refuge that would provide to someone in need of experiencing a safe haven.
3. Watch your words.
The tongue is a powerful force. And just as worship is a weapon, so too, is the tongue. But it can be used for good or it can be used for evil. And if our homes are to be a safe haven for the people we love, it is vital that our tongues are used to build up and not to tear down.
James tells us in chapter 3 that "the tongue is a flaming fire, a restless evil full of deadly poison." But in Proverbs 25 and verse 11 it tells us that “A word aptly spoken is like apples of gold in settings of silver.” So which is it?
Well, it's both. "The tongue has the power of life and death, and those who love it will eat its fruit.” (Proverbs 18:21) Jesus said that "Out of the overflow of the heart, the mouth speaks." (Matthew 12:34) So what it comes down to is this; While the words we speak are indicative of the state of our heart, when we choose to guard our tongue so that it speaks only what is right and true and good, we are essentially working on the state of our heart.
4. Be vigilant with your entertainment.
I'm sure you've heard the expression, garbage in/garbage out. The music we listen to, the movies and television we watch, even the books we read, all leave an impression on our souls. The more we indulge in entertainment that does not align with God's Word, the more numb we become to it's devastation. And when we become tainted through inappropriate entertainment, so too, do our homes.
5. Dedicate your home to God.
While this might seem a little bit weird or eccentric even, there is something incredibly powerful about walking through your home, room by room, and prayerfully dedicating it to the Lord. When you make the conscious choice to do this, seeing your home as set apart for Him becomes a little more solidified in our minds.
I see it much like a baby dedication. When each of our children were born, we knew that we would strive to raise them for Jesus and we chose to have a baby dedication in our church. Not only was it a public proclamation of our intentions, but it was also to enlist the help and support of our congregation. (It takes a village, right?)
When we choose to make a public statement of faith or intention, it holds us to a greater standard of accountability. I would encourage you to invite trusted friends or family over to your home to walk through the process of your home dedication with you. And the best part about doing this is that, in doing so, you will in turn, encourage them toward the same process.
6. Summon others to build their home as a safe haven as well.
A home that is set apart for Jesus encourages others toward the same goal. The church is essentially a community. We meet together Sunday mornings in a building to worship together and to learn about God together. But the true church is about more than Sunday morning meetings. It is about walking together on a daily basis. We build each other up and encourage each other in our daily walk with Christ. The strongest testimony of a safe haven home is one that equips others toward the same goal.
"We should not view our homes as fortresses the world can’t penetrate. Rather, we should view our homes as sending bases that penetrate other homes in our corner of the world." Trent Griffith
With the world in a state of turmoil, it is vital that we, as Christians, establish our homes as safe havens; not just for our own families but, for the lost and the broken and the weary. And the best part is, as we continue to strive to put these six godly principles into practice, through us, the Holy Spirit will push back the darkness as the light of Jesus Christ shines through us into a broken world.
O Lord, let it be so.
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And, as always,
Stay holy, Beloved.