Dignity and Sanctity of the Home
First things first. This is the attitude I have had for the last few weeks that has lead to an absence of blog posts.
It all started with the True Woman conference in Ft. Worth a couple weekends ago. This incredible women's conference put on by Revive Our Hearts, a ministry run by Nancy Leigh DeMoss, challenged, encouraged, and inspired me in so many ways. While I walked away with many things, the biggest was a strong conviction about the importance of cultivating our home.
Unfortunately, I had not realized the way that our home and family had slowly become second place to other ministry goals and priorities outside our home. I guess I had justified this because we don't have kids yet and it's just Jimmy and me. Maybe it was also because Jimmy travels so much it seems I am the only one at home a good portion of the time.
Whatever my reasoning, God has called me to be a cultivator of our home, I had been abstaining from my role in this area. Although my first reaction was to come home and blog about the conference, I knew that I first needed to get my priorities straight through a few practical things.
The first order of business was to clean our home. Unfortunately, it had been several months since I had intentionally cleaned our house. I had created a habit of simply cleaning an area when it got out of hand. Secondly, I began de-clutter and decorate our house in some small ways I had been putting off.
Thirdly, I set our kitchen table and begin looking for recipes to cook that week. Again, justifying my actions because it is just Jimmy and me and I have a full time job, I had not been cooking meals at all. Cereal, hot dogs, and frozen pizzas had become our regular dinner meals. These things may seem like small, menial changes, but I think they make a huge difference in the atmosphere of our home.
When I think about my house growing up, I see how these little things made my house a place of life and peace. My mom always kept the house relatively clean and cooked on a regular basis and overall cultivated the atmosphere of our home. Although I might not have noticed those things every day, it created an overall environment of welcoming warmth that was attractive and wonderful to come home to. It made our house a sanctuary I looked forward to walking in to after a long day filled with peer pressure and hard classes. I truly believe that her small efforts in the care of our home made a big difference in my well-being as I was growing up.
Just because we don't have kids yet, doesn't mean that my husband is not important enough to also deserve this kind of home to come back to. He has never complained once about the lack of meals or general uncleanliness, but he is noticeably more excited about coming home when those things are in place. God has designated women as the primary influencers in our homes, and that is a role that I had slowly begun to abdicate.
Thankfully, I am now beginning to understand and take seriously the dignity and the sanctity of the home. Devi Titus explains the dignity and sanctity of the home well in her book, "The Home Experience" (a great book I purchased at the conference):
"The dignity of the home is seeing and experiencing its worth by those who are touched by it. Webster says dignity means "worthy of recognition due to a change in character and appearance." Combining worth with character and appearance defines dignity. A home that has dignity sets standards in order and creativity with the godly characteristics of love, honesty, and loyalty. The sanctity of the home is its purity in heart and purpose - its wholeness and holiness in tone and mood. home is a duet of devotion and worth - devotion to God while valuing one another. Home is the sanctuary for the human soul to be recharged, renewed, refreshed, and restored. Home should be our most treasured asset. however, more and more women are devoting much of their energy to pursuits outside the home. Unfortunately, the ambitions of "earning a higher education" and "pursuing a career" have undermined home values, priorities, and interests."
Though I would have liked to have blogged more in these past two weeks, I am glad to have put first things first: namely our home. What good is it to be an excellent and frequent blogger, or an excellent minister to the high schoolers I work with, if I have forsaken investing in the very thing that is the basis for human development and the home base for our family? Gratefully, my priorities are back in line, as they should be: God first, family second, everything else following.