Thursday, November 3, 2011

My Quest to Uncover the Necessities of a Christian Home

The month of October is a blur.  Aside from the repeat illnesses and sheer exhaustion from pregnancy, we celebrated two special birthdays: Kate turned 3 and Cora 1.  We also began some serious home improvements: Daniel tiled our bathroom and laid flooring in the kitchen, living room, and utility room.  With child number three on the way, the tight quarters are not so cozy anymore, which is why we are in the process of preparing our home to sell.  Sure we could feasibly bunk the two girls together, leaving a spare room for the baby, but there is very little space anywhere in the house for the kids to actually spread out and play and certainly no privacy.  

However, as I research the homes for sale, I feel an internal struggle.  It's a question of needs versus wants, of necessities versus luxuries, of living humbly within our means and desiring more.  Certainly a home with four bedrooms--one for each child, a guest room, and a master suite--would be lovely, but is that truly necessary?  Children can share rooms.  Plus, how often do we really have a guest overnight?  It's pretty rare.  Also, granite countertops are beautiful, but laminate works just as well.   

It is so easy to get caught up in thinking that we need this and that in our new house because we feel a sense of competition among our peers.  We see people with brand new, custom-built homes with all the best amenities and 2,000+ square footage, but while we do need more space for our growing family, do we really need all that?  I'm not saying there is anything wrong with having a nice large home because there isn't. Trust me; I would love all of those things and more.  But, honestly, I don't think they are best for me.  (Of course I am speaking only for myself.)  

Thoughts of cleaning and maintaining anything considerably bigger than our humble 1,000 square foot home make me cringe.  Even more importantly, I fear how a larger home will affect my relationship with God and my family.  Right now, I have to make a real concerted effort to spend quiet time with God and quality time with each child and my husband every day because I am constantly doing things a homemaker does: cleaning, fixing meals and snacks, doing laundry, etc. (the same things you do). There are days when the kids watch TV or run amok just so I can "get things done."  What will happen when the house is bigger, and there is even more room for even more messes? What or who will get the short end of the stick?

Sure it's a question of priorities.  I could maintain a clean home and play with my kids and find quiet time with God each day and spend time with my husband and have a minute to write and maybe half a second to breath.  It's possible but, for me, not feasible. Something will be shortchanged.

The question for me is this: What is truly necessary for a Christian home?  Hardwood floors, or a safe, inviting place for our family to rest and enjoy each others' company?  A fenced-in backyard, or a place of love and tranquility?  A bonus room for the kids' toys or a space where the Lord is feared and honored?
 "How blessed is everyone who fears the Lord, who walks in His ways.  When you shall eat of the fruit of your hands, you will be happy and it will be well with you.  Your wife will be like a fruitful vine within your house, your children like olive plants around your table.  Behold, for thus shall the man be blessed who fears the Lord."

Psalm 128:1-4
As I pray about our future home and consider the necessities, I want to make sure that I am following God's will and keeping Him front and center at all times. 
"Unless the Lord builds the house, they labor in vain who build it..."
Psalm 127:1
What do you consider essential to a Christian home?  I would love your thoughts!
I pray God's richest blessings on you and your families.




  1. Good reminders! It's true that comparison can steal our joy! My husband and I are saddled with a home that we can't sell (not that we really want to, but if we had to...) and doesn't leave a lot of room in our budget. How I wish that we had listened more closely to the Spirit and been satisfied and content with a home that would meet our needs and not catered so much to the flesh. Oh well! Love, that is a necessity. Peace, another big one. Joy and honoring the Lord, no matter what resources we find ourselves with.

    Visiting from Raising Mighty Arrows. :-)

  2. Wonderful things to consider. We're maxed out in our home with 10 of us, and I struggle, too, with wondering what is a luxury and what is a necessity. I actually like the coziness of all of us together and can't imagine tons more room, but it means that I have to be very discerning about use of space. May God give us much wisdom and peace as we seek to honor Him.

  3. You've made some excellent points here. Although I am thankful for my 2,100 square foot home, I wonder if I could truly be content if, let's say, "life happened," and we had to scale down to something smaller. I think I could, but I know that my flesh would be crying out, "It's too small!"

    We, as Americans, have "so much stuff," that I think sometimes, we take much of it for granted. I know that I am guilty of this. We really should be contented with less and not more. It's a lesson I know I will be learning throughout this lifetime.

    Great thoughts and great post!

    -Visiting from Raising Mighty Arrows Link-Up-

  4. Thank you for such a timely post. We will be buying a house in the next year or two and I often find myself obsessing about the must-haves of it, namely that it be bigger than our current, cozy 1000 sq ft place. I agree completely about the cleaning aspect of it - a bigger house means more to clean! We desperately want a house that provides for a lot of family space and will be a place that our children will want to bring friends to.

  5. This is a beautiful post, Keri! I love your heart in this, and that you're considering all these things.

    May you be blessed as you seek to serve the Lord in your life!

  6. I think most of us struggle with this. I know I do. Our house size is just right for us. I know that because I can barely keep up with the housework. HAHA! And all your thoughts on what is most important in a Christian home are right and true and just lovely. I'll pray right now for this process and that God gives you the peace and guidance you need. That He'll smooth the transition and that you will see His hand in all the planning and doing!