Monday, April 09, 2012

Building Homes

HOME: 1) the place where one lives permanently, 2) a place from which something flourishes, is most typically found, or from which it originates, 3) the family or social unit occupying such a place

You know how they say "the church" is not a building, but the body of believers that inhabit it? I think "home" is a similar word. It's not an actual structure, but a group of people occupying the same space.

My home is not an old house on 8th street. It's my husband, my children, my people. They are where my heart lives permanently. They are where I am typically found. They are where I flourish.

But just as a dwelling isn't erected by itself, homes--people sanctuaries--do not magically appear. It requires effort on our part.

The wise woman builds her house, but with her own hands the foolish one tears hers down.

Proverbs 14:1

To have a strong home, I need to resist the urge to tear down my people, a pretty tall order. Spend enough time with anyone and they'll eventually get on your nerves, right? But if I want to create a place from which I and my loved ones flourish I've got to build them up. This means no matter how many times he leaves his clothes on the floor, there is no place for pointing fingers or blaming. Even when I get frustrated with bad habits and annoying practices, I should avoid flinging weaknesses or mistakes in the faces of those I love. Complaining or belittling does nothing to build anyone up, does it? I must extend inordinate grace, knowing I'm no peach to live with either.

If only we came equipped with a buzzer that would go off every time we were tempted to tear down.

"You always forget your lunch money!"

BUZZ! Don't be a fool!

"How many times do I have to ask you to do that?!"

BUZZ! Fool!

"Don't be an idiot."


You know what I'm talking about? It's so easy to sling the bad, but much harder to take a breath and search for a better thing to say. Our words can be powerful nails or destructive crowbars. We must choose them carefully.

I want to create a sanctuary so I pray God reminds me to point out the good they do, to speak of their admirable qualities. I need to spend more time determining what is true about them and finding their strengths instead of searching for witty jabs or vengeful comebacks.

Building homes takes work, but sanctuary is worth it to me.

What about you? How do you build your home?

Photo Credit: tamaki

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