Want to know one way to transform your home into a haven? Begin filling your home with lovely things.
When I think about havens, loveliness comes to mind – simply because I imagine a haven is a loving, peaceful hub, where you can go to feel refreshed and restored. And that is a thing of beauty.
While belongings add a lot (or detract from) a haven, the relationships and attitudes found in a haven are the more important focus.
Screaming and arguments? That’s a quick way to tear down a haven. But kindness and encouragement? Those will help you build a haven.
Philippians 4:8 shares a great reminder of what we haven creators need to dwell on:
“Whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is just, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is commendable, if there is any excellence, if there is anything worthy of praise, think about these things.”
What if we not only thought about those things … but what if we also surrounded ourselves with those things? What if we could fill our home with those things?
A home of truth and honor
What would your home look feel like if you made sure it was filled with truth and honor? And what would it take to keep lies and dishonor out of your home?
As keepers of our homes, it’s actually our job to do this hard work. That will involve confrontation and diligence – and in turn, you might end up feeling worn down or critical. But keep at the good work of protecting what comes into your home and what is communicated in your home.
As you adopt house rules that won’t allow lies or dishonor, your family members will feel safer. Your home will become a haven for everyone.
A home of justice
Social justice is such a popular cry right now, but what does justice look like in your own home? Is everyone treated fairly and justly? Can everyone speak and know that others are listening to what they have to say?
Are you justly respecting everyone in your home, or are some family members demanding that their way is the only way?
If there’s a lot of conflict in your home or a huge difference of opinion, treating each other justly goes hand and hand with honoring each other. Yet it’s essential your home becomes a place of peace.
Make sure you’re covering this in prayer, because it can seem impossible to create a peaceful home in your own strength.
A home of purity
When you think about your home, do you consider it a wholesome place? Are you impressed by purity when you walk in the door?
When you think about what’s on your walls – or on your bookshelves – is it pure? How about what’s on your TV or the music that’s playing?
Not everything in your home may seem overwhelmingly pure. But if you know something’s impure, it has no place in your home.
If the impure things aren’t yours, but someone else’s, this is another time you’ll need to pray for discernment and be bold as the keeper of your home. Depending on the strength of your personal conviction, this might end up as a big conflict. However, keep enduring as you do what you know is right – and what’s best for you, your family, and your home.
A home of loveliness
If your home feels out of sorts, establishing a basis of truth, honor, justice, and purity might be a huge, potentially uncomfortable job. But creating a lovely home is just fun.
By creating a home of loveliness, you can fill your home with belongings that are lovely to you. What do you enjoy to see? What brings a smile to your face? Fill your home with those things.
Feel the freedom to get rid of what is not lovely and replace it with what is. And when you know that you need something new, don’t just settle for the cheapest option. Work within your budget, but try to find something that looks lovely to you.
And when you find something beautiful and know it would bring joy to your day – whether it’s a notebook or pillow or set of measuring spoons (ceramic ones are fragile, but so lovely) – invest in that for your home.
Once you know you have lovely things in your home, have fun arranging them in your home! When your home is filled with your favorite things, you’ll find yourself relaxing – and maybe even smiling – when you enter each room.
A home of excellence
Have you noticed that there’s a high expectation in all of these areas? It’s not so easy to create a home that meets these high standards. But it’s worth it.
As you diligently work at adding the good and right things to you home and keeping out everything else, you’ll slowly but surely create a home of excellence.
You already know that excellence doesn’t come overnight. It’s not like you can move into a new location and instantly expect an excellent home. No, you’ll need a lot of hard work, wise decisions, and self-control. But as hard as the process might seem, the results always are worth it.
A home worthy of admiration and praise
As you work at building your home, you’ll want it to be a home of admiration. You’ll want a home that’s commendable and of good repute.
While that sounds great, what does that actually mean in today’s world? It means that guests who come to your home will know it’s a good place. They’ll be put at ease – not put on edge. They’ll feel welcomed and comfortable – not wishing they could get out the door and head for home.
Believe it or not, your home will speak for itself. Others will know something is different – and they’ll long for the same kind of atmosphere that you’ve worked so hard to create. All of the purity, honor, justice, and truth will be obvious to everyone. Others will notice the loveliness.
As your home is transformed, other will admire and praise it. Take this for the high compliment that it is.
What are some ways you have been filling your home with lovely things?
This post originally appeared on HilaryBernstein.com.
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