What's In Your House?
With any house build, there has to be a plan.
I’ve been in the hardware and building material business all of my life, and have witnessed designers, builders and remodelers use a plan to accomplish the task. The house plan reveals many integral parts in the design of a home. In the next couple of posts, Debbie and I will look at some very important areas of the home that correspond to the house plan for a Godly marriage and family.
Would we ever consider the garage as an important area of the home?
A garage serves different purposes. It can be a great place to store belongings like tools, fishing gear, or outdoor power equipment. It’s also where we house one of the biggest and most expensive treasures we own. Our vehicle.
Whether we own a car or truck, we often store it here for protection. But what about when we are in this prized possession? How much attention do we pay to the occupants? Do we protect them from what they hear or see? We sometimes drive for miles without meaningful talk, not engaging those beside or behind us. Kids, or even spouses, consumed on their phones or iPads might not be bugging us, but they get so absorbed, the device becomes more important than communication. Even worse, do we pay attention to what is consumed from the electronics? What’s the music being played? What’s running through the earbuds? Is it glorifying God? Does it promote unhealthy thoughts?
Our granddaughters love watching movies as we travel. These films can be a poor substitute for exciting game time and fun conversations. Think about it, we’re in a confined space with few distractions. The best conversations are waiting to happen here! But the only way this works is if we are intentional.
Take a look at the scripture below. Our time in the car is equivalent to “when you walk along the road.” How often do we use this time to discuss or memorize Bible verses? It may be a new concept for many of us, but the instruction found in the Word isn’t.
“Fix these words of mine in your hearts and minds; tie them as symbols on your hands and bind them on your foreheads. Teach them to your children, talking about them when you sit at home and when you walk along the road, when you lie down and when you get up.” Deuteronomy 11:18-19 (NIV)
A space like a garage, albeit useful, stores our vehicles, possibly filled with idols. These idols can clutter and contaminate our minds, keeping us from putting Christ first in our home and marriage.
Another part of the house plan that is important to the home is the family room.
This is the place we share life together. We talk and focus on each other, interested in what has happened with our spouse during the day. Or do we?
Could it be that this room is used to lift up things that steer us away from the commitment to our marriage? What about our choice of television programs or internet sites? Do we allow words or images into our home that do not show us as Christ followers?
It was a few years into our marriage before we set boundaries around what we watch. We had allowed Hollywood into our home not realizing we were getting numb to its influence. It’s hard to find a movie or show that doesn’t have offensive language or inappropriate scenes. Time and time again we have started a “good” movie only to turn it off because it crossed the line of our boundaries.
Good movies are hard to find. But it can be done. Don’t settle. There are good Christian media sites, including www.pluggedin.com that will help you manage what you watch. Media should uplift the family and give a positive outlook on the commitment of husband and wife.
What about turning off media for a night.
What would it look like for you and your spouse or the whole family to play a game together? It’s amazing, even with electronics as prominent as they are, the board game industry according to Globe Newswire, is projected to have sales of more than 12 billion dollars by 2023. What a concept! Sitting around a table talking, laughing, and communicating with the focus on one another. We need to stop neglecting our family, by allowing outside influences to get in the way.
Has media become an idol in your marriage? Has getting from place to place become more important than time spent together?
What other idols have become important in your marriage, needing to be cleaned out and replaced with a God filled life?
He brought in the priests and the Levites, assembled them in the square on the east side5 and said: “Listen to me, Levites! Consecrate yourselves now and consecrate the temple of the Lord, the God of your ancestors. Remove all defilement from the sanctuary. Our parents were unfaithful; they did evil in the eyes of the Lord our God and forsook him. They turned their faces away from the Lord’s dwelling place and turned their backs on him.”
In this text, Hezekiah saw the idols that the people put before God. He saw the neglect of the temple, how filth had taken over, and how their hearts had turned selfish. It was his first year as King, yet he knew standing up for God was important. There had to be a renewed focus and he was the king to deliver it.
We need the same focus. We need to reclaim forgotten blessings of our relationship and make them new again. Areas where destructive habits have taken precedence, need to be cleaned. Our marriages are too important to neglect. Get rid of the idols! Address together what you need to do to have a fresh, clean, idol free marriage.
Seeking the Word,
"Strengthen me according to Your Word."