There is nothing wrong with wanting something to look nice until it starts to be a consuming desire!
I know that a lot of Christian writers are writing to women about what it means to be a "keeper at home." (See Proverbs 31) The problem is: I think too many of these books are actually telling us what we want to to hear, not what we need to hear! Most personal growth books I have read spend much time cultivating a wife's desire to make a pretty home for her husband! This, in and of itself, is not necessarily bad. BUT, so many of us have long since crossed over from making a comfortable/welcoming home - into being driven by something called Homemaking, that is really nothing different from materialism.
I know, I am speaking severely. Please know, Reader, that I am scolding myself too! You see, God made me with a bent towards liking pretty things. God made me to want to make my home nice/welcoming/comfortable. This is the Gift of God in making me the Woman. All of those things are pre-programmed. The problem is - due mostly to excessive media pressure - my sinful nature will frequently corrupt this Good Gift from God!
I may say that I am trying to keep a nice home from my husband and family. I may say it is fulfilling Proverbs 31, BUT in reality - I may be using Scripture to my own end! Because, you see, I like to decorate. I like the instant gratification that comes from finding the perfect colors to accent the perfect pictures.
God has grown me enormously in this area!
As you know from reading my past blogs, I used to live from project to project. I found my joy in activities, not my Savior and His Spirit at work in my life! Many of these activities were home remodeling or yard landscaping. I literally lived to paint and tend to the yard. While that sounds awful, I am certain that many of you are not far from that yourselves.
As with all things, it is hard to find the happy medium! We need to follow Scripture! We ought to strive to be all that we see in the Woman with value above rubies! We ought to keep our homes clean. We ought to keep our homes welcoming to our husband's taste. We ought to grow gardens (if we can) to provide food for our families. These are all good things! The problem is when our sinful nature comes in and tries to take over.
How do you know when sin has taken over?
1- Look at your ledger/checkbook/budget. Are you spending what is necessary for keeping a home? Or, are you spending excessively to garnish your home?
2- What do you think about/talk about most?
I need to be very careful how I explain this. Because I do NOT wish to say that thinking about home keeping is bad! As I already said, we are required by God to fulfill that role in our homes! BUT, we often stop thinking of it in terms of ministering to our families. Then, we think about things in terms of impressing others (though I, for one, never would have admitted that!)
This post may seem harsh. You may be greatly troubled. And, I want to cheer you...
Friend, make your home comfortable. Make your garden grow good things. Make your walls any color you like. But, do it with a heart of service for your Heavenly Father. Let these verses encourage you:
But every man is tempted, when he is drawn away of his own lust, and enticed. Then when lust hath conceived, it bringeth forth sin: and sin, when it is finished, bringeth forth death. Do not err, my beloved brethren. Every good gift and every perfect gift is from above, and cometh down from the Father of lights, with whom is no variableness, neither shadow of turning. James 1:14-17 (KJV - bold mine)Let us strive not to corrupt God's good gifts.