As anyone who’s talked to me in the last 9 months can tell you, Larry and I just built a house. And, we’ve heard plenty of horror stories about building a truly custom home. (Why is it that, like pregnancy, everyone wants to share the HORROR stories and not the good stories….?). Anyway, we’ve not found it to be completely overwhelming but there are a LOT of decisions and factors to consider, to say the least. Hopefully, by the time you read this, we’ll be settled in and all the pain and struggle will be washed from our memories!
When Emily asked me to write an article for this month’s column I wanted to tie it to this house building and how it can mirror a Christian life. When building a house, everyone talks about a good foundation and, like life, a good foundation is imperative. We, Larry and I, have built our lives on Jesus Christ (the ultimate GOOD foundation). But going beyond that, there are other home building decisions that are similar life decisions which I’ve found interesting.
I’ll start with the basics: once the foundation and framing are completed, there’s little that can be done to change those….well, unless you have unlimited funds with which to start over. In life, that foundation and framing are our childhood, our raising. Proverbs 22:6 says, “Train up a child in the way he should go: and when he is old, he will not depart from it.” You just can’t beat a strong foundation and while things can happen to derail a child, their upbringing will stay with them forever. Fortunately, unlike a house foundation, changing your life through a relationship with God is as easy as asking and believing: “If you confess with your mouth Jesus as Lord, and believe in your heart that God raised Him from the dead, you will be saved.” Romans 10:9
On to the home’s exterior: brick, siding, landscaping. I liken these to our appearance….what other’s see at first glance. Like it or not, we’re judged by how we look. There’s a certain appearance we’re expected to maintain. Business people wear business clothes, old fashioned people like me and Larry dress up for church, etc. Before people get to know the real you, they see your outward appearance and make assumptions; sometimes correctly and sometimes not. 1 Samuel 16:7 - "The Lord does not look at the things man looks at. Man looks at the outward appearance, but the Lord looks at the heart." We’d be wise to never judge on outward appearances of houses or of people.
Now, for the comfort features of a home: these are the things we do to make the home livable. These choices are often only appreciated by the home owners. Things like nice carpet, reliable appliances, fancy fixtures, etc. To me, these things are like our relationships with our spouses and families. We make up the rules that work for us. We decide what’s necessary and what makes us comfortable. We choose to act a certain way in our private lives. I equate this to our spiritual lives. Only God knows our hearts. We can act a certain way on the outside but only He knows our innermost thoughts. Luke 15:16 “You are the ones who justify yourselves in the eyes of others, but God knows your hearts.”
So, how does a house DIFFER from our relationship with God? A house, even a well-built house, will eventually fall but a life based on a firm relationship with Jesus Christ is eternal. Hoorah!!
"Therefore everyone who hears these words and acts on them may be compared to a wise man who built his house on the rock. "And the rain fell, and the floods came, and the winds blew and slammed against that house; and yet it did not fall, for it had been founded on the rock. "Everyone who hears these words of Mine and does not act on them, will be like a foolish man who built his house on the sand.” Matthew 7:24-27