Home: More than Just a Word
Marybeth Whalen

“Be devoted to one another in brotherly love. Honor one another above yourselves.” Romans 12:10 (NIV)

I opened up my email to discover another one of those forwards we all get from time to time. I almost hit “delete” but my eye landed on this acronym for the word “Home”:

Honor the Lord
Obey His Word
Minister to one another
Establish walls of truth

I was glad I took a look at this forward, because it made me think about whether or not these four components are present in my home. When looked at it in this light, the word “home” means so much more than just a place to live. Isn’t that what we want all of our homes to be? More than a place to sleep and eat and occasionally clean, we want our homes to be a place where lives are shaped into God’s design. This little acronym zeroes in on four important goals we should have for our home. The exciting thing is, no matter who lives there, or what problems we are facing, or what limits we feel like we have, with effort and intention our homes can be places where these four things happen.

Honor the Lord: We can honor God with our lips, but yet our hearts can be far from Him (Mt. 15:8) — and the people who live with us will be the first to know when we do this! Let’s seek to honor Him behind the closed doors of our homes, living out our devotion to Him in a visible, gentle way as we realize that our families are watching.

Obey His Word: Obeying His Word at home is not always easy. The Bible tells us to be submissive to our husbands, to love others more than we love ourselves, and to pick up our cross (as we pick up after our children, or care for our elderly parents). When we do these things with humility, those we most want to impact will notice. More than that, they will file it away in their hearts, and our lives will echo in theirs in ways we can’t possibly foresee.

Minister to one another: Ministry requires us to love others, to reach others, and to lay down our lives for the sake of those God has placed in our sphere of influence. This must happen at home first. And yet, if we’re honest, it’s usually the last place it happens. We go out and give the best of what we have to offer to others, then give our leftovers to the people we profess to love the most. Let’s minister to those in our own homes first.

Establish walls of truth: When I first read this, I will confess that something prickled in me. Establish walls? How is it Biblical to establish walls? I questioned. However, I soon realized I was thinking of walls as a means to keep people out. When in actuality, we need to be building walls of truth—God’s truth, designed not to keep others out but to guard our hearts and give us a safe place to retreat and to rest. These walls of truth make our homes into fortresses—a place to run to when our daily battles wear us out.

These are not things we can just do once and move on. They are daily requirements, regular sacrifices, and even personal struggles. We won’t ever do it perfectly and there will be days we feel we are taking one step up and two steps back. But with God’s help, we can keep working to make H.O.M.E. mean so much more.

Dear Lord, make my home a place that includes these four components. I want my home to be more than just a place to live in—I want it to be a place where lives are impacted and relationships are strengthened. Lord, I need Your help to do these things. Thank You for Your promise to always help me when I ask. In Jesus’ Name, Amen.

Related Resources:
Do you know Him?

Dwelling: Living Fully from the Space You Call Home by Mary Beth Lagerborg

A Life That Says Welcome, Simple Ways to Open Your Heart & Home to Others by Karen Ehman

To talk about practical ideas for our homes, visit Marybeth Whalen’s blog

Application Steps:
Choose one of the four components of the word HOME and concentrate on it today. Ask God to show you creative ways you can live for Him within the walls of your home.

How do you honor God, obey His word, minister to your family, and establish walls of Truth in your home? Can you share some practical ideas—even simple little things you have seen work? Pop over to Marybeth’s blog today and share your ideas if you wish.

Power Verses:
Isaiah 32:18, “My people will live in peaceful dwelling places, in secure homes, in undisturbed places of rest.” (NIV)

Proverbs 3:33, “The Lord’s curse is on the house of the wicked, but he blesses the home of the righteous.” (NIV)

© 2008 by Marybeth Whalen. All rights reserved.

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Anonymous Anonymous said...

This was very meaningful and helpful. Thank you.

Anonymous Anonymous said...

These are meaningful words for me today as I have discovered God has been left behind in our home for the past few months. Thank you Jesus for this message.

Anonymous Anonymous said...

I have posted this link on my cafemom site. Thanks you so much for always being my beacon of truth when I need to hear God's word.

Anonymous Anonymous said...

This is a concept that I have been working on most of the year this year. Thanks for the reminder that I am to give my best to my family everyday.

Blogger LisaR said...

I followed God's leading yesterday to honor my husband, who is a veteran. The kids were home from school, and we decided to make a special supper, using my "mini meatloaf" recipe to spell out USA in a casserole pan, and the kids making blueberry jello to go with it. My husband called at 6 p.m. and said he would have a 2 hour delay at work, so he missed our supper surprise. We were all pretty disappointed that things didn't go as planned. But, my sons and I got to work together to honor their dad, even if it didn't all work out, and in doing so, they got to see mom obeying the Lord and honoring her husband. I can't say I totally felt that way about it last night, but your great email gave me new perspective. Thanks!

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