What is home? Is it (as Wikipedia says) a place in which an individual or a family can rest and store personal property, complete because it contains sanitary facilities and a means of preparing food? Is it (as far too many holiday songs croon) the place we go to for Christmas? Is it the building in which a handful of people who happen to be related sleep and eat, only to scatter to the four winds when the morning comes?
Home certainly includes a building (for at the very least it must provide shelter of some sort to its inhabitants), whether yours is a mansion with a three car garage or in a suburb looking remarkably similar to all the others on the street; whether it is down a rocky country driveway with no others in sight or in the middle of an apartment building in the middle of a city. Home will involve walls and roofs and pipes which must be maintained and repaired. This physical structure will also feel more “home-like” when it is decorated to reflect the personalities of the people who reside in it. Cooking, organization, and money will all be concerns in the running and managing of this place called “home.”
But could home be more than just a building? Could it be a culture, a mini society, one that shapes the people in it so that they can go out and shape the world? Could it be a haven in which those people rest and rejuvenate their spirits? Could they invite others into this haven, thus extending that peace beyond the walls of the building that holds this “home”?
Home is a place in which people live: their lives are shaped in the walls that make up their home. Their habits are formed by the way in which routines are lived out; their personalities are fashioned by the decorations adorning each room; and their characters are established so that they will face the world either with joy, peace and confidence or with resentment, irritation and insecurity. Home is where the transformation of the world begins.
C. S. Lewis said: “The homemaker has the ultimate career. All other careers exist for one purpose only—and that is to support the ultimate career.” Our culture wants us to forget that, to think of the home as a boring place and to think of homemaking as a degrading way to spend a life. Consumerism, commercialism, and careerism all breed dissatisfaction with the home. As Christians we should reject that and make our homes into places of contentment, love and service from which the inhabitants can go out to conquer the world.