BY: TCLeach at http://throughanewlens.blogspot.com
Rise and Shine…In Your Home!
In the first post of this series, we looked at being sure our own light was lit by HaShem before we went about casting it outward. That is always key to effectively shining His light on others. If there are shadows in us, then that is what we will cast.
If you’ve checked your own light source connection, then it’s time to start shining our God’s light in your home! No matter what your living conditions, no matter how many people live with you, and even if you live alone, your home can be full of light! It can even carry the sweet aroma of peace in the atmosphere. Here in my home, seven people share a small space. Creating peace and light in chaos and shadows is even more of a challenge! I took on the challenge, and learned a few things in the process. Knowing that shining light is a decision, and not a given in the life of a believer, I had to purpose in my heart to “brighten” the atmosphere in my home. I would encourage you to do the same, the rewards are amazing!
I took a few “average days” in my house and studied the areas where shadows and chaos tended to reign instead of light and peace. Your list of areas that could use improvement in your home will, without doubt, look different than mine. However, our solution is very similar! Whether you’re male or female, adult or teen, surrounded by believers or the only believer in your home, you can shine HaShem’s light wherever it is you call “home”. The following is a very simple check-list I made for myself. You can make adjustments to it according to your unique situation, or come up with a check-list of your very own. However we achieve it, light and peace must be present first in ourselves and secondly in our own home before we will effectively shine God’s Light outwards toward others.
- Tidy Up. Clutter is easy to accumulate and gives a home a sense of disarray, which has a negative impact on those who enter. It is a speed-bump in a well run home. Crud isn’t pleasant, either, and conveys a certain message to those who enter without a word being said. When we de-clutter and maintain a sense of cleanliness (within our capacity to do so) our home conveys a sense of order and balance, which are both Biblical concepts.
- Be a “Welcome Mat” (not to be confused with a “Door Mat”). From the youngest who will enter our front door to the oldest, everyone enjoys feeling welcomed! We shine The Father’s Light when we stop what we’re doing, and connect with whoever comes through that door. Never make anyone compete for your attention with your phone or computer screen, especially a child! If you do not live alone, pay careful attention to personal interaction times, unplug devices and plug into some conversation. If you live alone, the same applies for when you have guests. Engage them.
- Speak Life. You don’t have to walk around all day quoting Chapter and verse numbers to speak life, although there are certain times for doing just that! In between those times, we are presented with a plethora of opportunities to introduce Godly concepts into our conversations! Also, we have countless opportunities to encourage and uplift those who are in our home at any given moment. Somethings the smallest things we do or say will spark a great dialog, and inspire others to look toward HaShem.
- Walk Your Talk! Notice the exclamation point there? We will cast shadows and not shine light in our home if we are saying one thing and doing another. Often, we are the only ones that don’t see our own hypocrisy, because it is rarely intentional. It’s the little things that show what we truly believe! “Little white lies” are still lies. Gossip is poison to the speaker and to the hearer. “Borrowing” post-it notes from work is stealing. More than half of what’s at the end of our remote control, when we aim it at the TV, is celebrating death and perversion. What images and ideas fill the television screen? What magazines are on the coffee table? Are we a notable example of what we profess to be truth? If not, we are only fooling ourselves.
- Use The Father’s Natural Lights and Life: As unlikely as it may seem, a well-lit space is very inviting! Brighten up your home, literally. Dark and dreary works in a funeral home, and can cast the same kind of atmosphere over a “living” room. The sun is a great source, expose your rooms to it…open those curtains! For evening, make sure your rooms are adequately lit. Buy some colorful or playful lights to add an even more joyful atmosphere! A few plants speak life, too, without saying a word. There are several varieties that are low-maintenance and hard to kill! My stacks of study materials are great conversation starters, too. I keep them, along with my Tanakh, in plain sight. Light and life should be our very motto and our theme!
We can make our home a place of light and love. The Father has asked us to be Set-Apart unto Him, and that should reflect in every aspect of our home-life. You may face some unique challenges in this area, I understand all too well. I am the only Torah Pursuant believer in my house, and am limited in what I can share with my Grandchildren, doctrine-wise, as mine differs from their parents’. But I can still shine light, and so can you. Ask yourself what you might do to brighten your home today, then do it, starting with you!
“See” you in two weeks…Until then, Shine On!