Making A House A Home

 

 

 

 

CHOICES THAT PREPARE OUR HEARTS FOR A FANTASTIC HOLIDAY SEASON

I love summer so it is a bit challenging to me to walk through the craft, card, fabric, and department stores and find holiday supplies displayed. However, I also know that good stewardship challenges me to plan ahead so that my holiday season is truly focused on the event it is meant to celebrate rather stressed-filled because I made poor choices in late summer and early fall.

Just as my management skills propel me to plan ahead so I experience a fantastic rather than a frantic holiday season, so I must begin early to make spiritual choices so that I maximize the potentially rich experiences.

A study of the character of the woman described in Proverbs 31:10-31 teaches us a significant character quality—she possesses a heart open to learning from the experience or wisdom of others.  Biblical wisdom, “is both religious and practical.  Stemming from the fear of the Lord (Job 28:28; Psalm 111:10; Proverbs 1:7; 9:10) it branches out to touch all of life, as the extended commentary on wisdom in Proverbs indicates.[1]

Wisdom takes insights gleaned from the knowledge of God’s Word and applies it to one’s daily walk.  We know the Scriptures provide the basis for possessing a teachable heart (Prov. 2:17-21), and we are reminded of Paul’s teaching in 1 Corinthians 10:6“now all these things became our examples, to the intent that we should not lust after evil things as they [the Israelites] also lusted.”  Solomon’s admonition to his son is a serious warning to us “. . . fools despise wisdom and instruction” (Prov. 1:7).  However, once we are convinced that we need to seriously consider the wisdom of mature saints, our next step in making sure that our lifestyle clearly demonstrates that our values and character align with the Word of God is to examine our daily walk.  Let’s pose a probing question—do my daily choices reflect that I walk wisely?  We will use an acrostic for the words Walk Wisely to answer this question . . .

W        directs me to wait for the Lord rather than attempting to push our time table (Psalm 37:34).  Am I like Ruth who chose to embrace Naomi’s advice and wait for God’s timing in her relationship with Boaz? (Ruth 3:18)

A                is a challenge to abstain.  Simply stated, abstain tells me to stay away from anything that could possibly not be good for me.  First Thessalonians 5:22 is a short but potent verse that basically says anything that is unbiblical should be shunned!  Do I abstain from every form of evil?

L         represents a word I hear often, love.  If I am walking wisely I will choose to love the things God loves so that God, not the world, has the first place in my life (Matt. 10:3-39; Phil. 3:20).  First John 3:18 reminds me that if I walk wisely I will abide with my heavenly Father forever.  Is my first love my heavenly Father or the things of the world?

K         focuses on knowledge.  Proverbs 10:14 compels me to acquire biblical knowledge so that when I speak our words are filled with wisdom (Prov. 31:26).  The loose tongue of fools is a recurring theme throughout Proverbs (10:6-8, 13. 18-19, 31-32; 12:23; 13:3; 15:1-2, 23, 26. 28, 31-33; 17:28; 18:2, 6-8) and is consistently repeated in the book of James (1:26; 3:1-12).  What is the source of my knowledge?

W        “walking in the Spirit” (Gal. 5:16) provides me with the power to consistently make wise decisions.  As we continue to obey the simple commands of Scripture we will mature in our decision making process (Rom. 8:13; Eph. 5:15-17).  A sobering question to ask, “Does my walk propel me away from fulfilling the lust of the flesh?”

I           spotlights integrity, a word that basically means that I choose to do what is right, when given a choice between right and wrong.  Psalm 15 describes the character of those who may dwell with the Lord and begins with integrity (Psalm 15:2)—is it a description of my character?

S          stands for the Scriptures.  God’s Word that has all of the answers to all of life’s questions.  However, they only answer the questions if I am using it as my primary resource (John 5:39).  A study of Psalm 119 reveals all that God’s Word will do for me—do I live like I believe it?

E         encourages me to endure when it is logical to quit.  Romans 5:3 focus on preserving under tremendous weight and pressure without succumbing (Ro. 15:5; Col. 1:22-23; 2 Thess. 1:4; Rev. 14:12).  Though painful at times, the results reach into eternity.  What does it take to stop me?

L         motivates me to listen.  Proverbs 19:20 directs us to listen to advice and accept instruction so that we will have the wisdom we need for the future.  Proverbs 15:31 and James 1:19 focus on listening with a teachable spirit.  Am I quick to listen?

Y         provides the final strategy in walking wisely, yielding to the Lord’s direction in my life.  The upside-down triangularly shaped traffic sign is an important one to notice since when I drive because it is a clear warning that the other lane has the right of way.  Refusing to yield may create unwanted challenges in my life.  Equally important is the willingness for me to yield to my heavenly Father’s specific instructions to me in relation to walking wisely; in reality I am demonstrating my love to Him by choosing to embrace these instructions with my whole heart—and that is when my joy is complete (1 John 1:4; 2 John 12).  Am I quick to yield to your heavenly Father’s instructions?

As you begin preparation for the holiday season are you willing to ask yourself, “Will the choices that I make today reflect that I walk wisely”?   Will you walk through this day using these questions as your road map so that your holiday season is fantastic rather than frantic?  If so, you are making wise choices!

Our next Everyday Homemaker post will offer practical hints for a fantastic rather than frantic holiday season.   

If you would like a sample chapter of The Christian Homemaker’s Handbook simply click on “Contact Pat” and request your copy. 

Blessings on you as you focus on making your house a home!

[1] The New Bible Dictionary, s.v. “wisdom.”