Home is a Place of Shalom
Home is meant to be a place of peace and rest, a place where one belongs and can take refuge, a place to find grace, forgiveness, wholeness, and love. Home is meant to be a place of beauty and joy, a place of security and acceptance, a place of genuine affection, a place to hear and be heard, find patience, and delight with laughter.
Home is supposed to be a place of shalom. It is also what the church ought to be as members of Christ’s body relate to one another. The church is the household, the family, of God.
Sin destroys relationships, and home is often not what it is supposed to be because of it. In the wisdom of the world, we try to run our home differently with wisdom not from God. And it shows. Home becomes a wreck, a place of bitterness, division, anger, tension, and grudges. Rather than run to it as a refuge, we run away from it because it is so unpleasant and difficult. “Anyone wandering from his home is like a bird wandering from its nest” (Prov 27:8).
The question we must ask is, how do we want to run our homes? What kind of a place do we want our home to be? This is not about the physical house. It’s about the family and the relationships. James 3:13-18 contrasts the wisdom from above with the wisdom from below, and this gets to the heart of the wisdom we are following and the fruit produced by our actions:
“Who among you is wise and understanding? By his good conduct he should show that his works are done in the gentleness that comes from wisdom. But if you have bitter envy and selfish ambition in your heart, don’t boast and deny the truth. Such wisdom does not come down from above but is earthly, unspiritual, demonic. For where there is envy and selfish ambition, there is disorder and every evil practice. But the wisdom from above is first pure, then peace-loving, gentle, compliant, full of mercy and good fruits, unwavering, without pretense. And the fruit of righteousness is sown in peace by those who cultivate peace.”
You will know the wisdom being followed by the resulting fruit. Is your home a place of welcomed rest and peace? Are relationships marked by gentleness, purity, and mercy? Are we being genuine with one another and showing our love for peace? Or, in contrast, are our relationships marked by bitter envy, selfish ambition, and denial of truth? Is your home full of peace or turmoil, and why?
“Better a little with the fear of the LORD than great treasure with turmoil” (Prov 15:16).
God made the family as a way of fostering godly relationships. The family mirrors God’s covenant relationship with His people made in His image. The godly home essentially tells the gospel story, for it shows God’s love, mercy, forgiveness, and selfless sacrifice. It is a place for teaching and learning, for wisdom and trust, for vulnerability and comfort.
And the home is made what it is by the attitudes and actions that we bring to the table of our families. If it is not what you know it is meant to be, then know that change starts with self. Just as in following Jesus Christ, if we are to have homes of shalom and love we must be intentional. For example:
We must learn to deny self to follow Jesus (Luke 9:23). We must, through love, serve one another (Gal 5:13). We must do nothing from selfish ambition or empty conceit but through humility consider others as more important than self and look out for the interests of others. In other words, we must have the mind of Christ (Phil 2:3-5). We must submit to one another in the fear of the Lord and intend to fulfill what God has given husbands and wives (Eph 5:22-33). We must seek the qualities of love (1 Cor 13) and “If possible, as far as it depends on you, live at peace with everyone” (Rom 12:18).
A home that is following the wisdom of the Lord will be a place wherein we welcome others, care for our own, and share life with husbands, wives, parents, children, and the extended family we call friends. Home doesn’t stop being home when we leave father and mother. Home is always what our family, together, makes it, and we know our family desires our presence, our contributions, and our input.
God “blesses the home of the righteous” (Prov 3:31). And when we know we are blessed by God, we can become a blessing to others. We can, for others, become a home when perhaps they did not have one or when their home experiences were anything but peace and love. The gospel makes the home beautiful once again. We all desire it to be so, so let us seek to make our own homes places where the wisdom and love of God will always be found. Home should point us to our greater home with God. Let us seek the things above, where Christ is, and one day we will share the ultimate peace and rest at home with Him.