What is a home anyway? Is it the house? Is it the people who live in it? No, I guess that’s the family. Maybe it’s the atmosphere within a family’s house. Or maybe it’s your community – you know how when you are driving back from a vacation there is a point you get to where someone in the car says “It’s good to be home.” Perhaps it’s your people, even beyond blood relatives. When you are with them it just feels like home. But what is that feeling?
In the book of Ruth, the idea of home had several slightly different meanings. In chapter 1 verse 6, home was Naomi’s country and people. In verse 8 it was Ruth’s “family home,” the household she grew up in. In verse 9 home indicated marriage and family. By chapter 3 verse 1, Ruth and her mother-in-law, Naomi, are back in Naomi’s hometown, and she implies that Ruth’s home would be a place she could be provided for, find protection, and the ruins of her old life could be redeemed. Finally, Chapter 4 verse 11 shows Boaz’ home as his household, but also as a place of hope and possibility where love can come and children will be born.
Whatever your heart definition of home is, let us remember what home is not. It is not your physical house however big or small, fancy or rundown, quaint or sprawling that may be. It is not your belongings. It is not stuff to be acquired in a building. It is not made by other people, it springs from our own heart. It is not the sum of all our past successes and failings, nor is it a list of all you’ve done. It’s not the mess of dirty dishes and laundry, nor is it the pristine perfection of the magazine photo. Home is what we create.
How like our loving God to allow us as His image-bearers to also create as He created! So as you create your home, know that it starts in your heart. A heart full of peace, joy and love can only come from a relationship with Jesus. Otherwise our hearts will be discontent, searching for something better, and longing for more. First Timothy 6:6 says, “Godliness with contentment is great gain.” This is where home is born, in a godly heart full of contentment because it rests in Him.