2/3/06

 

“Home is Where the Heart Is”

Lysa TerKeurst, President of Proverbs 31 Ministries

 

Key Verse:

1 John 4:7-8, “Dear friends, let us love one another, for love comes from God.  Everyone who loves has been born of God and knows God.  Whoever does not love does not know God, because God is love.” (NIV)

 

Devotion:

Love is a powerful thing.  It causes us great joy and great pain.  Love took Jesus to the Cross, it placed Isaac on the altar, and it brought Hosea to a place of reconciliation with his unfaithful wife.  It brings hearts together and leads them on journeys that may of us still have yet to explore.

 

Our first logo at Proverbs 31 Ministries was a drawing of a house with a heart in the middle and the motto was “Touching women’s hearts, building godly homes.”  Time after time, we have found that homes that are filled with the life-changing love of Jesus are homes that have the woman’s heart written all over them. 

 

In order to make your home a place where Christ reigns, you must have a house party with love as the honored guest.  To invite love there, it must be so abundant in your heart that it overflows into your home.  We cannot fully give love to others until we have received God’s sacrificial love first.  After all, “Love comes from God.” (1 John 4:7, NIV)  When we experience the depths of that kind of love, we can then know how to love others in the same way. 

 

As women, our ability to love unconditionally:  Quiets the cry of a baby; kisses the toddler’s scraped knee; plays dress up and Superman even though there are a million other things that need to be done; stays up half the night to help our junior high schooler finish a school project; and comforts a teen’s broken heart. 

 

Each of these examples represents the kind of love that sacrifices without hesitation. It gives without expecting anything in return.  It is a love that comes straight from heaven and lets us catch a glimpse of our eternal home.

 

A woman can never do and be all that is required of a wife, mother, and friend, without filling and refilling her heart with love constantly.  And only God’s love can make this possible. Scripture tells us that, “No one has ever seen God; but if we love one another, God lives in us and his love is made complete in us” (1 John 4:12).  You have an opportunity to give family and friends a picture of Who God is in your home by demonstrating unconditional love.  Colossians 2:2 tells us that doing this helps others fully understand the “mystery of God, namely Christ.”  Indeed, sacrificial love is a profound mystery to those who do not know the depths of Christ’s sacrifice!

 

2 Timothy 3:1-4 says, “But mark this:  There will be terrible times in the last days.  People will be lovers of themselves, lovers of money, boastful, proud, abusive, disobedient to their parents, ungrateful, unholy, without love, unforgiving, slanderous, without self-control, brutal, not lovers of the good, treacherous, rash, conceited, lovers of pleasure rather than lovers of God” (NIV). Sound like you’re reading the daily paper? 

 

Notice that verse 3 of this Scripture says “without love.”  That phrase in the original Hebrew means “absent of family love.”  That is why it is more important than ever to fill our homes with the kind of love that can be a safe haven for our family and a refreshing oasis for others who may come to visit.  It is an endangered species and in these latter times, a home filled with God’s love is precious and rare, but needed more than ever.

 

My Prayer for Today:

Lord, fill my heart continuously with the kind of unconditional sacrificial love that only You can give me.  May all who cross my threshold feel Your presence in my heart and home and know that You are God.  In Jesus’ Name, Amen.

 

Application Steps:

This month, pick a day and hold a “house party” with “love” as the honored guest.  Get your children and spouse involved and be creative.  Here are a few ideas:

  1. Use valentine decorations to create a loving air of festivity.
  2. Set a special place at the dinner table for Jesus, your honored guest of love and share with your children what He did to earn such an honor. 
  3. Set a rule that everyone must speak only kind words to one another throughout the day.
  4. Have a sharing time where children tell at least one thing they love about each person in the home.
  5. Have a time where you and your spouse share with your children how you came to fall in love with one another and why that love is so important in a marriage.
  6. Make encouragement bags by doing the following:  Buy brown paper lunch-sized bags and write each family member’s name on them.  Pass out enough paper for each person in the family to write a note for every other person in the family.  Have everybody write an encouraging note to everyone else and drop it in their individual bag.  Have a time where everybody can read out loud the notes they got.

 

Reflection Points:

  1. Who in your world needs to see an example of God’s love? 
  2. Are you willing to be that example to them?
  3. What challenges do you face in doing this?
  4. How do you respond when they are not receptive of your love?
  5. Do you have expectations that cause you to be frustrated when they don’t love back?
  6. Are you willing to put aside your expectations and love no matter how difficult it is?

 

Power Verses:

Proverbs 4:23, “Watch over your heart with all diligence, for from it flow the springs of life.”  (NIV)

 

Genesis 22:2, “Then God said, ‘Take your son, your only son, Isaac, whom you love, and go to the region of Moriah.  Sacrifice him there as a burnt offering on one of the mountains I will tell you about.’” (NIV)

 

Hosea 3:1, “The Lord said to me, ‘Go, show your love to your wife again, though she is loved by another and is an adulteress.  Love her as the Lord loves the Israelites, though they turn to other gods and love the sacred raisin cakes.’” (NIV)

 

Colossians 2:2, “My purpose is that they may be encouraged in heart and united in love, so that they may have the full riches of complete understanding, in order that they may know the mystery of God, namely, Christ.”  (NIV)

 

Additional Resources:

Living Life on Purpose, book and journal set, by Lysa TerKeurst

http://proverbs31.gospelcom.net/newresources_livingLife.htm

 

Five Love Languages for Children, by Gary Chapman

http://proverbs31.gospelcom.net/newresources_fiveLoveLangChild.htm

 

Five Love Languages for Teenagers, by Gary Chapman

http://proverbs31.gospelcom.net/newresources_fiveLoveLangTeen.htm