Deb and I like living in our house. We made a pact several years ago to keep it as a house of peace, a safe place, and one where people feel comfortable, at home and able to rest. So far God has allowed us to accomplish that. It isn't easy to maintain. Sometimes we have to tell people what our home is about. There have been times that we've had to simply disallow some things. But it is worth it.
Our house is a place I look forward to coming home to. If we've been on a trip, even though we may have thoroughly enjoyed it, we always love coming home. It's where there is peace and quiet. At the end of a work day I can't wait to come home to Debbie. Yes, it has been worth it.
Contrarily we have known many folks who don't like to go home. Their home is one of turmoil and strife. Some have fallen into circumstances beyond their control when grown children have returned. I say shame on those kids who have no consideration for their parents and chose to bring chaos back to them. It may sound harsh, but Deb and I have told our grown children that they are always welcome at home, but in no uncertain terms we've also told them that we will not tolerate chaos and baggage. If something happens they always have a place to go, but they will not bring problems that go along with habits, live in boyfriends or girlfriends and/or anything associated with that mess, with them. Fortunately for us, both our children have embraced the Lord as their Savior and that makes the decision a whole lot easier.
Many parents aren't so lucky. If you want a house of peace the only way I know to obtain that goal is to set your foot down, no matter how hard it may be, enforce some reasonable rules and insist that those who live with you abide by them. If they really love you and really want peace in their lives as well, they'll be willing to comply. I also realize that there are exceptions to this, but we should make them few and far in-between.
Our spiritual house should also be one of peace. It should be a place that we are thrilled to be in. Once our house has been built then we've got to live in it. Physically we can have a beautiful house, one that is attractive inside and out, but if it is not filled with peace it is only a house not a home. Our spiritual house is the same. We can take great care to keep the outside so that we attract others. We can decorate the inside so that it is appealing. But if we don't have peace it is only a house.
The difference between a house and a home is that a house is a structure. It isn't a home until it is occupied. If it isn't filled with peace who wants to live there?
There are many different religions in the world today. God has not prevented anyone from believing what they want to believe. He could, but He embraces free-will. He won't force a single one of us to believe in Him even though He knows we may be going down a path of destruction. He lets us make our own choice.
God won't make us stop alcohol abuse, drug abuse, violence, prostitution, or sleeping around. He will allow us to live how we choose to live. It doesn't mean that He will accept those things, but He won't stop us even though He knows we are destroying our house.
But He really wants us to live in a home. He wants us to have a place of peace. He desires real life for each of us. It is our choice. We can choose to invite God into our house. We can choose to have peace but know that it can be a very hard choice.
If you choose peace you will never regret it. It is the basis for happiness. We can have peace and happiness without a lot of things. We can be content even in poverty. Things only make us want more things. Peace, whether in poverty or wealth, is a treasure that is more valuable than silver and gold. It can't be bought, but it can be chosen.
Jerry D. Ousley is the author of ├»Soul Challenge├», ├»Soul Journey├», ├»Ordeal├», ├»The Spirit Bread Daily Devotional and his first novel ├»The Shoe Tree.├» Visit our website at spiritbread.com to download these and more completely free of charge.
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