What does it meant to consecrate something? The definition I've always been taught is that it has to do with setting something apart for God. In A Church in the House by Mathew Henry (1704) he encourages believers to "proceed in the right method; first set up Christ upon the throne in your hearts, and then set up a church for Christ in your house. Let Christ dwell in your hearts by faith, and then let Him dwell in your houses. Let there be churches in all your houses. Let those that have the statliest, richest, and best furnished houses, reckon a church in them to be their best ornament." (p.74)
Now I know that consecrating our houses mainly has to do with how we use them- what we do in them- how we behave in them. Is Christ honored in our homes by our words and deeds? Is God's Word read? Are the the Lord's praises extolled? In short, is He worshiped in our homes? Do we open our homes and hearts to one another in order to share Christ?
But having said that, we all do well to have visible reminders of the purpose of our homes. I love having Scriptures about such as the famous declaration of Joshua, "As for me and my house, we will serve the Lord." I'm reminded of the importance of the shema to the Jews and how they had it written on their doorposts. "The Lord our God, the Lord is One. You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, and with all your mind." Deut 6:4-5 Really, the next part of the shema has been taken up by homeschoolers, myself included, as a sort of battlecry: "And these words which I command you today shall be in your heart. You shall teach them diligently to your children, and shall talk of them when you sit in your house, when you walk by the way, when you lie down, and when you rise up. You shall bind them as a sign on your hand, and they shall be as frontlets between your eyes. YOu shall write them on the doorposts of your house and on your gates." Deut 6:6-9
Of course, it doesn't do any good to have God's Word on our doorposts if He isn't in our hearts, but what a great daily reminder to make loving God with all of our being and treasuring and teaching His Word our top priorities.
Li Quan and his wife in Safely Home by Randy Alcorn, use an empty chair as a visible reminder that Christ is always right there with them in their home. If we are in Christ and He is in us, then He really is present with us in our homes! It's one thing to believe it in some abstract, theoretical sense, but quite another to be reminded of it in a physical way by a tangible object. In the book, their guest keeps wondering what in the world that empty chair is all about. At one point, Li Quan pulls the chair up to the piano as he plays worship songs. Finally, Li Quan explains the chair that his grandfather had made: "... it became for him the chair of Yesu. When others claimed to rule the world, it reminded him who was the true King. But most important, this chair is a remembrance of Yesu's promise to always be with His children. At every meal we have, we remember He is with us. When we sit in the evening, when we go to sleep at night, we remember He is there, watching over us. No matter what. My father said his father, Li Wen, taught that Jesu was truly in the chair, that though He was everywhere and the chair was but a symbol, it was a very important symbol." (pp. 278-279)
So about a year ago I asked a good friend of ours at church to do a painting of Christ's throne that we would hang above our fireplace in our living room. This is the room of our house where we most often gather- for devotions and worship, for Bible study, hospitality, family fun, even homeschool. Our friend completely surprised us a couple of weeks ago with the finished and framed painting and wouldn't take any money for it! I love it so much, but even more I love what it represents. He really is among us. As believers, our home really is consecrated to Him. My prayer is that this visible reminder will help us consecrate our words, actions, and very lives to Him, as well.
What do you think? Cool or weird? My husband stood back, looked at me and said, "I think you've got some Anglican in you. They're into all that symbolism." I love it and am so glad to have our family portrait replaced by the throne of Christ. I want us to be God-centered in our home, not us-centered. We need every bit of help and every reminder possible to live each day in light of the reality of the presence of Christ in our lives. He didn't just die on the cross for our sins, He's alive and reigning physically on His throne in heaven right now just as He's reigning spiritually in and through God's chosen people, His church. Now that's what I call good news!
- I'm an on-the-run mom to 6 kids who studied and taught exercise science in a previous life. I love all things running, nutrition, and health-related. I usually run at zero dark thirty in the morning and am often quite hungry before, during, and after my run, but I live a rich, full, blessed life with my children, family, and friends. My faith in God is my anchor, and looking to Him and His promises allows me to live fully even when life circumstances are difficult. While running gives me an appetite, my desire is to hunger and thirst for righteousness more than for physical food.