Thursday, May 23, 2013

Hidden Art: Chapter Five

I know, I know. I supposedly already did this chapter. But like the other ladies reading this book, I found this chapter worthy of more thought. Especially Amy in Peru --  I found her second post on this chapter propelled me into new thinking. (Other posts at Ordo Amoris)
Edith Schaeffer knew, as we know, that our real home is in heaven. Why then did she write a whole book focusing on our temporary, earthly homes? And this chapter, "Interior Decoration," seems especially shallow. Isn't it rather futile to place little pieces of personal decoration in a hotel room, for goodness sakes? How important is it to personalize one's college dorm room? Yeah, it's fun. But important? Necessary? Godly?

Here's a question: how does your home's interior decoration demonstrate the Christian ideals of your family?

Amy asked this question in her post. She wondered whether our homes show love, lavishness, or laziness. (Ouch!)

That got me thinking. What do we want visitors to see, spiritually, in our homes?
* That we love each other. Do we have photos of each other, children's art, trophies of others' accomplishments, birthday cards -- what other items in our homes say, "I love my family member"?

* That we don't indulge in greed or self-gratification. Do our homes shout, "I must entertain myself!"? Do we have screens, Wiis, electronic chargers, DVDs, lying around our living space constantly? Are our homes full of high-priced items that show we place our value (and our money) in pricey possessions? Is there any indication in our homes that we instead put our value (and our money) into serving others?

* That we love God's Word. Could anyone coming in my home tell that I read the Bible often? That I want to remind my children of His Word? Do I have frig magnets, cross-stitch, or posters with Scripture on them? Is His Word reflected in the music we play and enjoy in our homes?

*That we aren't lazy. Our homes should be tidy, demonstrate thrift and care. Excess dirt or clutter demonstrates a lack of work to make our homes honoring to God and welcoming to others. Waste should also be avoided, as it shows a disregard for God's provision.

*That we are hospitable. Homes should be welcoming to visitors, with space to talk and enjoy company. If a visitor comes to a home and there's nowhere comfortable to sit and talk, that home does not feel hospitable. There should be tasty food, always something to drink, friendly children and pets that don't make visitors feel uncomfortable. If you love your pet more than you love your human visitor, your home might not feel hospitable either.

These are just a few thoughts. The Schaeffers clearly did their very best with little money -- almost no money, at first! How I enjoyed her stories of making leather furniture that lasted for years, or the tale of the rocking horse they made. What fun! What enriching of their marriage! I feel more challenged than before to make the most of our small rental duplex, and to enjoy it. Right now, I think the vacuum cleaner is calling my name!


  1. I like thinking about Edith feeling led to write the things she did, just at that good juncture of life. I bet she changed her mind a bit about a lot of things as she grew older. We gain so much humble perspective as we log more years.
    My granny was a model housekeeper in my eyes. She took it slow (my mom says that when they were growing up, she always made things worse before she could make things better! Ha ha!) and she allowed herself to savor things like dishtowels folded neatly in a drawer and jars of canned plums gleaming on the garage shelf. Nothing fancy, just happy homemaking.
    The Hidden Art of Homemaking is so fresh, so pure. I really liked it.

  2. "*That we aren't lazy. Our homes should be tidy, demonstrate thrift and care. Excess dirt or clutter demonstrates a lack of work to make our homes honoring to God and welcoming to others. Waste should also be avoided, as it shows a disregard for God's provision."

    Double ouch!!!

  3. whenever Dave and I traveled, I'd take small things from home to make a hotel room, condo or apartment feel cozy and warmer. I still do the same thing when I travel but it's not the same.

  4. We have a basket of Bibles in the living room but these days I have my own devotions using the Kindle or iPhone. I often wonder if this is a bad precendence as I could be reading anything. I do not want to do my Bible reading for show but I do want to be a good example.

  5. M.K., you make so many good points here - it's a blessing to see how little you are bogged down in your own longings, and how much you are able to keep a godly perspective.

  6. Yes! I think this is this post shares the spirit with which Edith Schaeffer wrote this passage.
    Reading chapter 5 also made me step back and ask "What do our guests see and feel when they walk into our home?" Do they see we are happy to have them? Do they feel comfortable and welcome? Do they feel loved with the love of the Lord?
    I'm looking around me with a fresh eye these days, thanks to chapter 5, and everyone sharing in this study!

  7. Another great post about the truly important things! Doing this book study has made me put into practice my desire to be more hospitable. I am thankful it isn't just a study but actually something I am employing and doing. Thank you for the encouragement!


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