I came to Proverbs 7:11 and read the phrase I have read hundreds of times and heard preached dozens: "…her feet abide not in her house." While I am a very busy person, I rarely thought that verse really pertained to me as I was interpreting "house" that as "home." Home is not always a physical place. It's where my family is. We often minister together. Why do I have to be in my house if I am traveling to ministries, special meetings and fellowships that will benefit my home?
Also, I am not out gallivanting around with my friends. I am not looking for trouble (as, obviously, the woman in this chapter was doing). And, c'mon…I am a HOMEschooling mom. Of course my feet abide in my house.
God is gracious as He has been dealing gently with me in this area for the last several weeks. A lot of the trouble and complications I have had in my personal life this past year came from not having my feet abiding in my house. The reality He showed me this week is: where my feet abide there will my heart abide, also. My feet have been wandering from place to place and my heart travelled away from my priorities - those 8 souls who live in my house with me.
I realize now that house means house. While ministries are important, they are not more important than the seven children who live in my home for such a short time. No ministry or special church meeting supersedes the needs of my husband. Teaching my children Christian love and the character of Christ begins in the home…in the house. How we interact with one another, how we serve one another, how we keep order in our home…these are all essential to their Christian growth.
My heart wandered with my feet to other people and their needs, other places, other events. I was not content to just be at home with my family. If it were just the nine of us, I was bored. Housework seemed to be a drudgery getting in the way of more exciting and "important" things. Get it done quick so I can go minister here or fellowship there.
Slowly, in His compassionate way, God is turning my heart back to my home…by placing my feet in my house. When I allow my heart to be present in my home, I can do my household chores out of love. Vacuuming, mopping, cooking are not a drudgery or a blockade to my fun. I can enjoy these things more knowing that I am exactly where I need to be and showing love to my family. With my feet in my house, I have had made sure my thoughts are in my home, as well, and not somewhere else (planning ministries, counseling others, on the phone with people, extra projects for others), but focused on my family. While my feet are in my home, I am able to truly rest in God and take time with Him, as well.
No, I am not saying outside ministry is over and I will no longer help others and serve. That would be wrong. For this month, however, I am abiding in my house with my family as much as possible. After this month is over, I will pray more seriously about what outside ministries and service God really wants me to do. While many may be good, it is not good for me to be involved in everything. My feet need to abide in my house. My heart needs to abide here, as well.
The wonderful thing is that as I have made a conscious effort to make my feet abide in my house, it has come to be a place where I want to be. I have come to truly enjoy being with my family again…I have come to realize that these 8 people are my favorite people in the world and I desire to be with them.
I believe this means my heart is coming home after a much-too-long absence.