For the past few months, my wife and I have been eyeing the housing market, on the hunt for our next family home.
We currently live in a townhouse and while it meets all needs for us and our three little children, we’ve been conducting lately a constant search to find our “dream home.”
No matter the house, it seems there’s invariably a concern related to at least one of the three tenets of location, layout and affordability, causing us to wrestle with whether any of the houses seen have been the right fit.
To help with our decision making, we always ask ourselves the same questions: Do we need this? and Is this worth it for our family?
It’s important we examine these points because we wish for the planning of our family home to be as prudent as possible for both the short- and long-term future.
That might sound a tad crazy, given that today’s society doesn’t always promote such careful vision.
Just the same, much like the building structure itself, Catherine and I want our house plans to be based on a secure foundation.
Such an insistence calls to mind Jesus’ parable of the house built on rock and that which was built on sand. (Matthew 7:24-27)
An analogy so short and simple, Jesus’ teachings of roughly two thousand years ago still ring true today.
Considering His reference of a house as a metaphor for our lives, how many of us are building a firm foundation?
In a world that preaches instant gratification, how many people invest their lives in items so temporary in nature, such as electronics or social media status?
Do we place our greatest value on matters that truly are legitimate and long-lasting, such as quality relationships with our spouses, children and friends?
Does our increasingly disposable society influence us so much so that we concern ourselves more with superficial things like our name-brand clothing or hairstyle, the car we drive or the party we attend?
Do we involve ourselves with our neighborhood, both offering and seeking support and encouragement at our local churches, schools and outreach centers?
Certainly, as our North American culture has grown more secular, traditional yet reliable faith, family and social values can easily lose some luster.
Ideals like community, sharing and accountability can get bumped to the curb for individualization, self-service and entitlement.
Appreciation for simplicity and essentials has given way to a popular culture of fancy gimmicks and unnecessary extras.
One can argue needs in life are being replaced increasingly by wants.
For instance, cable TV companies include hundreds of channels in their packages, smartphones store thousands of songs and pictures, and social media outlets allow for millions of followers – and we as true consumers are suckers for all them.
Looking at today’s society, one can wonder where we place our priorities – on a foundation made of rock or of sand.
Among the clothes in our dresser drawers or closets, how many outfits do we wear regularly? How many of those songs on our iPhone include lyrics promoting Jesus’ Gospel and how many advertise inappropriate or unhealthy messages? When was the last time we sacrificed a program or movie on Netflix and replaced it with prayer or volunteer service?
As we continue navigating through today’s challenging times, may we resolve to keep God and His teachings at the foreground of all our thoughts, words and actions. (1 Samuel 2:2)
May we feel encouraged to turn to God in times of difficulty but also celebrate Him through living out works of mercy and appreciating our many blessings.
Including God as our base, we can ensure we live a life built on a foundation of rock, worthy of eternal salvation.
Doing so can then help us prepare for when we move into our Heavenly house of dreams.