God has prepared Heaven with His beloved bride (that's us!) in mind! Though first and foremost,Heaven exists for the GLORY of God, it is also our eternal home where we will live in the very Presence of God! Unlike earth, where we see through a glass darkly (I Corinthians 13), in Heaven we will see face to face!
Temporary Models of Eternal Things
Marriage, a temporary relationship, is a picture of the relationship that Jesus has with the church, a permanent relationship that lasts forever! (See Ephesians 5:22-33 and Revelation 21:2) Our marriage is a picture for our children of how Jesus loves His bride and how she loves him! Our marriage gives our little lambs a picture of the love relationship between Jesus, our Risen Lamb, and the church.
Our family, a temporary group, is a picture of the Family of God, a permanent group. (See Ephesians 2:19-22 and Ephesians 3:14-15). Our family models to the world what life in the church should look like with strong ties of love, loyalty, and commitment.
Our home, a temporary dwelling, is a picture of Heaven, a permanent home. (See Philippians 3:20) We can prepare a small-scale model for our husbands, children, and friends of Heaven itself. So, let's take a quick look at Heaven and then we'll talk about imitating Heaven in our homes!
"Be imitators of God, therefore as dearly loved children and live a life of love, just as Christ loved us and gave Himself up for us as a fragrant offering and sacrifice to God," (Ephesians 5:1-2 NIV).
Heaven is a Prepared Place!
Jesus told His disciples that He was going to prepare a place for them! When we glimpse Heaven in Revelation 21 and 22, we see a lovely place that has been laid out with order and precision. Our Heavenly Father started with a plan and carried that plan out completely. Heaven is clean, sparkling, and in perfect order.
"In my Father's house are many rooms; if it were not so, I would have told you. And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come back and take you to be with Me that you also may be where I am," (John 14:2-3 NIV).
This side of Heaven, we have an opportunity to reveal Heaven to our little ones. Cleaning and organizing our home is one way to prepare our homes in imitation of our Heavenly Father. Our homes don't have to be immaculate, but they should be organized and ready for life to happen. A realistic schedule also provides security and order to our busy lives.
But beyond, cleaning and organizing--have you ever considered what it is you want your home and family to look like. What things do you want to do with your husband and children? Are there dreams you have that you feel are unreachable or unaffordable? Don't underestimate God! He may just surprise you! Or He may have an alternative that is just as wonderful as your dream. Prayerfully and purposefully, plan your home and family.
Heaven is Lovely to Behold!
"The foundations of the city walls were decorated with every kind of precious stone. The first foundation was jasper, the second sapphire, the third chalcedony, the fourth emerald, the firth sardonyx, the sixth carnelian, the seventh chrysolite, the eighth beryl, the ninth topaz, the tenth chrysoprase, the eleventh jacinth, and the twelfth amethyst. The twelve gates were twelve pearls, each gate made of a single pearl. The great street of the city was of pure gold, like transparent glass," (Revelation 21:19-21 NIV).
Decorating our homes is one of the most enjoyable aspects of homemaking. We can decorate with beauty, filling each room with cozy furniture and lovely colors.Reflecting our own unique style, our home is decorated for our families comfort and reflects everyone's personality creatively.
Heaven is a Nurturing Center!
Heaven provides for our nurture with water and food. What delights He designed to dazzle our ears and eyes. Just look at the River of Life, clear as crystal flowing down the main street of gold. On each side of this life-giving river is the Tree of Life, bearing twelve crops of life-giving fruit.
"By wisdom a house is built, and through understanding it is established; through knowledge its rooms are filled with rare and beautiful treasures," (Proverbs 24:3-4 NIV).
Imitating Jesus can begin with wisdom as we fill our homes with rare and beautiful treasures such as classic literature, fine music, and reproductions of art masterpieces. Maps, globes, reference books, and non-fiction "living books" can be scattered about, inviting all family members to read and use these materials. Limiting the use of TV, instead we can read good books aloud and have intellectually stimulating conversations.
Nurturing our children spiritually will be even more important as we fill our homes with loving obedience to the Word of God in all we do. We can model humility before God to our children, putting Biblical principles into practice in our daily lives. Family devotions, personal Quiet Times, and conversations about our relationships with Jesus will nurture our entire family.
Heaven is a Place of Celebration!
There is celebrating going on in Heaven! When a sinner repents, angels throw a party! Worship is a passionate affair with singing, bowing down, and waving of palm branches.
"Then I looked and heard the voice of many angels, numbering thousands upon thousands, and ten thousand times ten thousand. They encircled the Throne and the living creatures and the elders. In a loud voice they sang," (Revelation 5:11-12a NIV)
Holidays, birthdays, and special occasions are wonderful times to celebrate with our families. A home filled with the joy and laughter of celebrations is a happy place. Family traditions now are creating memories for the years to come in every family member's heart. So, blow up the balloons, bake those yummy family recipes, and take time to have a party!
Heaven is a Place of Welcome!
Those lovely gates, each made of a giant pearl, stand wide open. Heaven's gates are never shut! God welcomes all those home whose names are written in the Lamb's Book of Life and who are properly attired in the white robes of righteousness. He prepares a wedding feast for His bride!
"For the Lamb at the center of the Throne will be their Shepherd; He will lead them to springs of living water. And God will wipe away every tear from their eyes," (Revelation 21:17 NIV)
"On no day will its gates ever be shut, for there will be no night there. The glory and honor of the nations will be brought into it. Nothing impure will ever enter it, nor will anyone who does what is shameful or deceitful, but only those whose names are written in the Lamb's Book of Life," (Revelation 21:25-27 NIV).
Hospitality can stretch us homeschooling moms. Our home is more "lived in" in then most because we put so much energy and effort each day into trashing it with school projects! The guests in your home, though, aren't coming over to see you immaculate home, they are coming over to see you and your family! Open your heart and welcome people into your home! Let your children help you invite, prepare, and welcome guests. Make your home a place of welcome to those who are weary and need the refreshing that a wonderful Christian family can give!
If you would like to learn more about homemaking for the glory of God, grab your copy of Jesus, Fill My Heart & Home Bible Study available at Amazon. The E-book is available at PayHip and Currclick.
Merey (Meredith Ludwig Curtis)