Beauty – it’s something we all desire. We desire to be beautiful. We desire to see beauty. We desire to live with beauty. However, the pursuit of beauty can be a vain one. Think about the false promises beauty gives us. Beauty promises us happiness. It promises us love. It promises us respect, admiration, and applause. But the truth is that beauty can’t deliver any of that. Yet we continually seek beauty as the means by which we can attain all these things.
The truth is that there is nothing inherently wrong with beauty. The first act God did in the Bible was to create a beautiful environment – Creation. Yet, man in the garden wasn’t happy, fulfilled, and loved because of the beauty He lived in, but rather because of the relationship it afforded him with His Creator.
So how can we as Christian women create beautiful environments that nurture relationships rather than serve to impress others?
Instead of spending time assimilating the latest trends and what other designers say our homes should look like, we can assimilate the truth of God’s word and apply it to our homes and lives. We can take our hints directly from Creation and the very way God created our first home. So, how exactly did God create?
God created with order and unity.
God created over a period of six days. He created new layers each day with systems and processes that rule the universe. When we create order and unity in our homes, we don’t do it to obtain spotless perfection, but rather to reflect the nature and genius of God.
God created the garden to be an environment of love and care.
God didn’t create man’s first home to be somewhere he couldn’t survive. Rather, he gave him air to breathe and beauty to enjoy and work to do. He gave him everything he needed not only to survive but also to thrive. God created with man in mind. When we design and decorate our homes, they should not be about what pleases or impresses the eye, but about what will communicate love and care to those around us.
God created the garden to be about relationships.
The garden was a place where God would “walk” with His creation during the day. The garden had a purpose – not just to be a place Adam could survive – but one where he could grow a relationship with His Creator, God. When we design and decorate our homes, they should be purposeful places where relationships can be fostered.
So what elements did God use to draw people in, communicate love and care, and create order and unity?
God designed with light and color.
Light and color are two of the strongest elements of design that affect how we feel. Both can communicate to us either a welcoming environment or a foreboding one. Think about how you feel on a sunny day in Spring when flowers are blooming and the grass is green. Now think about how you feel mid-winter when all the trees are bare and a grey rain drizzles outside. When we decorate our homes, we should use light and color strategically to promote rest, encourage harmony, and foster relationships.
God appealed to all of man’s senses.
God didn’t just create to impress visually. He created an environment that was appealing to all of man’s senses. Flowers have pleasing aromas. Fruits have sweet tastes. Water has a soothing sound. Nature is full of various textures. Oftentimes the senses of taste, touch, sound, and smell are overlooked in our homes and we just focus on sight. But think about how a guest will feel when they are welcomed into your home. Do you invite them to take their shoes off? What surface are they walking on – hard wood or soft carpet? What scents do they encounter – pet odors or a fresh lavender aroma? Do they hear fighting or laughter? All these things are communicating messages to our subconscious and can be used to improve our home environments.
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God created areas of purpose.
Think about the different environments God created – the land, the sea, the sky. Each serve their own unique purpose, foster life, and display beauty. We can delineate areas of purpose in our homes the same way. If you want more time with your husband, create a coffee bar where you can meet him for a quick morning conversation. If you want more time for yourself, set up a reading nook where you can relax and not be disturbed. When we create areas of purpose or intention in our homes, we invite life to happen.
Decorating our homes doesn’t start with a wall color or tile selection. It starts in the heart with our motivation and purpose. Is our motivation to impress or create a place for others to rest? You see, when we decorate God’s way, we bring glory to God, create a people-first environment to foster relationships and we eliminate stress because we are no longer trying to keep up with every passing trend. Real beauty is created in the heart first, then in the home.
Jenny Gericke is a writer, Interior Designer, God-follower and new wife. Her joy is inspiring others to live in the imperfection of life. She believes some of the happiest moments in life happen in the messy, ugly, and complicated. You can follow her writing and design work over at Gather Home and Design.
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