Home Essentials – Stewardship

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I’m part way through a helpful finance workshop courtesy of Christian Personal Finance, (christianpf.com). I came across this site when looking for a free downloadable budget planner, as mentioned previously.

Well, the site is really interesting, and I signed up for a 20 day finances ‘makeover’; one lesson comes each day via email. So far, the lessons have been very straightforward, and most have been relevant to my household. (Except for advice about refinancing a home-loan – we are renting at the moment and don’t have a mortgage to consider.)

Apart from the workshop, there are numerous free budgeting tools, templates, reviews and articles – there is even a self-employed, homeschooling mother among the contributors. And I really appreciate the the Scriptural perspective of the writers.

Our circumstances recently changed, and my housekeeping money has decreased, but I’ve been amazed at how easy it has been to adapt. This must be due, in part, to the finance workshop, and also to my changing relationship to money, which has come as a result of planning a home-business.

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The following Scripture reference was posted on the CPF website in an article about adult children returning to the parental home, but it was relevant for me today as I made time to help with my little grandson:

Anyone who does not provide for their relatives, and especially for their own household, has denied the faith and is worse than an unbeliever. – 1 Timothy 5:8 (NIV)

They are rather strong words, and a good reminder that charity does begin at home, and that we are also called to be good stewards of our time.

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Beautiful home accessories – forgiveness

Forgiveness is a funny thing, isn’t it? We all know that we must forgive, so you would think that we would be rushing to forgive our persecutors as we are forgiven. But, for some reason, it is so easy for us to hold on to anger and resentment, as we count up to our magical exemption code: 77 x 7. That’s really a symbol for what we believe to be our threshold of forgiveness, when we allow ourselves to say ‘enough is enough. A saint could do more, but not I. I’m too hurt/damaged/vulnerable to forgive any more.’

A state of unforgiveness shows up in our homes. The children are stressed and so are the parents. The atmosphere is not peaceful and the home is not beautiful any more.

An ill-kept home may indicate a state of resentment among its inhabitants. There may be a subtle message of ingratitude, lack of appreciation or even willful neglect. Perhaps it says: ‘you have upset me so much that I will not clean up for you anymore.’ What would happen if there was a little more forgiveness in that home? Would it become a little more tidy, maybe a LOT cleaner?

What about an overclean home? It’s not really beautiful, is it? I find it sterile and unreal. Does it indicate a state of unforgiveness,as the housekeeper attempts to compensate for her negative feelings by presenting skills that are above reproach? Maybe it says: ‘I haven’t done anything wrong – see how clean my house is!’

A similar comparison could be made with home-education. A lax approach may show signs that the teacher is too pre-occupied with her own problems to bother about the schoolwork. A too-rigorous approach could indicate that the teacher wants everyone to suffer as much as she is suffering. Forgiveness could help in both of these situations.

It is said that a gentle answer turns away wrath, and while this is often the case, we have all experienced times when the anger shows no signs of abating. But, just think about how much more beautiful a home can be with only one angry person, instead of two. And the children will still have someone to go to for their little worries and bumps and cuddles.

So what is a home without forgiveness? It’s just a feature-wall, a throw-rug and a couple of lamps, and a lot of unhappy people.