“An Englishman’s home is his castle.”
This saying is old, but is it right? Should the Christian view their home as a castle?
Castles are used for defense. For keeping the enemies out. They have strong walls and high towers. They communicate a message; you are not welcome here.
A Christian home should do the exact opposite. We want to welcome people in. We want to offer shelter to the needy, support to the vulnerable, and community to the lonely. We want our homes to be places where the Church family actually acts like a family. Our homes should communicate a message; you belong here!
But why? Surely, we need time off at the end of a busy day? Who would want to come into our homes anyway? Can’t this space just be for me?
Rosaria Butterfield in her excellent book, The Gospel comes with a House Key states:
“Have you ever thought that you, your house and your time are not your own but rather God’s ordained way of escape for someone.”Rosaria Butterfield, The Gospel come with a House Key (Crossway, 2018) p110
Everything that we have, and everything that we are, is a gift from the Lord God. He has created everything, and he has given us what we posses so that through these things we can love Him and love our neighbors. This means our homes are a gift. Our kitchen tables are a gift. Our incredible or average culinary skills are a gift. With these gifts we can serve the people the Lord has placed around us.
When I first moved to Sidcup a Church family up the road asked me if I wanted to have dinner with them each Thursday. This weekly invitation into their home was a gift to me that has bought life and joy. Sidcup has never felt lonely to me, even though I moved here knowing nobody.
How can you use your home as a way of serving others?
Is there a single person in your Church who could benefit being welcomed into a family?
Is there a lonely person in your Church who needs a place they can feel known?
Is there a vulnerable person in your Church who is in need of some company?
Imagine what our Church communities would be like if we used our homes, these gifts, as a way of serving and supporting and loving and caring for those the Lord has placed around us. I think if we did this then people wouldn’t feel lonely, and the Church would look like a very inviting community to be a part of.
An Englishman’s home is not his castle!