Nothing gives a peek into a family’s lifestyle better than designing their dream home. I know because I’ve been drawing house plans for over thirty years.
There are the typical questions—how many bedrooms, how many baths, how much square footage. But beyond that, I need to know what quirks the family has, what desires top their priority list and whether they like to entertain or just keep to themselves. These are important details that help me better understand what they want in the final drawings.
One of the most important considerations in designing a home is cost. Many clients would like to have a home with all the bells and whistles. Big windows. Stone facades. Grand staircases topped with elegant light fixtures. Gleaming hardwood floors. But many times all of these flourishes are, unfortunately, above the budget.
When I design a home, I want to make it something my clients will not only be proud of, but will also be able to afford. I’m careful to inform them if something they want will most likely bump their budget out of reach. Sometimes they listen; sometimes they think they can make it work anyway. I’d hate to count how many floor plans I’ve drawn that are gathering dust because the builders’ bids came in too high.
Even if you’ve never built a house, maybe you’ve played with the puzzle pieces of a floor plan or created a “wish file” of photos depicting the details you’d like to include in your design as you customize a home just for you.
A perfectly designed house, however, does not necessarily make a home. A home is made of the spirit of those who dwell within—otherwise it’s just a beautiful shell with no soul.
There is someone, however, who has a dream home designed for each of us. It may not be the exact style we’ve longed for or have as many bathrooms as we’d like, but it’s a better plan. It includes joy and love and peace—the things that infuse a home with true beauty.
When we look to God to create our blueprint, it will become a place our families and we desire to come home to at the end of a weary day, where laughter ensues and fellowship is sweet. A place where lessons are learned and children grow into God-honoring adults. A place where marriage thrives and hopes are realized.
So how do we find the dream home God has for us? It’s not by thumbing through thousands of house plan books or scouring the internet for the right plan. Building our homes based on God’s Word allows Him to work in and through us to make a real difference in the lives of those in our circle of influence. A great place to start our design is in Proverbs. It’s short enough to complete in a month by reading one chapter a day, but has an abundance of wisdom packed into this one book.
Although the Bible gives an overview of how our homes are supposed to be, not all of them will look alike. In fact, most will be different because every family’s dynamic is unique. Don’t feel like your home has to look like so-and-so’s just because she seems to have it all together.
Speak to God as the architect of your home and ask Him to customize a blueprint to meet the specific needs of your family. What are the things you would request He include in your ideal plan?
That the love between you and your husband could be rekindled? Ask Him.
For more patience and understanding with your kids? Ask Him.
For your home to be one of hospitality where everyone feels loved? Ask Him.
Just as we should count the cost in building a physical house, however, we must also consider what it will cost us to achieve our dream. Are we willing to increase our budget of time and effort in order to make it work? Do we need to re-prioritize our life so the dream can be realized?
Many times it requires we lay down our pride, complaints or bad attitudes. It may call for us to pay better attention to what our children are doing and who they’re hanging out with. Maybe we need to turn off the TV and cell phones and spend quality time with our families, listening—really listening—to their hearts. Or God may require we bite our tongues when everything in us wants to lash out.
When we look over the projected cost of having our dream home, it may seem the sacrifices we must make are too great. It won’t be easy. It may be downright painful to pay the price. But before we decide it’s not worth it, we need to remember who made the greatest sacrifice in order for us to build our dream homes—Jesus Christ. He is our greatest example of submission to God. Let’s not let His design for our homes gather dust in the corner of our good intentions.
Listen to God and allow Him to take His rightful place as the Grand Architect. Following His grand plan will help you design and build the abundant dream home you long for—a place your family will feel loved and happy to say they belong.
• Read one chapter from Proverbs each day and note the things God teaches you. Ask Him to give you the strength and motivation to begin implementing these nuggets of wisdom in your home.
• Sit before God and ask Him for the things you desire in your dream home. Be specific and keep a list. Make sure you note where God answers your prayer and how you’ve seen Him working.
• Don’t forget to thank Him for the progress you’re making!
Let’s build kingdom homes together!