Thou shalt have no other gods before me. Exodus 20:3
Someone recently ask me a question about idolatry, in regards to something we have deep affection for. When does someone or something beloved become an idol? We deeply know that God wants to be the object of our deepest desire and love. We know He is worthy. Most women reading this understand that no object or celestial body should be worshipped at anytime. We can appreciate the things God created and the things He gave us, but our deepest love cannot be directed to them. I looked up the word idolatry in the Noah Webster 1828 dictionary. Mr. Webster covers the areas I just mentioned, and goes on. He adds “Excessive attachment or veneration for any thing, or that which borders on adoration.” We are “but dust” and are given to straying. The beautiful world God has made for us and the things He has allowed to be created for our pleasure were not to keep us away from Him.
The world has much to offer and many things catch our eye and hold fast our attention. Being created in the image of God, I cannot think that loving people or things is idolatry. Our emotions reflect passion, pleasure and preference. Choice. We were created to choose.
I deeply love to be home, to putter around the house. God knew this about me; He created me with this love. I think this passion is tempered by God-placed boundaries and limitations that have taught me much. I meditate on my life in light of God’s Word and the life He has given me. Many women would enjoy their homes more if they invested more into them. I was created to be a keeper of the home. Making the place we live into a home, a place that welcomes family, then friends glorifies God. I practice hospitality and do so often enough that I am comfortable with the process. I do it with my own flair, and greatly appreciate hospitality practices of other women. There are a hundred different ways to keep your home and I only practice a few of them! Ultimately, my goal is to be a blessing to those that come our way and if my home feels like a haven or a refuge then I have done what I wanted to do. All are blessed and God gets the glory.
We know what we love and we know when it has overstepped its rightful place in our lives. As children of God, we can know this because of The One that lives within us, that communicates with us as much as we desire. God will let you know if the things you love have become idols and you may not even have to ask.
Sometimes I pause at the hallway that enters the bedrooms last thing at night and I turn around. I do love my home; it soothes me as a visual person. It ministers to my sensibilities and I am thankful for this. As I enter the living area in the morning, I make tea for when my husband gets up and I brew my coffee, pour a cup and move toward my desk. The house is quiet and I am ready to look at God’s Word and am peaceful because my surrounding are. This ritual is part of making my house a home. It allows God to put His stamp on it. I am aware that He has done this because of comments that I hear from time to time.
There are times – and those are between my Father and I – that I have been aware that I have put something before Him, put my will ahead of His in regards to my home or another thing. To me, this speaks of idolatry; this speaks of sin. I am so glad that my Father forgives me and that His Spirit chooses to live in my imperfect temple. How could we put any thing, anyone above that? Regular meditation upon mysteries of God will keep our hearts and minds focused on priorities, allowing us to prevent our affections from becoming idols.
My home is not the only area that I need to be careful with. Your home may not be on your short list, at all. The things that you think about the most, the things that “get your juices” going are the things that are most likely to become idols in your life. By allowing God His rightful place in your life, you will be free to enjoy the people and things He has given to your life.
Bind my wondering heart to thee. Prone to wander, Lord, I feel it. prone to leave the God I love. Here’s my heart, O take and seal it. Seal it for thy courts above. Taken from Come, Thou Fount of Every Blessing, words by Robert Robinson