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Before Pinterest, I kept a binder full of my favorite things. The majority of these were newspaper clippings or magazine pages that I had torn out. I filled the binder with recipes, fitness tips, and organization ideas. If you look at my Pinterest account now or even look back to my old binder, the category that takes over is home decor and interior decorating tips. I love looking at pretty homes and am currently obsessed with all things farmhouse style (check out my Pinterest profile!). As much as I want to be the next Joanna Gaines, I am not the best at interior decorating, but I still strive to make my home beautiful and inviting.
Is this a waste of my time? Over the past few posts, I have talked about the seemingly menial tasks being sacred work. If the small things have value and can be considered an act of worship, then shouldn’t making our home a gospel-centered place, even visually, be important?
Is Interior Decorating Trivial?
In college, I received an assignment to write a paper connecting a work of art or architecture with a piece of literature. Both had to be from the medieval period, so I chose Sir Gawain and the Green Knight (affiliate link) and The Abbey Church at Saint-Denis. During the medieval times, art and architecture were frequently used to tell stories to the illiterate. There was a deeper and significant meaning behind each detail. My paper exposed these details (which I won’t bore you with), but I concluded by stating,
“While Sir Gawain and the Green Knight may seem like a wonderful tale of a famous knight, closer inspection reveals acknowledgment of dark human failing as exposed by light. The Abbey Church at Saint-Denis is a magnificent building by any standard, yet the impure human may circumambulate under the bright, white lights that lead one to the True Light and cleansing. Beauty lies in complexity, the never-ending connections between one thing and another. The beautiful can only be a representation of some greater and more wonderful thing…Without the true, perfect form there is no standard for anything else. The representations draw one to the pure. The perfect is manifested through the beautiful.”
Is decorating frivolous? Not if the beautiful home you are creating draws people to the true standard of beauty only found in Christ.
Is Interior Decorating Poor Financial Stewardship?
A few years ago, Shannon at Of the Hearth, wrote about several decorating considerations Christian woman should take. One, in particular, was financial, “spending money on decorative items instead of necessities.” She said,
We need things like food, shelter, and basic clothing. Tithing is also a priority. However, nice wall hangings, decorative knickknacks, and plush rugs aren’t necessities. When money is tight, essential things need to be our priorities (1 Timothy 5:8 & 1 Timothy 6:6-8).
Spending money on decorating is not bad financial stewardship if you approach your finances with a Gospel mindset. Are you tithing and taking care of your family? Are you generously giving to others? If you are just decorating to keep up with the latest style trends and spending inordinate amounts of money, then your heart is most likely not in the right place.
How Can Interior Decorating Lead to Gospel Conversations?
Hospitality is something that I have been learning more about. I am 100% an introvert, so it can be hard to see myself as a good host. Despite this, over and over in the Scriptures, we see examples of people growing intimate relationships to further the Kingdom. Am I doing this? Am I regularly inviting people into my home to share meaningful conversation over the dinner table? If I am, do people feel welcomed when they enter my home?
Like everything else, this starts with a welcoming attitude. Check your heart before the doorbell rings, making sure your eyes are focused on Christ. My home can also contribute to the Gospel work. Inexpensive details like making sure there is a full roll of toilet paper and that your home smells nice helps others feel more comfortable. Show your guests that they have dignity and worth, that you value their presence.
I also like to have decor with Scripture verses. Yes, many times, these verses are taken out of context, so please don’t let this be your only exposure to the Word of God during the day! They are, however, a great starting point for a conversation with your guests. Many times, they are also good reminders to me when I have a sour attitude. It’s hard to stay angry at my husband, when I walk by a canvas with 1 Corinthians 3:4-7 (“Love is…”) outside my bedroom door.
Still not convinced and/or need some inspiration?
Check out Sarah over at She Holds Dearly. She has a beautiful post answering the question, “Is Decorating Frivolous?” Plus, she has a blog filled with gorgeous farmhouse and vintage style rooms and DIYs.
Here is a beautiful podcast on decorating and the Gospel.
What do you think?
Do you think about decorating from a Gospel mindset? Can decorating be used to further the Gospel? What struggles do you have when it comes to decorating your home? I’d love to hear from you! Comment below.