Home Decorating Considerations for Christian Women

How is your home decorated? Do you use crisp lines and abstract patterns to create a modern look? Do you utilize antiques and fine fabrics to create a vintage look? My husband and I are still creating a unique look for the home we purchased one year ago. It’s been a bit of a challenge.

How can a Christian woman create a beautifully decorated home while practicing financial stewardship and living simply?

Interior decorating isn’t really my strength. An even bigger challenge for me, though, has been determining how much effort and money is okay to put into decorating. I realize that this last statement may sound a little silly, but I’ve had a lot of questions.

  • Our budget is tight, so is it poor stewardship to spend money on decorative items?
  • The Bible warns against storing up treasures on earth instead of in heaven (Matthew 6:19-21). Is investing in the appearance of my home an example of storing up treasures on earth?
  • Can I have lovely things in my home while still living simply?

I’ve been mulling these questions and I think I’ve found some answers. I found it was easiest to first identify ways in which it’s not okay to approach decorating.

Ways Christians shouldn’t approach home decorating

  • Trying to show off. We all have lovely things that we like to share with our family and friends (doing so can truly be a blessing!). However, when we purchase or display things simply to impress others, our motivation is inappropriate. In fact, the Bible teaches that we shouldn’t attempt to impress people with external actions (Matthew 23 & 1 Timothy 2:9-10).
  • Trying to “keep up with the Joneses.” Envy and concern for appearances motivate us to “keep up with the Joneses.” Both of these attitudes are warned against in Scripture (Exodus 20:17 & Matthew 23:27). We’re struggling with some sin issues if our motivation in adorning our homes is to elevate our standard of living in relation to our peers.
  • Spending money on decorative items instead of necessities. 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).
  • Using decorating to facilitate procrastination. Just as we need to prioritize how we spend money, we need to prioritize how we spend our time (Proverbs 24:27 & Matthew 6:33). It’s easy to get caught up in looking at and creating decorative items for our homes. I know I have gotten carried away looking at ideas on Pinterest or rearranging items on shelves! Sewing, painting, and other tasks can take up a lot of time. There’s nothing inherently wrong with spending time on these tasks, we just need to make sure we’ve taken care of other more important tasks first.

After considering these things, it was easier for me to consider the ways in which I should approach decorating.

Ways Christians should approach home decorating

  • Creating an environment conducive to serving God. We should learn to love and serve the Lord within our families and in our homes (Deuteronomy 6:5-9). If we are going to seek first the kingdom in all aspects of our lives, we need the environment in our homes—our nerve centers—to facilitate our faithfulness. Is the clutter in our homes minimized so we’re not distracted by it? Do the images on our walls, the book on our shelves, and the trinkets on our end tables honor the Lord? Do the environments in our homes promote peace and rest?
  • Meeting the needs of family members. Our families have practical needs. We need to keep dangerous objects out of the reach of children. Certain features may be needed in a bathroom (e.g., antiskid mats, grab bars) to promote safety. Adequate lighting is necessary so we can complete everyday tasks. These needs should be kept in mind as we decide how to decorate our homes.
  • Creating an environment that supports hospitality. Hospitality is commended in Scripture (Romans 12:13, 1 Timothy 5:10, & 1 Peter 4:9). We have incredible opportunities to minister out of our homes. We can host block parties. We can mentor younger women. We can host girls’ nights for busy moms. We can counsel engaged couples and newlyweds. A clean environment, seating arrangements that encourage conversation, and setups where guests aren’t afraid they’ll break something are all examples of qualities that support hospitality.
  • Being faithful with finances. As I mentioned above, we need to prioritize our spending by taking care of necessities first. Once these are taken care of, we can consider adding special touches to our homes. Keep in mind that you’re not doomed to an undecorated home just because you don’t have extra money. There are plenty of ways to get free or low-cost items for your home. Get creative repurposing items you already own, check out garage sales and thrift stores, and don’t be afraid to look over items others have set out on the curb with their trash. (I know that last one may sound tacky, but people throw out surprisingly nice items!) A final note on the cost of items: Though I am super frugal, I believe that if you’re going to be getting a piece of furniture that you will need for a long time (e.g., dining room table, sofa, rug) that you purchase the best quality you can afford. This can actually save you money in the long run.

How do you think Christian women should approach home decorating? How did you approach the process of decorating your home? Was it easy or difficult? Did you integrate principles of our faith into your approach?

Shared on the following link-ups:

Faith Filled Wednesday, Living Well Wednesdays, Titus 2 Tuesday, Titus 2sday, Living Proverbs 31, From House to Home, Thrive @ Home, Thriving Thursday, Wise Woman & Encourage One Another.

Comments

  1. These are really great tips on home decorating as a Christian! You covered such important topics, like being careful with our finances and time. I spend more time on pinterest looking at organizing, decorating, recipes, etc. than I do actually completing any of these tasks! Thanks for the reminders! I have been trying to add more scriptures to my decor and am really enjoying having those in my home.

    • I’m glad you mentioned using scriptures in your decor, Candace. It’s a great way to help us keep our focus on the Lord as we decorate and as we go about everyday tasks.

  2. I loved this post! I’ve come to have such a heart for hospitality, and it’s so true our homes are such a big part of that. Thanks for bringing out some points about how we shouldn’t decorate… this will be a great way to test my decorating decisions.
    I hope you continue to have a great time decorating your home… post pictures! Pinning!

  3. First time visiting and found your blog to be lovely.

    I wished I had read or taught something like this when I was younger. It would of saved me so much heart ache.

    Keep inspiring and motivating young women!

    • Thanks, Christine! I’m glad you feel the advice is beneficial. I’m pleased to share all these lessons I’m learning.

  4. What an important topic. Decorating is not in my list of talents, so I love what you said about focusing it on hospitality. 🙂
    Thanks for linking up today.
    –Gena

  5. Thank you so much for sharing about this. As a fairly new homeowner, I stress about my bare walls and my mismatched furniture. (and the rooms that are only half painted.) You have given me lots to think about (and put my mind at ease in a lot of ways)! Thanks again!

    • You’re welcome! We have some bare walls and mismatched furniture, too. I’m definitely willing to take it slowly if that’s what it takes to keep my priorities in the right place.

      • Cathy Nelson says:

        Another thing we might try to avoid is buying on credit when it is not for necessities. Pray about what you need for your home! God provided some nice things in amazing ways when we moved home from the mission field.

        But some thought to nice decor can be a real ministry. One of the nicest places I ever stayed overnight was a German convent where the clean, tidy environment and crisp white table linens gave such an air of serenity that it was refreshing to my spirit.

        Good post!

        • Hi Cathy,
          Yes, definitely. When my husband and I first married, we spent the first month and a half or so without any furniture in our living room. All we had was our dining room table and chairs! We wanted to wait until we could afford a sofa and loveseat.

          We finally were able to get these. We didn’t go into debt to get them and going without for that time makes for great memories!

  6. First of all, I’m stopping by from Time-Warp Wife’s link up…

    Secondly, I have been dealing with these same questions/concerns over decorating {even wrote about it here: http://www.domesticblissdiaries.com/2013/08/is-it-okay-for-christians-to-decorate.html}.

    You see, I enjoy decorating and organizing… So, for me, it’s a matter of making sure this hobby of mine doesn’t turn into an idol. But, as you’ve stated here, if we can keep this hobby from venturing into idol territory, it has the potential to turn our home into a hub of Christian living and service, to the glory of God.

  7. Enjoyed your post very much. Decorating our homes really should not be so much about what we put in them, but how we share them with others. The beauty is in the relationship of those who enter.
    Earlier this year I read through the book The Hidden Art of Homemaking by Edith Schaeffer. She wrote about some of these same ideas.
    Thanks for sharing with us!

    • You sum it up very nicely by saying “Decorating our homes really should not be so much about what we put in them, but how we share them with others.” Thanks for emphasizing that we should be focused on others.

  8. I appreciate your thoughts on this. I am not a decorator. My living room has not changed for at least 6 years. I often think there is something wrong with that. But your post reminded me to think through some things and I have decided that my living room meets all the things I should truly be concerned with. Thank you! Blessings…

  9. Great post! I really enjoyed reading it. We’ve decorated our home using almost entirely used items found from thrift stores and such and I think it’s beautiful. I know I could’ve gone extravagant, but we don’t have room in the budget…and I agree, it’s far more important to honor God with our finances than to impress the neighbors. -Tabitha

    • I agree, Tabitha. I decorate with reclaimed and repurposed items from family, as well as thrift store/antique finds. Those items have a story… much more interesting than pieces produced en masse. (Although I have one or two of those, too 😉

      • I love it when pieces of furniture and decorative items have stories! It’s fun to reflect on how you came to own the items and it can be a great conversation starter when you have visitors in your home.

  10. Thanks for this post. I linked to it from Deep Roots at Home. I am going to start following your blog as well, since I really liked how you approached this topic and it’s a pretty original topic that hasn’t been discussed much on blogs.

    • Hi Chrissy,
      I’m so glad you liked it and am pleased to have you as part of the Of The Hearth community!
      I can’t say that every post I write is original, but I try very hard to present a fresh perspective on any topic I address.

  11. I have an old scrabble game. I enjoy putting words out as a reminder: like Praise, faith, blessings, shinning, etc. It is not too big and I can tuck one of my little scrabble stands and words on a table , window or where ever I can see it.

  12. I love the ideas you put forth in this post!!! I really want my readers to know about this too! I want to share this in my weekly series called “Roll Out The Red Carpet Thursday” – I share bloggers’ amazing posts that I’ve found during the week. I hope that’ ok! Have a great night!

    • Hi Danielle,
      I’d be honored for you to include this post!
      It has always been one of my personal favorites. I hope others benefit as much from reading it as I benefited from writing it. 🙂

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