On December 23rd, my wife and I began moving into our first home. If you’ve ever bought a house before, you already know all of the accompanying feelings well—excitement, relief, anxiety, and the like. Like the best experiences in life, home buying acquaints you with those opposing emotions, but for the Christian, it stirs lots of theological and practical questions.

Upon moving in, Adriana and I filled Pinterest boards and scratch pads with ideas for what we wanted to do with the home and the surrounding yard. Our conversations seemed to continually come back to the “why”. Why did we want to do what we wanted to do, and what would the priority for improvements be?

Practicality and theology drove us to prioritize where money would be spent, and we decided that instead of buying nice things for our bedrooms or personal offices, we would focus on our guest bedroom and living room.

We heard a message while visiting Grace Midtown in Atlanta that really challenged us about hospitality (watch it here), and so the natural response to wanting to open our homes to others, was to make others the main beneficiaries to our decorating and improvements.

There is much to say about the subject of Christians interaction with material possessions, but the overarching paradigm that God has been teaching me is that we do not “own our home”, nor will we when we’ve paid the last of our mortgage. We are stewards of it.

The bottom line is this: Everything is both a gift from God and an offering back to Him. If we have something in our possession, it was given to us by God so that we could care for it and use it in a way that glorifies Him. This includes our home. We are not owed a nice house, or a house at all. Therefore, let us care for our homes with gratitude and purpose.

I’m studying a lot about what we should be doing, practically, to be better stewards of our home, our land, and the rest of our possessions, but for now let me end with this: I don’t believe that God gives us anything purely for their enjoyment. We should certainly enjoy things, but if that is their end, then they are meaningless. Every vehicle, pair of shoes, vacation, and all that’s in between should be received with gratitude and offered back to Christ for the good of His children and the advancement of His Kingdom.