Building a Palace for the Soul

When Jesus wanted to calm His disciples’ fears, He spoke of preparing a place for them in His Father’s house (John 14:1–6). He, who never had a place He could call home, knew our deepest longings revolve around a place to belong, to find rest and refreshment and unconditional welcome.

I believe a godly home is a foretaste of heaven. And it takes a devoted woman to build that kind of home—what Robert G. Ingersoll called a “palace for the soul.”

The godly woman makes a life-long commitment to her home. She devotes her skills and creativity to managing her household, building an earthly shelter for those she loves most. She knows how to balance the ledger of her life in favor of those she loves.

Strong families don’t just happen. They take deliberate, conscious planning; persistent effort; and much wisdom. “By wisdom a house is built, and by understanding it is established; by knowledge the rooms are filled with all precious and pleasant riches.” (Prov. 24:3)

Is your home rooted in the wisdom and righteousness of God? Or do you find it shaking and wavering under the pressures of outside forces and your own diminished view of how important a stable home truly is?

When Proverbs 14:1 tells us “the wise woman builds her home,” it obviously doesn’t mean we must get hammer and nails and actually construct it, though I do have friends who have been tempted to help the construction workers move at a more timely pace! A godly home is built with relationships.

Homemaking is about people. Human beings need a refuge from life to death. People need a safe and secure shelter where they can share their problems and pleasures, give and receive forgiveness, find help and love and security. To build this kind of home takes hard work and sacrifice. But can you build anything of lasting value without hard work?

Let’s be women who accept the challenge of building a shelter for those we love. Let’s be willing to submit to the hard work, the mundane, the unglamorous. To be a godly homemaker requires more self-motivation than a job outside your home. At least that is true for me.

When I taught school, I was praised for my work by parents and administrators. And when their praise waned, I still received a paycheck every two weeks. And now as I travel and speak and write, I find it tempting to skimp on the home-cooked meals and tidy home that my Ray finds restorative after a long day’s work. But God keeps leading me home in service to those He has charged me to care for this side of heaven.

Jesus calls us to lay down our lives sacrificially for Him (Luke 9:23–25). It takes a costly investment of time, energy, creativity, endurance, and selflessness to build a home of eternal significance. No wonder the woman of Proverbs 31 is clothed with strength and dignity (vv. 17, 25). She takes great care with the running of her home (vv. 13–15, 27) and makes it a place of peace and beauty and welcome (vv. 20–21). And she does all this without complaining, gently giving wise instruction to her household (v. 26). A tall order? Definitely, but why aim for anything less?

Think about the relationships in your home. What can you do to ensure that needs are met, desires respected, and harmony enjoyed by all who enter your door? How can you help your family and friends thrive this side of heaven?

Did you discover God’s Truth today?

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About the Author

Jani Ortlund

Jani Ortlund

Jani Ortlund, Executive Vice President of Renewal Ministries, loves spending her energies connecting women with the Word of God. Serving Jesus Christ through writing, speaking and discipling are her chief passions in life. Jani and Ray, Pastor of Immanuel Church, have four married children and twelve grandchildren, and minister in Nashville, Tennessee.