Decorating the interior of a home is not something that is mentioned directly in God’s Word. As a result, we must examine the underlying principles and apply them to home decorating.
Before we get into the things that a Christian should avoid when decorating their home, we must first look at what they should do. There is no specific way that a believer is obligated to decorate his home. He has freedom to decorate it however he would like, whether that be religious-themed, dog-themed, or Star Wars-themed.
What Should it Be?
The first principle is that a believer should be seeking to create an environment that motivates instead of distracts. 1 Corinthians 6:12 tells us that while all things are lawful, not all things are helpful. We should create an environment that is helpful for us. One that motivates us.
Philippians 4:8 says “Finally, brothers, whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is just, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is commendable, if there is any excellence, if there is anything worthy of praise, think about these things.” Applied to decorating, this means that we should consider what motivates us to do what the Lord wants us to do, and incorporate that into our projects. In a home gym, for instance, this might mean simply writing some motivational quotes on paper and putting them on the wall.
The second principle is that the choice of adornments in the home should take into consideration all of the residents and common visitors and should seek to create a safe and accommodating environment for them. As beautiful as white couches and China sets are, they may not be the ideal choices for a home full of toddlers and cats. While the China is an obvious safety concern that most people think of automatically, a white couch that has the potential to cause unnecessary stress and arguments may be a good thing to let go of as well.
What Shouldn’t it Be?
There are also some negative principles that believers should follow when decorating their homes.
The first is that they should not be decorating in order to show off or impress. While there is nothing wrong with creating a fun and helpful environment, a Christ-follower’s motivation should not come from vanity. In Galatians 1:10, Paul wrote “For am I now seeking the approval of man, or of God? Or am I trying to please man? If I were still trying to please man, I would not be a servant of Christ.”
It is not wrong for a person to want his home to look presentable and welcoming, but he should check his motives to ensure he is not decorating to impress and receive praise.
One thing that believers should avoid when decorating their homes is wrong priorities. This has twosome considerations. First, we are called to be good steward of the money that we are given. We should not spend our money frivolously on expensive trinkets and decorations when that money should be spent otherwise. This of course must be considered on an individual basis. Some Christians are much more wealthy than others, and already give large amounts of money to meet the needs of others.
In Timothy 6:18-19, Paul wrote about the rich in this world (a group to which most of us reading this belong) that “They are to do good, to be rich in good works, to be generous and ready to share, thus storing up treasure for themselves as a good foundation for the future, so that they may take hold of that which is truly life.” This is the way that Christians should think about and handle their money, and if decorating begins to get in the way of that, then it is time to take a step back.
The second consideration is that of time. Time and money are two of our precious assets on earth, and they are also the most misused. James 4:15 tells us that are lives are short when it says “What is your life? For you are a mist that appears for a little time and then vanishes.” Similarly, Ephesians 5:16 states that we should be “Making the best use of the time, because the days are evil.” Clearly God wants us to treasure our time and use it wisely, because there is not as much of it as we sometimes feel.
If decorating is a person’s passion, they may easily lose track of how much time they are spending on it. It would be wise to write out a list of priorities and order them. This puts into perspective where decorating should be, and when the person looks back at it once every few weeks, they can assess whether or not they are keeping their priorities in line.
We now know that we should create an environment that motivates and is helpful for all around, and that we should not decorate in a way that is an attempt to show off or that is a misuse of time and money. So what are some practical examples of this? Interspersed throughout the post are some pictures of inexpensive, safe decorations that inspire and motivate. Some of them are canvas decorations, quotes that simply peel off of a sheet and are carefully applied to the wall, and some classic religious art. DIY decorations that can be found here are great, and ideas can be found everywhere. Again, don’t feel obligated to stick to a strict religious theme that is not your style, just stick to these principles and be free! These are just some example to get your imagination going, but the sky is the limit!