Proverbs 14:11, “The tabernacle of the upright shall flourish.”
We continue God’s description of our homes. He wants them to be…
FLOURISHING AND FRUITFUL,
“Like gardens by the riverside.” Numbers 24:6, Isaiah 58:11
There is nothing more delightful to the eye than a beautiful flower garden. There is nothing more satisfying to the soul than a flourishing vegetable garden. A garden gives pleasure, but it also provides sustenance. God wants our homes to be a delightful place to live and a wholesome place for our children to grow and for our husband to return each evening. Who is the one who can make it a delightful? It is the mother of the home, of course.
In Ezekiel 19:10 NLT God likens mothers to “a vine planted by the water’s edge” with “lush, green foliage because of the abundant water.” Psalm 128:3 NLT gives us the same picture - “Your wife will be like a fruitful vine, flourishing within your home. And look at all those children! There they sit around your table as vigorous and healthy as young olive trees.” Growth is not enough. We must also be fruitful. What is the good of a plant that grows prolifically and yet produces no fruit?
Can you see God’s picture for your home? A garden where the fruits of the Holy Spirit grow in abundance – love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control. (Galatians 5:22-23) A life-giving garden, not only to those in the home, but providing nourishment and healing to those outside the home. A garden where the fruit of the womb is received with joy – new olive shoots sprouting up to bring more life and blessing to the home. Isaiah 44:4 promises that our children will “spring up among the grass like willows by the watercourses.” The allegory in Ezekiel 19:10-14 tells us that we should have a funeral dirge when the fruit “dries up”.
This all sounds like a nice dream. But let’s get to reality. How can we produce this fruitful garden? God gives us the secret. We have to live close to the water! It’s the water that produces a flourishing garden. You can have the best soil and the best plants. You can be the most industrious gardener, but without water the garden will die. My big garden is flourishing, but it takes a lot of watering. It usually takes me over an hour to water my garden each evening. We have also planted a number of fruit trees on our land, but there is one tree that is bigger and greener than all the others. I wondered why until I realized that this tree is planted near the water tap. Every few days I give a drink to all the trees, but this tree constantly receives water – and so it flourishes.
In God’s Word, He likens water to two different things – the cleansing power of God’s Word (John 15:3, 17:17; Ephesians 5:26; 1 Peter 1:22) and the power of the Holy Spirit in our lives. (Isaiah 44:3-4; John 4:14; John 7:38-39; Acts 2:17) We can’t make our homes flourish by our own strength or our own intelligence. It is only by the power of the Holy Spirit. I am looking forward to the day when I can get soaker hoses for my garden. This will save me a lot of valuable time but it is also the best way to keep the garden watered.
Mothers, to keep our home flourishing, we need to daily soak ourselves in the Word and in the Holy Spirit. You may not have time to have long Quiet Times when you have little children around, but you can read a few verses when you are nursing the baby. Put your Bible on your windowsill, opened at Psalms or Proverbs so you can read a verse here and there as you are doing the dishes. Have a Bible on the table and one in the bathroom. These moments will keep you nourished and cleansed.
When we receive Jesus Christ into our lives, the Holy Spirit comes to dwell within us. Don’t quench the Holy Spirit. Allow Him free reign in your heart, in every area of your marriage, and in every room of your home. As you keep a soft and yielding heart, He will come like the dew to refresh you each morning. As you cry out to Him with a thirsty heart, He will come to you like the rain, bringing cleansing and new growth.
Keep the garden of your home well watered.
LOVE FROM NANCY CAMPBELL
“Father, I don’t want my home to be a dried up garden. I want it to flourish with fruitfulness. Open my heart to fruitfulness. I know it can only happen as I live by the water. Fill me with your Holy Spirit. Fill me to overflowing. Teach me how to live in the Holy Spirit instead of living in the flesh. Thank you, Lord. Amen.”
I am going to turn on the soaker hoses to my heart and home.