Our house is what most people call an open view. I literally live in a home with lots of windows especially downstairs, where I can see the creek view through most of the un-curtained glass. From my office, I am inspired to see life in and around the water. From high tide to low tides, the water changes with the weather and is hardly ever completely still. But when it is, it is just as beautiful as the shiny, constant moving ripples. There’s so much life out there that we miss if we close our living quarters up. My neighbors know I don’t want curtains on all our windows because I love the light coming in. Of course letting the light come in, entails the challenge of keeping that area clean! This is not something we’re flawless at but for that one “family room”, it’s gotta stay welcoming.
Living in a glass house can bring good things. It can get us out of the safety we want to wrap ourselves in and put us on display in a way that others find their way too. You’ll open your home to people that need to see how you live. At times, we’ll open our hearts and lives to people who need to trust. We will open our family to places of the spirit that ultimately help others experience hope and eternity. Prov. 31 says “her house is filled with rare and beautiful treasures.” I love to shop for unique things at Home Goods and Tuesday Morning but I like to say my most beautiful treasures are my kids. They are so rare that there are none just like them anywhere and never will be again. When we have get-togethers like an Open House Christmas, there are lots of great desserts and candy that can be made the same (a hundred times over) but the treasures, the valuables, are the people.
God’s house is a light that leads. I read recently that the church in America has become a reflection of the culture, buying into much of society’s values, resulting in lives becoming fragmented and busy.” Our lives should reflect a different pace! “Our busyness is out of balance when we are unable to be still before God. We must see beyond what we are capable of doing (self-sufficiency) to what God is capable of doing.” God’s principles need to be ever before us, reminding us how to live- especially when we think we are unseen, unthought of, and meandering in some hidden world. It won’t be seen by all but everyone’s life will be seen by some. So! In my mind’s view, everybody essentially lives in a “glass house” in God’s eye view. It’s your choice as to how much of your life you want opened up. People accept our achievements better than the mishaps but that’s apart of who we are too. My suggestion is to let people find out that you don’t mind being human, that you actually celebrate it, that you enjoy it most of the time even if those peering in haven’t yet found that kind of freedom yet. And for those in ministry, when the next statement comes along about living in a glass house and sharing your spouse (by the way, I share my Pastor not my husband. Lol.)…you can smile and tell them the truth. It’s difficult sometimes. Purpose comes through sharing the things that come out of those surrendered, still moments with God. Dependence happens when the tides of highs and lows turn into some significant story made by Him. It becomes His, not just yours.
Glass houses like most houses, have a variety of hurts, harmony, tears, troubles, trials, heartbreak, blessings, confusion and also peace. As my preacher husband so nicely puts it: It’s “Transparency, vulnerability and humility” that define a glass house. Most of the time, people know more about us than we know about them. On occasion, the person who called you their favorite, will leave the church without saying thanks, goodbye, etc. We do get to share people’s most wonderful times of life like salvation, weddings, baptisms, baby dedications, etc.! There are times where life and ministry seem effortless until the next storm begins to brew and life and ministry seem shattered. The strangest part of ministry life is how relationships change when beliefs and feelings about God change. The hardest thing is to see people hurt from whatever reason. One of the biggest needs of anyone is to be accepted for who they are and that’s no different in Pastors’ homes. The magnificent part, is standing with people on the promises in The Word and being apart of prayer for God to forgive, heal, redeem. etc. For the majority, we get to work together to do great things that matter and change lives. I’ve only lived in glass houses for two decades and am sure there are plenty more experiences to be had! One thing’s for sure, glass houses have their fair share of good times. Recently, you may have seen some funny dancing and heard some silly stories around our dinner table!
For ministers and their families, I’ve included a little extra encouragement below! Here are the things glass houses are made of:
Lots of windows= First, don’t neglect the window to your soul, the eye. Be watchful and careful. Stay open to Him, not shut off from the light. Stay faithful to Him. People will see Him in you.
Exposure= Second, be ok with exposure. Don’t hide unless it’s in the shadow of the most high. It may be a little different view or a whole different life than the neighbors have. That’s okay!
Outlook= Third, your outlook has to be set apart. It needs to come from God. Though our every moment will not be what others should mimic, our overall life can be an example to follow.
Endurance= Fourth, endure extreme expectation, criticism and hardships. We sometimes burden ourselves with too much. The Lord’s burden is light and His yoke is easy. Put that yoke on today.
Joy= Lastly, embracing and cherishing change, brings joy. Luke 2:10 says Christ brings good news and great joy to all. Life is hard (John 16:33) but He has overcome for us. For me, this is unspeakable crazy joy.