Time is flying by these days. The weekends seem to go by quicker than ever before. Between exploring our new city and tacking our massive to-do lists, there isn’t enough time in a day and we are praying for balance. We often tell young people that we typically make the biggest decisions in our lives when we are most immature – marriage, education, vocation.
We place the utmost emphasis on marriage because that is (or should be) the longest lasting decision that will affect us until death do you part. No other decision in life has such implications so we encourage couples to approach it with much consideration and prayer.
Finding a home is another critical decision. We are looking for a church home as well as a house home. There are many considerations that need to be assessed when deciding on these temporary homes. They are not eternal, but they affect our lives here on earth significantly. The following is our thought process as we seek to find a church home and house home.
We look for a church that emphasizes the Five Solas: Sola Fide, by faith alone; Sola Scriptura, by Scripture alone; Solus Christus, through Christ alone; Sola Gratia, by grace alone; Soli Deo Gloria, glory to God alone. That can manifest itself in many ways. It is a consistent gathering of believers that often takes place in a building of some sort (Hebrews 10:24-25). The church is for the fellowship and encouragement of believers who are equipped and sent out to evangelize to their community (Acts 1:8). The entire church service is an act of worship in spirit and in truth (John 4:24). Spirit filled Christians worshipping God in correct understanding of who He says He is.
These things place the center of the church’s focus on preaching the Word of God unashamedly. Everything else is in preparation for or in response to the message from Scripture (John MacArthur, Worship). Thus we look for a pastor who preaches verse by verse, uses the Scripture to explain the Scripture (because Scripture is sufficient) and teaches the congregation how to exposit the Word for ourselves. It is then our job to receive the Word with great eagerness, examining the Scriptures daily to see whether these things were so (Acts 17:11); and to do so when we sit in our house, when we walk by the way, when we lie down and when we rise up (Deuteronomy 6:7). Verse by verse should be self-explanatory but it is not. You might notice a pastor can preach on an entire chapter in the New Testament in 30 minutes. We would caution against that. The pastor can and should take years to go through a book in the New Testament. We have experienced this type of teaching in the churches where we have grown. If a pastor is preaching God’s Word, not as a self-help book, a moral story, or for biblical truths; rather, preaching for sinners who are in need of a savior and believers who need the sanctification of the gospel daily, then biblical fellowship, community, ministries, singing, and the like will fall in to place (Hebrews 4:12; Matthew 6:33).
We are thankful to likely have found a church home.
A Christian is under the authority of Christ, the Word. Thus he is also under the authority of elders in the church and the father in the home. As we look for a new home, we want that to be an extension of our church home (Acts 2:46). This can often be convoluted by our personal desires — white cabinets, open concept, 2 car garage, and a healthy chunk of land. We are prioritizing our proximity to church in the selection of our home. A pastor once told me to find a church home before you relocate your family for a job. There is a lot of truth to that. If you are going to be ministering to your family appropriately, evangelizing in the community consistently, and loving your neighbors, you will need the strength, encouragement, and accountability of a local church.
Our home is a gift from God and we want to be good stewards of His resources. We want our home to be a spiritual sanctuary for guests, a place of rest and peace from the valley. It will be school for our children, break for family during the holidays, and a ministry to all that enter or live there. We have lived in seven houses since being married. We have watched a lot of Fixer Upper. We have very different tastes and “must-haves” when it comes to a home. One of us wants land and a central location, the other wants a modern residential ranch. To stay grounded and prevent ourselves from being overwhelmed, we pray for God to order our loves and to help us prioritize our lives as He would have it. God says love Him and love your neighbor, which leaves a lot of room for human creativity after that. He also says count the costs, keep your lives free from the love of money and be content with what you have (Luke 14, Hebrews 13). In America, we truly have more than we need. After much prayer and generosity towards our family, we will be closing on a perfect house next week.
We are very thankful for this gift and excited for all that is ahead. We have a fun vision for every space and hope to see some of it come to fruition over the years. For now, we are loving the minimalist life in our temporary housing and Mom is enjoying Pinterest.
At this point we have several praises and are always requesting prayers:
- Praise: We had to move out of our temporary housing at the end of the month (Jan). We did not know where we could live that wouldn’t break the bank until we closed on our house. We considered several options, but most were ruled out based on allergies or costing us half a mortgage payment. We are grateful the housing guy called and extended our time to stay here. It saved us having to move two more times!
- Praise: The relationship with our seller is incredible. We always pray that we can interact with people in a way that they might want to meet our family and have a long-lasting relationship with us. We are thankful to have been blessed with another relationship!
- Pray: Transitioning from the military is difficult and we want to transition well and completely. We want to tie up loose ends and be diligent about setting up our family for success with life’s numerous decisions (healthcare, insurance, time, talents and more).
- Pray: To rejoice always, pray without ceasing, and to give thanks in all circumstances; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you. (1 Thessalonians 5:16-18)
- Pray: To prioritize what God has for us. To love in the order He would have our family love.
Thank you for reading and sharing in our journey with us.
The King Family
Sic ’em Bears