In March 2010, a closed beta prototype of a website called Pinterest was released to the public. By December of the following year, the website and subsequent mobile apps were receiving 11 million total visits per week. Today, the Pinterest we all know and love is used by 463 million people every month. That’s quite a bit of pinning! Do you remember what weddings and parties were like before Pinterest? I got married in 2020 and I remember my sister-in-law joking about how she wished she could redo her 2009 wedding because they didn’t have Pinterest to help them. The app has changed how we do things. Now, when it comes to decorating for your friend’s baby shower, she sends you a Pinterest board of what she likes so you know exactly what “look” to go for and, as someone who lacks creative decorating prowess, I really appreciate the visual help!
Long before Pinterest ever came on the scene though, there has always been pressure to stay “in style” or to fit in. I imagine that the women in the Bible faced some of the same pressures; the pressure to have more money, more displays of wealth in the home, well-behaved and perfect kids–the list goes on. Obviously the consumer culture today is on a much different level than in Biblical times, but the human desires are still the same.
This is not a rant against beautiful homes, buying nice things or dressing with intention - not at all. We know the classic example of the Proverbs 31 woman in Scripture; she was a hard-working woman and a blessing to her husband and children. She certainly didn’t laze around and leave her home a mess! Making a house a home has long been a natural instinct for women and it’s a beautiful thing.
The only downside to sites like Pinterest is that we tend to compare our modest home in Anywhere, America to someone’s 3 million dollar manor in the English countryside. Obviously, it’s hard to make a French Chateau silhouette out of a builder-grade ranch style home in Oklahoma. “But wouldn’t it look so much better if we could just…” If we’re not careful, those wide comparisons can cause us to become discontent with where we’re at and pull us into an all time consumer high.
Save your inspo pics. Find the styles you like. But don’t be afraid of normal houses, normal messy hair days and normal lifestyles.
The most beautiful thing about the Proverbs 31 woman was that she worked hard, made things with her hands, and rose early– all for her household. It wasn’t so she could keep up with the Joneses or win the Better Home & Garden Magazine landscaping of the year award. She was blessing.
When you look around your life and want to improve things or you feel discontent, frame your perspective with “how can this be a blessing to others?”. A neat, decluttered home IS a blessing, to you and everyone else in the home. A decent car that runs well can be a blessing to someone who needs a ride to church on Sunday mornings. And yes, sometimes it’s fun to upgrade the coffee maker and buy a cute set of cups to have some girls over for brunch. The cups may cost you a little, but you’re using them to bless people in your home - worth it!
The point is, while you’re saving your inspiration pictures of “stuff”, keep a right motive in your heart. Are you buying things to outdo your neighbor or bless them?
Make your homes lovely, and keep your hearts beautiful.