5 Spiritual Lessons Learned from Our House Renovation

Renovating a house was something I never thought I’d do. Not because I didn’t like the sound of it, but it was just something that, in my mind, was for “rich people” :-). We’re not rich. Not financially, anyway.

However, we were thrust into the world of renovating a home we moved into! I must confess, I absolutely loved the project. Mind you, I was managing it rather than swinging the hammer myself. But I really enjoyed everything from coordinating the tradesmen, to picking the paint colours, to figuring out how to do it all on a shoestring budget!


There were several lessons I learned along the way, which I believe will be crucial for you if you’re considering such a feat, but that you may also find helpful as principles for life, if you’re not.

I recently read a quote that I thought was so wise:

Clever people learn from their mistakes. Brilliant people learn from the mistakes of others. Click To Tweet

So, be brilliant and take notes of these 5 spiritual lessons learned from our house renovation.

Count the Cost

The first, logical thing to do when deciding if, how, and when to renovate is to calculate whether you have the energy, funds, and time to do it. The Bible clearly says this is what we should do:

For which of you, desiring to build a tower,does not first sit down and count the cost,whether he has enough to complete it?

Luke 14:28

While counting the cost may refer primarily to financial options, based on my experience, I would definitely urge you to consider that renovating may cost you more than you expect in other ways, too. It will very likely take longer than you planned, especially if you are dependent on tradesmen such as electricians, plumbers, painters, builders, joiners, and carpet layers, etc.

The project may very likely involve you needing to invest more time than you’d imagined which could include going back and forth to stores to replace items you’ve purchased, pick up items you’re requested to because the tradesmen don’t have them, follow up on tradesmen who haven’t shown up (true story :-(), etc. Just trying to give you a realistic picture.

All of this involves energy, focus, and motivation, which need to be factored in, too.

So tally it all up, count the cost, and if you’re up for it and ready to take the plunge, go for it! It’s a temporary inconvenience and the results will be worth it!

Consider Your Witness

You may be blessed to be working with tradesmen who are believers – honest, hardworking, punctual, friendly, and committed. However, chances are that you will need to hire some who are of the world.

I must be honest and say the realization that we had hired people who don’t think in the same way as we do, who aren’t following Biblical standards in their work ethic, and who don’t see themselves as serving a King who is to be feared and to whom they must give account, hit me quite hard.

It is therefore imperative and a real challenge to conduct yourself in a manner that is highly God-honouring. They need to see a difference between the way they work, and handle life, and operate, to the way someone in the Kingdom of Light does.

I therefore, a prisoner for the Lord,urge you to walk in a mannerworthy of the callingto which you have been called.

Ephesians 4:1

There are times when this is not as easy to do in the heat of the renovation as you may think.

  • When someone you’re expecting to do a crucial job, on which the rest of the work depends, doesn’t show up for several days, how will you react?
  • When one of the tradesmen has a sailor’s mouth and starts swearing in front of your children, how will you respond?
  • When one of your tradesmen starts showing up at midday and clocks out at 2pm, how will you behave?

Realize that these tradesmen are watching your life. They are noticing your reactions. They are observing you. So be salt and light, and be ready to share your faith as God leads!


Cave In On Perfection

It wasn’t too far into our renovation project that I had to come to a stark reality.

Perfection is for Heaven and Pinterest is only on the internet. Both are unattainable on this… Click To Tweet

The picture you have in your mind for your home, for your bedroom, for your kitchen, will most likely be directly affected by stunning photo’s of mess-free, squeaky-clean, and designer rooms that you will have seen online. Save yourself the disappointment – it ain’t gonna happen.

This is a difficult dream to let go of. It involves a hard look at what’s really important, and a willingness to check into reality and just let go of that virtual, perfect expectation.

I’m telling you, at some point during your renovation, you will just have to shrug your shoulders, smile, and come to terms with the fact that unless you’re a millionaire, getting your home to magazine standard is just going to cost too much money, take too long, and not be very liveable. You and I both know that even if we did manage to get a room to that level, with children, pets, and well… humans, living there for more than a day, that perfection would last about as long as you saying “Pinterest-Perfect-Places-Purposely-Pose-A-Perpetual-Problem” 🙂

Jesus has prepared a place for us in Heaven, and that is the only home in our entire existence which will be perfect…

For we know that if the tent that is our earthly home is destroyed,we have a building from God, a house not made with hands, eternal in the heavens.

2 Corinthians 5:1

Until then, settle for as close as you can get to what you’d like, and contentedly be pleased with making the best of it!

Called to be Mission Minded

As much as you’d like your home to be lovely and just your style, remember these words:

Practicality first. Beauty second. Click To Tweet

Your first and foremost calling as a wife and/or mother is to serve your family well. You’re also commanded in Scripture to practice hospitality to others. So taking those two mindsets into consideration, rather than have a sweet little space for a living room which would be cozy and romantic – think of how you can have as open and most comfortable a space for your family to spread out and for guests to fit into.

  • Instead of having just your bed and a desk in your bedroom, think of perhaps adding a wee nook for a small couch and coffee table so that you can sit and encourage your hubby or your children over a lit candle and a cup of something yummy.
  • Consider turning an unused room that may be mainly used to store stuff, into a spare bedroom so that you can be ready and available to bless someone passing through, or a sister in need, with an overnight stay.

Be mission-minded as you are deciding how to renovate your home. You can always beautify a space, but first and foremost, your home should be a place where your service to the Lord is made possible and practical.

As each has received a gift, use it to serve one another, as good stewards of God’s varied grace…

1 Peter 4:10


Carrying Your Issues

One last idea to keep in mind, is that whether you like it or not, you carry you your issues with you into your new environment.

  • If you harboured bitterness in your heart towards your husband in your old place, you’ll take it into your new place.
  • If you struggled with discipline and routine while in your previous living room, you’ll struggle with those very hardships in your new and improved living room.

You get what I’m saying…

Even though your kitchen may be spruced up, you are still you. When the novelty wears off, you’re stuck with your sins and skeletons.

BUT! Take heart… there is hope! God is a God of new beginnings. When you were saved you were made a New Creation, and as you grow in Him, He will continue to work mightily in completing all the beautiful things that He has begun in you!

So focus on the Lord, so that you may indeed have a peaceful and holy home, surrounded by the upgraded improvements, and use them as a reminder that God is perfecting you, beautifying you from the inside out, and is renovating you faithfully while you’re on this Earth!

And I am sure of this, that he who began a good work in you will bring it to completion at the day of Jesus Christ.

Philippians 1:6

Which of the above lessons I learned caught your attention, and how can you start doing differently to live out this conviction? I’d love to hear! 🙂

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Tehila is an Israeli, God-loving, husband-serving, child-nurturing mom of five sweet little ones whom she homeschools. She resides in beautiful New Zealand from where she blogs at Women Abiding – Encouraging women to abide in God and His Word.

About womenabiding

Tehila is an Israeli, God-loving, husband-serving, child-nurturing mom of five sweet little ones whom she homeschools. She resides in beautiful New Zealand from where she blogs at Women Abiding – Encouraging women to abide in God and His Word.
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55 Responses to 5 Spiritual Lessons Learned from Our House Renovation

  1. Paris Renae says:

    Visiting from #crystalstorms linkup today – very wise advice and loved the reminder that new surroundings don’t change who you are and that we are a renovation project ongoing in the Maker’s hands. 🙂

  2. Brenda says:

    Oh, good words today for me, Tehila. We’re needing to do some minor changes here at our house. I can visualize the results, but the middle parts — the work — seems daunting. Mission minded. I like that. Thanks for sharing! ((hug))

    • womenabiding says:

      Strength be to you, lovely Brenda! The work can be very daunting, but “for the joy set before you,” you’ll have the grace to endure… Big hugs to you, too xoxo

  3. Pam Pope says:

    I also love the part about being mission minded. We are in a one bedroom flat but have a sunroom we can put a bed in for anyone who comes along. I love the part about the surroundings being upgraded but we are still the same. We are blessed to have the Lord who began a good work in me and will bring it to completion at the day of Jesus Christ.

    • womenabiding says:

      Amen, Pam! I’m amazed at how your thoughts are to bless others with a bed for the night even though you’re in a one bedroom flat! Your heart is so kind!!! May God continue to bless you greatly. With my love and admiration xoxo

  4. Ruth says:

    Yes…New surroundings a new women maketh not! Bother it! Wouldn’t it be nice if we could just do a heart makeover like that? But as I write this I wonder…if we put as much effort and thought and intentionality into working on our hearts as we do our houses during a renovation…what might the result be? (Judging by the progress on our own fixer upper maybe not so fast..but then..the resources God has promised us for our heart makeover are abundant and sufficient so perhaps that would make a difference?) I think I should stop this analogy here or it will be a blog post in itself! I hope you can enjoy your new surroundings and that they will be used in many ways to bless others.

  5. Brenda says:

    What wonderful, edifying encouragement from God’s Word, Tehila! Thank you for sharing this. God bless you and your family.

    • womenabiding says:

      Thank you, beautiful Brenda! So blessed to know that you were encouraged by this post. May God’s very Presence be clearly evident in your life today! xoxoxo

  6. Sounds like you had a real journey throughout your renovation! Thanks for linking up with #TwinklyTuesday

  7. Gayl says:

    Good thoughts for us today to take to heart. You’re right that making changes in our location or fixing up our house, etc., do not change us. We are still the same people and the problems we have don’t just go away with a new environment. But praise God, He can change us no matter where we are.

    Blessings to you! I’m your neighbor at #porchstories

    • womenabiding says:

      He sure can, beloved Gayl! Everything in our lives is used of Him. And even any issues we “take with us” He is faithful to work in and through those. Such a wonderful God we serve! So glad you stopped by, sweet friend xoxo

  8. Thanks for the powerful thoughts and words.

  9. I love this post! The lessons you’ve learned are wonderful for starting a home renovation, but they’re applicable to so many other life situations as well. Thank you for digging deep and sharing what God has taught you.

    Thanks so much for joining the Grace at Home party at Imparting Grace. I’m featuring you this week!

    • womenabiding says:

      I followed your home renovation closely, Richella! You’re such a gifted decorator, and your home is just beautiful!!! So much appreciate you featuring this post. You’re a true darling! xoxo

  10. sherry says:

    I was so blessed reading your post! I love the section on my calling as a wife and mother is to serve my family well. Sometimes in the hustle of life we tend to forget that one simple truth. Thank you for sharing your post. I was very blessed. Have a Blessed day!

  11. Monique R. Veal says:

    Greetings Tehila,
    This post is perfect timing and such a blessing. It is so true what you have shared. We have to allow God our Creator and Designer to come into our homes and make us new from the inside out. Our homes should be filled with God’s love. My hubby was telling me that he wanted to purchase a new couch that would be comfortable for our family and guests. All of our family and guests love our cozy sectional and we decided to get another one that’s similar. My space is tight in my bedroom but I love the idea. Your faith and character will be tested by God with any home renovation. You will learn how to be patient and wait on God’s timing. Be blessed!!

    • womenabiding says:

      Thank you, my sweet, beautiful friend, for your input here. In all things our focus is on the Lord, and if it isn’t, He quickly readjusts it and draws our eyes upon the great works He is doing in our lives – even through trite earthly things. Your faith has once again encouraged me today! xoxoxoxoxo

  12. Oh, Tehila, this post is so timely for me! We’re about to dive into some pretty extensive (and expensive) work and I’m absolutely dreading it! Thanks for bringing a great application to this phase of life that reminds me that nothing goes to waste in God’s economy!

    • womenabiding says:

      I understand your having to brace yourself, Michele, and I’m so glad this was a timely post for you. It can be messy, and inconvenient, but all the work will be worth it as you will see much physical and spiritual fruit in your own life through it! Embrace it 🙂 xoxo

  13. Jann Olson says:

    Great post! I love that you learned this from a renovation. Thanks for sharing with SYC.

  14. Great lessons, all ! We remodeled 13 years so I wrote a retreat series in the midst (why not?): Remodeling, 101, Building a Heart Like His – I will need to add your great lessons to it! (still married, btw…) Love the yellow couch!

  15. Great lessons! I especially love the first quote and I tweeted it. 🙂

  16. Becky says:

    OH my, we are in the trenches of remodeling and I have really had a lesson on giving up on perfection. I’m such a detail-oriented person, but I’m slowly starting to learn to stop noticing the imperfection, but to focus on how good the job was actually completed 😀

    • womenabiding says:

      You’re in a great place, Becky! Even now, a couple of months since our remodel was completed, I’m still noticing imperfections and things that I could have done differently, but we really do just need to move on and live life in our new space! Hard, but doable when we’re focusing on the right stuff – eternal stuff! 🙂 Loved your input… xoxo

  17. Julie says:

    Great lessons you’ve learned! Thanks for sharing! Do we get to see some before/after pictures? ;0)
    Visiting from #LMMLinkup

    • womenabiding says:

      Hhhhmmmm… great point, Julie! I might take some and post at the bottom of the post (when the house is tidy :-)) Watch this space….. Big hugs xoxo

  18. Steph M. says:

    Great lessons we learn in the most curious places! Thanks for sharing this with us. I will be moving soon and probably doing some decorating but not renovating and will remember these things. God bless you. #coffeeandconversation

  19. Laura says:

    Love that verse about counting the cost…these are all such wonderful points! We’re considering a couple of small home updates, and these are such great reminders for me, to focus on serving, witnessing, and giving up on that pinterest-perfect ideal. It’s awesome how God uses everything in our lives to teach and grow us. Thanks for sharing! 🙂 Visiting from Mommy Moments today.

    • womenabiding says:

      Thank you for your encouragement, Laura! Yes, I truly believe that God is far more concerned with all the little lessons He teaches us in every situation, than the circumstance itself. The circumstance is placed in our lives in order for us to learn those lessons 🙂 You’ve been a great blessing to my heart today! xoxo

  20. Lizzie Roles says:

    I absolutely love this post Tehila. I am reminded too that hospitality in the bible is not the same as entertaining. Hospitality can be a cup of water in jesus name, entertaining is a Pinterest earthly thing and I love love love that you have the heart of Christ in you helping you to see things from his perspective. I am constantly looking at my home critically and yet it is homely, welcoming, perfect for guests. I need to pray that God will change my introverted heart, who craves peace and quiet to a willingness and want to being more open to inviting people in. #sharethejoy

    • womenabiding says:

      Oh my sister!!!! What beautiful thoughts you’ve given here for all to read! THANK YOU for these challenges. I learned something from you today regarding the difference between hospitality and entertaining, Lizzie! So cool! God has wired each of us so uniquely, and I know that He will answer your prayers and heart’s desire to open your home and glorify Him in this way. You’re an absolute inspiration to me!!! xoxoxoxo

  21. My husband did our renovation but I had to learn patience and to roll with the changes (no sink, furniture moved, etc). It is worth it though!

    • womenabiding says:

      I totally understand you, and how frustrating that must have been, Sarah! Great to hear there are no regrets, though 🙂 Blessings to you, lovely one! xoxo

  22. What great lessons! I love the connection with renovating a home and Jesus restoring our lives. He takes the old rundown home of our hearts, cleans out the dirt, tears out the areas that aren’t functional and leaves us with a beautiful inside that shines on the outside. And, all along the process, we are meeting “tradesmen” who help us in the process.

    Great tips!!

  23. I think the point you make about everything taking longer is a very good one. When you’re dependent on someone else’s schedule, it’s vital to take a more relaxed approach, I think. #sharethejoylinky

    • womenabiding says:

      You’re so right, Carol! Really tests one’s patience, but we do need to be gracious as others go at their own pace. Loved having you visit Women Abiding! xoxo

  24. Sara says:

    Hi, Tehila. The one lesson you learned that struck me was to be mission minded.
    So often I see people focus on the exterior at the expense of the interior (heart) or even the people who they want to share the space with.
    If people aren’t comfortable in the space you prepared for fear of “dirtying or breaking” it, then is it really comforting them?
    Like your reference to Pinterest Perfection. It’s best kept on your boards because humans are loveable messes.

    • womenabiding says:

      Oh my goodness, Sara! You are brilliant! What you’ve shared here is invaluable and soooo true! Thank you so much for your input!!! Focusing on the interior (heart) is definitely the way to go 🙂 xoxo

  25. I love ‘Perfection is for heaven’ sometimes we just try too hard for perfection don’t we? Thanks so much for sharing your post with us at #BloggersPitStop. I have shared on social media. Have a great week and see you at next week’s link up! Sue from Sizzling Towards Sixty & Beyond

    • womenabiding says:

      Thanks, Sue!! It’s actually quite a hard lesson to learn, because who wouldn’t love a perfect house? But, it brings alot of freedom to let go of that perfection and settle for real-life-getting-it-as-close-as-possible 🙂 xoxo

  26. Donna says:

    Tehila, such good advice. The last one is my favorite. We need to allow God to do His remodeling in our hearts most of all, don’t we! Thanks for linking up on Mondays @ Soul Survival. Have a happy & blessed 4th.

  27. Linda McClellan says:

    We have made several renovations in our home in the last few years. The bathroom to accommodate my husbands difficulty getting in a tub shower and just recently the kitchen because I started a small fire on the stove accidentally and it did more damage than you would think. Things were replaced but in a shoddy manner and this week will be redone. But the messy husband I love very much will not change and I pray for God to help me with my neatness attribute. We have been married almost 12 years and he is Christian and the best husband I could ask for. So I am happy with things the way the way they are.

    • womenabiding says:

      How wonderful that you are SO blessed, Linda!!! A keeper of a husband in a soon to be keeper of a home, with a keeper of a God! What more could you ask for?! 🙂 Excited to hear things are going well, and pray that the Lord continues your heart renovations, too xoxo

  28. Rupreet says:

    #twinklytuesdays – We have just started a loft renovation at 8 months pregnant, some great ideas in the post to try and stay calm during the build and put others first 🙂

    • womenabiding says:

      You’re a brave woman, Rupreet 🙂 Your body and baby come first, so I really would recommend delegating the stress and work to others around you… Do only the things you feel are fun and restful to do 🙂 xoxoxo

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