How to increase your home’s value in 3 easy steps

You’ve probably bought into the same lie that I have. The lie that in order for our homes to be desirable or valuable, they must be picture perfect. Having recently purchased a ‘new–to-us’ home, I find it easy to allow my mind to be entirely occupied with renovation plans ranging from kitchen upgrades and bathroom fixes to simple home décor.

When I confess that I spend too many unproductive hours organizing Pinterest boards or shuffling through magazine pages of professionally-designed floor plans, I am probably not alone (right?)

So, what makes a home valuable? Is it simply more square-footage or the number of bedrooms? For believers, the answer to that question is inextricably linked to the purpose of a home.

In ancient Jewish culture, an object was considered valuable when it fulfilled its purpose. To possess value, it wasn’t simply important for an object to look lovely or cost a lot, but it must function properly.

In Scripture, the home is pictured as a place of rest. In Gen. 2, when God “put” man in the first home (the Garden of Eden), the original language is rendered literally as God “rested” man there (Gen. 2:8).

The value God placed on the home was not solely monetary, but divine. God designed the home to be a place of rest – where man could dwell in the presence of God.

The good news is, then, you don’t need picture perfect rooms in order for your house to hold true, lasting value. And although gallery walls, reading nooks, and granite counter tops are enticing, a home of eternal significance is marked by a spirit of rest.

The trio from Bethany – Mary, Martha, and Lazarus – knew quite a lot about the purpose of a home. In fact, in John 12, the example of this brother-sister team unwittingly offers us three steps to increasing the value of our homes.

1.    Increase your home’s value with a heart of hospitality (John 12:1)

Having just witnessed Jesus raise their brother, Lazarus, from the dead, Mary and Martha opened their home to host a dinner. This dinner occurred during a busy time (six days before the Passover), not to mention following a traumatic event (the death and resurrection of their brother!)

Schedules alone can keep me from opening my home cheerfully. Hosting people takes time, money, and the desire to clean neglected toilets (one would hope, anyway).  Yet, the example of this trio shines a new light on the believer’s call to demonstrate hospitality. What was the purpose of this meal? To pat Lazarus on the back for cheating death? To admire Mary’s new living room lamps? To demonstrate Martha’s culinary wizardry? John 12:1-2 tells us the trio opened their home “in Jesus’ honor.”

Opening our homes as a testament to God’s glory is a true mark of hospitality. Anyone can be a host or hostess by throwing a party. But only those who center their home’s activities on Christ can be considered homes of rest.

2.    Increase your home’s value with a heart of service (John 12:2)

What happened at this meal? You can probably guess. It says in John 12:2: “Martha served, while Lazarus was among those reclining at the table with [Jesus].”

The fact that Martha was working hard to serve her guests shouldn’t surprise us. We know from previous accounts that Martha’s diligently opened her home to feed and house friends and neighbors (Luke 10:38-42).

What is striking in this account, though, is the way in which Martha serves. If Martha complained about having to serve a large meal in the wake of a family tragedy, we don’t hear it here. We can only surmise that Martha took the Lord’s previous admonitions to heart.No one will feel at rest in your home if you are grumbling about doing the dishes or how much the dinner cost. Service rendered with the right heart is an act of worship – particularly opening your home as a testament to God’s glory.

3.   Increase your home’s value with a heart of generosity (John 12:3).

What else happened at this meal? John 12:3 tells us that Mary anointed Jesus with expensive perfume called spikenard – estimated to have been worth a year’s worth of wages. At the dinner, Mary didn’t hold back. She gave freely and generously. Like keeping good china tucked safely away or reserving costly wines for future celebrations, John tells us Mary’s act of worship cost her greatly.

It doesn’t matter if you have fine wine or expensive china or not. Because in the Bible, a home of value is not tied too tightly to furnishing and décor, but with a spirit of generosity, service, and hospitality.

Your home might be small and cramped, but it can still serve as a testament to what God is doing in and through the life of your family.  Mary, Martha, and Lazarus tell us a home of rest is a place where authentic worship and discipleship occur on a natural basis – during meals around a simple dinner table.

What makes your home valuable? Share some ideas for making your house a home of rest.

Now the Lord God had planted a garden in the east, in Eden; and there he put the man he had formed.”

Gen. 2:8

About melissa deming

Melissa Deming is a freelance writer transplanted from Texas to Pennsylvania with her husband of ten years, Jonathan, and two-year-old identical twins, Zacharias and Jonah. The family serves at a Southern Baptist church plant in Pittsburgh - Living Faith Community Church. Melissa is a regular correspondent for The Southern Baptist TEXAN newspaper and Crossroads magazine of the Southern Baptists of Texas Convention. She is also the creator and author of HiveResources.com - a site designed to sweeten a woman's walk with Christ through devotional articles, book reviews, and giveaways. Melissa holds a Masters of Divinity in Women’s Studies from Southeastern Baptist Theological Seminary, Wake Forest, NC, and a B.A. in Journalism from Texas A&M University.