Edifying


Isn't that a great word? Edifying, edification, edify. It's become our word for this year. Jeremy and I use it to decide the fate.


For example, we started watching the Steve Harvey show with famous kids. Steve Harvey is funny, and the conversations with the kids almost remind you of Bill Cosby's talks with kids from back in the day. The problem was most of these kids were bratty. And they spoke of things like girlfriends and boyfriends. And then the kicker happened the other night when the little girl was about to demonstrate how she does the newest dance. (Whip and nay, or something like that. I'm not very hip.) Anyway, we turned it off.

Is this show edifying? No? Then we don't need to watch it. It's simple, but hard too. But the fate has been decided.

Why do we wish our lives to be edified? We want our habits to edit away the things that are not of God in our lives.

looked up edification to see its history and the church used it to mean "building up of the soul." How beautiful is that? Jeremy and I both desire our souls and our children's souls to be built up. Built up to God, to be given structure to hold up from the gravity of sin. Sin is easy to fall into, we need a building around our souls that will help to keep our souls uplifted. Temptations and transgressions will always be easily available, but if we are on a strong cornerstone, and have walls around us, we will fall less and we will not fall as far.

It comes from the Latin word that means "to erect a house [or temple]." It makes me think of the great cathedrals from the Middle Ages. These cathedrals were built to worship God, to cultivate a community, to teach, and to edify. We need to build cathedrals around our families, not to keep us out of the world, but to give us strength for being in the world.

Why do we wish our lives to be edified? We want our habits to build up around our souls a strengthening wall to help us stand straight when faced with the gravity of temptations.

Just to be clear, I would love, love, love to build a huge wall around our property to keep all the bad stuff out. For protection and rules, and mostly to keep the bad guys away. But that's not what God calls for us. He says we are to be in the world, but not of the world. So we still have to interact with the world. And the world is always going to try to tempt us to come down. Edifying is also like putting on our armor. It's going to hold us upright when the world is trying to bring us down. It'll give us a backbone for those moments when our own backbone fails us.

So the TV show above? It's not edifying because it makes light of bad behaviors. Maybe even tempts us to think that it's cute when our kids speak as brats, or about boyfriends, or become famous for distinctly unsavory behavior. It also exposes us to commercials (it wasn't on Netflix) which tempt us to think a McDonald's hamburger tastes so much better than Daddy's. (And that is just not true at all.)

Romans 14:19 says, "Let us, therefore, follow after the things which make for peace, and the things wherewith one may edify another."

Aren't those two of the big things we want for our homes? Peace and edification. We're still experimenting in our home, but I think the more edification we have in our homes, the more peace we'll have. 



I'm going to work a series on using edification in our homes and habits because this is a huge word. We can go deep and wide with it. And I keep thinking about more to say. So stay tuned, we're going to talk about edification and amusements, edification and education, edifying and scholĂ©, and maybe more (definitely more). Tell me in the comments what the word edifying makes you think about. And if you have a post about it already, share it with us!

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