Have you noticed that a lot of houses today are being built without front porches? Years ago, we needed less square footage inside and enjoyed more square footage outside. We sat on the front porch and talked about our days. We sang together. We yelled and waved to the neighbors as they walked by. Some neighbors came up to chat. Life was simpler… and full of relationship.
Today, we are willing to sacrifice the porch for more area inside of our homes. We would rather stay inside, isolated with our families, than to be out there getting to know others. Why do you think this is?
Could it be that our society has forgotten how to have real, genuine, face-to-face relationships? Are we so wrapped up in our own families and our technology that we don’t let others into our lives? Are we so focused on our social networks that we literally lose our relational skills?
A front porch is actually what I call a “deal breaker” when we look at houses for sale. The boys have to have a basketball driveway and a backyard. I must have a front porch. A wrap-around porch would be ideal. I’m a fan. In fact, the perfect porch on our dream house would probably look something like this:
This beautiful porch opens up opportunities for lots of conversation. It lets us get fresh air. It lets us experience the life that is outside of our own little bubbles… which is what we need to be experiencing. This is something I have to continually hone in my life. See, my natural tendency is to be a hermit. I love people, but when I’m hurting or struggling, my first jump is into my own little world. Where it’s safe. But opening myself up to others… opening up the porch… well, that involves risk. But it also involves much joy that we would otherwise miss out on.
We need each other. God created us for relationship. With Him. With our families. With our friends. With those who need to find Him. In order to experience the relationships God has for us, we’ve got to get outside of our shells and reach out!
So what’s the condition of your life? Do you open up the “front porch” and let others in? Do you allow them to see the real you? Do you let them love you when you’re hurting? Do you let them in on your deepest fears? Do you allow them to laugh with you? Cry with you? Do you reach out to others who may actually need YOU?
Or are you closing yourself in… much like today’s houses, void of front porches, but full of “inside” room? Are you refusing to allow others into your world? If this is you, I’m giving you a challenge to get out of your comfort zone.
We all need a good front porch. A wrap-around even.