A Home Or A House? :: by Grant Phillips

The terms “home” and “house” are often used interchangeably, even in a dictionary. However, I personally have never considered the two necessarily same.

A house obviously is a structure made primarily of a substance like wood or brick that a person or persons live inside.

A home is considered the same, but also can be defined as a family unit of persons. It can even refer to an area where one lived while growing up, or currently resides.

Very simply, a house is a structure where the family lives, whether it is a family of one person, or more than one. A home is the total embodiment of the structure, the family and the life that emanates within that family. They exist as a whole. The structure cannot be a home without the family, but the family can be a home without the structure. This is briefly how I define the difference between a “home” and a “house.” But that’s just me.

Have you ever heard someone say, “I’m buying a home?” Well, you just can’t buy a home. You buy a house. You, your family, your presence, your life, your experiences, your memories, within the house make it a home. If you go to a realtor, you may hear them say something like, “We have many homes listed, and I would be glad to show you some of them to help you decide which home you wish to purchase.” Again, there are no homes listed, only houses.

You say, “What does it matter Grant? You’ve popped your cork.” Bear with me, because I still have one more quirk about this “home” and “house” issue.

When I think of a home, I think not only of a structure, but the family within the structure. I envision the house, the family and the lives that live within the house. That is the home.

In my case at least, I go one step further with the term “home.” A home “should be” a family unit that consists of each member supporting the other; Mom (female), Dad (male) and children. However, many homes are not necessarily pleasant situations to be in. In many cases, they are just a house with people who live there. To me, that isn’t a home, or at least, it isn’t one to be desired.

Homes are like ice cream. They come in so many different flavors. They’re as different as personalities allow. So to simplify this, let us just say that there are bad, good, better, and best homes.

When we hear of spouse abuse and child abuse, whether verbally, physically or both, these are obviously bad homes. Satan has crept into these homes and is at work to destroy any semblance of a good home life. I have seen many examples of this type of home over the years. The saddest part is knowing that the children within these situations will probably continue this negative atmosphere when they grow up and have their own “home.” It’s often a destructive, on-going cycle.

Then there are good homes. I would classify these homes as loving homes, but without Christ at the center. Yes, even non-Christians can have good homes. Mom and Dad love each other and their children.

The better home would be a loving home with Christ at the center. In these homes, Mom and Dad love each other, their children, but especially the Lord Jesus. In their love for Jesus Christ, they pass on to each other and their children a solid foundation built upon the Holy Word of God.

There is only one home that can be classified as the best, and that of course, is Heaven. Jesus said:

“And he said unto them, Ye are from beneath; I am from above: ye are of this world; I am not of this world.” (John 8:23)


“1Let not your heart be troubled: ye believe in God, believe also in me. 2In my Father’s house are many mansions: if it were not so, I would have told you. I go to prepare a place for you.” (John 14:1-2)

Jesus Christ is preparing a home in Heaven for all who are His. In this home are perfect love, perfect communion and absolute peace. The very best home situation on earth cannot begin to compare with our home in Heaven. There will never be a sad day, only eternal happiness.

Every child of God has this home to look forward to, regardless of their home situation upon this earth. Whether one comes from a family that shares their love or embodies hate, our home in Heaven will be so satisfying, it is beyond our comprehension.

Anyone who has not put their faith in Jesus Christ can do so right now. Maybe you come from a bad home, or maybe even a good home, but you can have a better home while upon this earth, and top that off with the very best when in Heaven with the Lord Jesus Christ.

I shudder to think of the many people who have had dads (even mothers) that treated them badly as a child. Because of this, when Christians speak of our Father in Heaven, others may have a very bad taste for God, and want nothing to do with Him. They feel this way because they identify “Father” in Heaven with their earthly “father,” and conclude that God is just another bad father.


“Jesus saith unto him, Have I been so long time with you, and yet hast thou not known me, Philip? he that hath seen me hath seen the Father; [emphasis mine] and how sayest thou then, Shew us the Father?” (John 14:9)

If you want to know what God the Father is like, all you have to do is look at Jesus. Look at His life, and witness for yourselves the love He has for you. Also, read the following verse and hear God the Father tell you how much love He has for you.

“For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.” (John 3:16)

Would you like to be able to say, “I’m going home” and know you will experience nothing but the most glorious love possible when you arrive?

Many, many people dread going home, but with Jesus, even they can be at peace because they have a home in Heaven that is beyond anything we can imagine. The Apostle Paul said of his circumstances:

“11Not that I speak in respect of want: for I have learned, in whatsoever state I am, therewith to be content. 12I know both how to be abased, and I know how to abound: every where and in all things I am instructed both to be full and to be hungry, both to abound and to suffer need. 13I can do all things through Christ which strengtheneth me.” (Philippians 4:11-13)

Yes, we will have a “house” (dwelling place) in Heaven with the Lord, but more importantly we will have a “home” that is unlike anything we have ever experienced on earth.

Some say upon leaving, “I’m going to the house” while others say “I’m going home.” I prefer “I’m going home.” How about you?

Grant Phillips