As an interior design student, sometimes I would be conflicted over the importance of my field. I spent countless hours (and many an all-nighter) rendering concepts, assembling design boards, and drafting floor plans. Often, I would sit back and wonder if I was channeling my energies in a meaningful direction. I mean, people are starving and homeless all over the world, and I was... choosing fabric for a chair?
Is spending money on our homes a frivolous, vain pursuit that should be battled and put behind bars? Is it hard to justify making purchases for our homes? Here are two passages that helped put my insecurities to rest (and ammunition you can use with your spouse!):
"[The temple is] a place where the Lord may come, it is the most holy of any place of worship on the earth. Only the home can compare with the temple in sacredness." -Bible Dictionary ("Temples")
"As we recall the commandment to stand in holy places, we should remember that beyond the temple, the most sacred and holy places in all the world should be our dwelling places." -President James E. Faust
Now, I realize that there are many reasons why the temple is sacred, most importantly being the work that is done there, but have you ever thought about how the temple's interior effects you? The temple is a place of peace, and I strongly believe the decor and design within the temple strongly contribute to that atmosphere. So it is with any room or place we find ourselves in. Compare how you act or feel inside the temple vs. a warehouse, Nordstrom vs. Wal-Mart, or a fine restaurant vs. McDonald's. Our surroundings influence us and our ability to feel the spirit.
And so, while I'm not promoting extravagance or not budgeting appropriately, we can find meaning and importance in making our homes a home... without the guilt. It is, after all, the second most sacred place on earth.