Hygge and the Christian Life: What is hygge and why do we need it?
Hygge is the hottest trend in home design and lifestyle choices… but what in the world is it? Read on to find out what is hygge and why do Christians need to embrace it.
Hygge for Christians
Do you ever feel like life is passing by too quickly?
Do you move from one thing to the next and wish we could just slow down a bit?
How fast are your kids growing up? Crazy fast, right!?
Do you long for simplicity?
Do you want to enjoy the little things?
Do you crave quiet coziness with the ones you love?
That, my friends, is why you need hygge. It’s the missing gap in our American vocabulary and way of life.
What is Hygge?
Hygge is a Danish word that doesn’t directly translate into English. If we were to give it a name, it would be something like cozyness, homeyness, togetherness…but it’s so much more.
The first step to understanding hygge is learning to pronounce it. HOO-gah or HYOO-gah.
If you can imagine some sweet southern grandma in deep Georgia saying to you, “Sugar, come and sit a spell and have some sweet tea with me.” In the Deep South, there is no r sound at the end. Sugar, “shu-gah”. Drop the sh and there you have it. Hue-gah.
Hygge is a noun, something you share and appreciate. It’s also a verb, something you do together. And it has an adjective form hyggeligt (HUE-gah-lie). My family has just learned the word (and we LOVE saying the adjective form), but I feel like I’ve understood its meaning for years. This is that something I longed for.
I feel like there has been a gap in my language. I know what this thing is, but I can’t name it. This is that feeling I loved and wanted more of but didn’t know how to name.
It’s all of that together! Imagine your family gathering in the kitchen or round the fire at Christmas time. There’s hygge.
Winter, particularly Christmas, is the quintessential hygge season–fire, blankets, candles, warm beverages–but you can hygge in the summer, too!
Imagine sitting with dear friends on a patio a dusk, bathed in the warm glow of string lights. Cool drink in your hand, you laugh and talk without a thought as to what time of evening it is. Hygge.
Picture a cup of tea and shortbread cookies at a friend’s house. You gather at her kitchen table and chat while your little ones play in the next room. Time seems to stand still as you bare your souls or maybe just talk about the new grout on her backsplash. Hygge.
In recent years, it has become popular for people to choose a word for the year rather than a New Year’s Resolution. Popular words include Simplicity, Contentment, Joy, Family… What is it we’re all seeking? Hygge.
In the race to accomplish more and do it all, we seem to have lost the ability to slow down and enjoy the simplest joy of fellowship.
Hygge and the Christian Life
As Christians, we share the love of Jesus with our neighbors with open arms. We find contentment in the blessings that come from God’s hand, both big and small. We open our hearts and souls to one another to spread the joy that comes from the hope we have in our savior.
The Lord has given this world to us, to glorify him! Let us praise him and appreciate it!
Read the following verses with this picture of hygge in your mind:
You have put more joy in my heart
than they have when their grain and wine abound.
In peace I will both lie down and sleep;
for you alone, O Lord, make me dwell in safety. Psalm 4:7-8 ESV (emphasis added)
Dwell in safety. Lie down in peace. Hearts full of joy.
Cozy, together, content. There’s hygge in the Lord.
Paul’s letter to the Christians in Thessalonica includes this directive:
…make it your ambition to lead a quiet life: You should mind your own business and work with your hands, just as we told you, so that your daily life may win the respect of outsiders and so that you will not be dependent on anybody. I Thessalonians 4:11-12 NIV
A quiet life. A hygge life.
Ecclesiastes tells us that there’s a great wisdom in being content with the life God has given you. More than content, joyful.
A person can do nothing better than to eat and drink and find satisfaction in their own toil. This too, I see, is from the hand of God, for without him, who can eat or find enjoyment? Ecclesiastes 2:24-25 NIV (emphasis added)
He has made everything beautiful in its time. He has also set eternity in the human heart; yet no one can fathom what God has done from beginning to end. I know that there is nothing better for people than to be happy and to do good while they live. That each of them may eat and drink, and find satisfaction in all their toil—this is the gift of God. Ecclesiastes 3: 11-13 NIV (emphasis added)
It’s a gift of God for us to find satisfaction in our work, and our food and drink, and in the company of loved ones. Satan often misuses God’s gifts and tempts us to abuse the privilege, with lust and gluttony, but the enjoyment of these things is originally intended as a gift. Indeed, taking pleasure in life can be a very holy and worshipful act.
Mary (the sister of Martha) was the poster child for hygge.
Mary sat at Jesus’ feet and worshiped him. She savored his presence. She soaked in all the warm, happy feelings of being with her divine guest.
Martha, dear Martha, she hustled about, concerned with all the details of hostessing. Was there anything wrong with Martha cooking and cleaning? No, not in itself. We have several examples of godly women who worked hard. The problem was, she was missing the LORD. He was right there with her and she missed it
How often do we miss out on beautiful moments of togetherness in our lives? We hustle and hurry and neglect to notice the most important things–Jesus, yes, but also time with family and friends.
I want to practice hygge in our homeschool.
I want to have hygge in my hostessing and hospitality.
I want to have hygge with my husband.
I want hygge with my friends, family, and church.
I want hygge with myself. (Yes, you can hygge yourself!)
Light a candle, sprinkle a little cinnamon in your coffee, and grab a cozy knit blanket. Let’s hygge!
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Do you hygge?