“A wise woman builds her house, but a foolish one tears it down with her hands.” Proverbs 14:1
Boy has this verse convicted me many times! We are called to build houses. And building houses is no small thing.
How do we build a house by being wise? Wow, where do we start?
A builder is first and foremost present in her home. One cannot build if one is not there. Which is why I believe the command to be a keeper at home is not merely a helpful suggestion, but a vital clue to the health of a home.
But being present is only the beginning. There are many women present who aren’t really at home. And many women present are foolishly tearing down their houses.
How does a wise woman build a home? What are her tools?
- Blueprint. It would be foolish to start building a house without a well-designed plan. Why would we try to build without one? The Bible is our blueprint. It has everything needful for building. It amazes me how many Christians don’t consider the Bible a practical starting place for instruction in building their homes.
In addition, we need a family vision. Don’t have one? Get together with your husband and create one. We can’t get somewhere until we know where we want to go. And then renew your vision from time to time. Sometimes we just have to walk outside, shove the daily demands aside, and revisit the truly important things of life.
- Hammer & nails–the stuff of bonding. The only way a house will hold together is if it is strategically bonded and braced. If we aren’t developing strong bonds with our husband and children, we can’t expect our home to be intact. This may be the most important thing we do as mothers and wives. Bonds are easy to create…but they take lots of time. Are we investing the needed time in our family relationships? Are we looking into faces and really listening? Are we reading books to little ones? Visiting forts with older ones? Are we aiming to know the hearts of our husbands, asking ourselves how we can make his days easier?
- Stability. A strong home is a stable one. The commentary in my Bible for the above verse says: “A wise woman builds her house; that is, she develops a peaceful setting for family nurture.” Not a real deep and thorough examination, but a good picture. What are we doing to facilitate peace? It starts with our own disposition and conduct. Then we are able to guide our children into peaceful behavior. Noise is wonderful, but what kind of noise is in your home? Happy noise or strife-noise? Is there running amuck, or have you taught them to be respectful indoors? Are meal times fairly calm and enjoyable? Are you teaching them how to resolve disputes peacefully? Creating an atmosphere where hearts and souls can be nurtured is such an important part of our job!
- Aesthetics. If the foundation is sure, and the bracing and bonding are strong, we are able to add to the beauty of our homes. This is the training and teaching that sets apart a family for the glory of God. Since most families are just hanging on by their teeth, often only the basic needs are being met. But building requires intense labor and deliberate work. We are raising daughters sculpted like pillars fit for a palace, and our sons are growing like the cedars of Lebanon. This is no small task! There are habits of character to constantly form (manners, self-control, social skills, etc.), God’s Word through which every detail of life is to be shown to our children, gifts and abilities to be honed, and people around us to be loved.
“We are raising daughters sculpted like pillars fit for a palace, and our sons are growing like the cedars of Lebanon.”
Yes, building a home is costly; there are lots of other projects vying for our time and energy. We will invest our God-given abilities into building something. But a wise woman will build her home.
“She opens her mouth with wisdom and on her tongue is the law of kindness.”