While this is a much-loved and often quoted passage of scripture, sometimes it may seem a little obscure. We have all heard/read that “a wise woman builds her home but a foolish woman tears it down with her own hands.” Our first thought upon hearing/reading this was probably, “Who would tear down their own home?” But this verse isn’t talking about the physical building that we live in, it’s talking about the lives that inhabit that building. As women, wives, and mothers we must realize that our attitudes, our words, our actions have an unbelievable impact on the shaping of the attitudes, words, and actions of those we are the closest to, primarily our husbands and our children. If we are displaying attitudes, saying words, and behaving in ways that are not supported by Scripture, or that do not accurately depict the life of a believer as outlined in God’s Word, then we are, indeed, tearing our homes down with our own hands. As a wife of 17.5 years and a homeschooling mom of four, boy am I aware of this. My family has always been greatly impacted by my actions and my words. As my children have gotten older, I have found myself having to humble myself and ask their forgiveness for things I said or did when they were younger. Where I may not have been aware of it in the moment that it was said or done, God has a way of allowing you to flashback to where the seed of an observed behavior or attitude was sown into their hearts.
There are several attitudes/perspectives that I held when they were young that were not supported by Scripture, and when they displayed the same attitude or voiced the same perspective and I was offended, I remembered that they learned that from me. I have learned over the years that the best way to build our homes is to begin and end with God’s Word. Until I have exhausted all 66 books and the Wisdom and principles found within, and it is committed to memory I don’t have time to teach my kids my own perspectives or opinions. I realized that as long as I placed my opinions and beliefs before or above God’s Word, I was constantly in a state of tearing my home down and never getting to where I was building it up. As long as I placed a ‘but’ after teaching what God’s Word required, I was tearing down my home with my own hands. Never was this more apparent than in my marriage. How many times did I think I was right and he was wrong, and use that to justify an ungodly attitude towards my husband? How often was my refusal to submit graciously the result of sinful pride? How many times did I find myself saying, I know I’m supposed to submit, but not when he’s wrong!”? And how often did I see my children begin to pick up and copy the same behaviors and attitudes that I displayed? I have also learned that when we do it God’s way to begin with, there is so much less backtracking and repenting and apologizing to do. I have made many mistakes, and at times, have been the one destroying my ‘home’ from within, and I have also learned that God’s grace is a healing balm and that Love covers a multitude of sins (1 Peter 4:8). When we realize that what we have or have not done greatly and directly impacts the lives and heath of our families, and we turn from our way of parenting or our views of marriage and adopt God’s views, God in His grace and mercy gives us a do-over so to speak. We find that as we begin to sow God’s Word and not our own, the old attitudes, words and behaviors that we displayed and that may be being copied, begin to be replaced with the fruit of righteousness. Our children and our husbands begin to respond and not only display grace and compassion towards each other, but to us as well. As we apologize and admit our errors, they learn to forgive and cycles are broken. As we begin to go through the Word of God with our children, they begin to develop an understanding of what God requires. As we begin to humbly submit and read God’s Word with our husbands, they learn how to love us the way Christ loved the church, and we learn to respect and honor them.
The feminist movement was right in one thing. We do have the power to change the world, but it’s not the way they have said. In our efforts to gain …everything…we have forsaken the things that God freely gave us. I agree that we do have the power to change the world, but I don’t agree with the feminist ways of doing that. Our primary place of influence is in our homes, shaping the minds and impacting the worldviews of our families. What does it serve the Kingdom of God if we look great on the outside; if our shutters are painted and the deck stained and the grass trimmed and cut; but the inside, meaning our families, are filled with dissension and anger and pride and unforgiveness.
God left an instruction manual for every believer, and it has a 100% success rate when followed. As we search for building materials for the construction of our ‘families’ all over the web, and in books and at conferences, don’t forsake the 66 books He left just for us. Let’s apply them to our own lives, at the same time instilling a love and respect for them in our children. How does a wise woman build her house? Brick by brick, or should I say, Book by Book. And how do we tear it down with our own hands? By using our own thinking and reasoning and opinions/attitudes/mindsets in place of the Wisdom found only in Gods Word. This is a daily commitment and not an easy undertaking, but when we choose to build with the supplies God has given us, the building project goes a lot smoother, and we are always pleased with the results!
Let me know if you have made the commitment to build your home with the materials found in God’s Word, and if there is anything you would like me to pray with you about. I would love to hear if this post has encouraged you in some way. Please feel free to leave a comment and perhaps encourage others at the same time!
Looking Forward to hearing from you!