Build your house
The wise woman builds (up) her house, but the foolish pulls it down with her hands. Proverbs 14:1
This seems like a random statement at the beginning of this chapter. It doesn’t look like the wise woman is mentioned again throughout the entire chapter. However, it leaves me with questions. How does she build her house up? What makes her wise? I believe the answer to these questions is in verse three. It says that lips or the words of the wise will preserve/keep (build up) them just like the mouth of the fool is a rod that carries pride. The words of your mouth are vitally important. With your words, you are either blessing others or cursing them. Your words are easily swayed by your surroundings, but even more so in the home. Home is where the real you comes out. It is where you are most comfortable and expose all that is in your heart.
So what exactly does it look like to “build up” your home? I like how it is unpacked in the book of Titus. Titus 2:3-5 says, the older women likewise, that they be reverent in behavior, not slanderers, not given to much wine, teachers of good things. That they admonish the young women to love their husbands, to love their children, to live wisely and be pure, to work in their homes, to do good, and to be submissive to their husbands. Then they will not bring shame on the Word of God. The list of things in this passage are directly related to words. Reverence is shown by the way you talk to someone. Not slanderers and teachers of good things are also directly related to our words. The words that we speak in our homes and to our family members are the way we build our house or pull it down.
One last thought concerning this verse. It says the foolish pulls the home down with her hands. When you become so focused on keeping a house in perfect order, it leaves little room for grace. In verse 4 of this chapter it says Where no oxen are, the trough is clean, but much increase comes by the strength of an ox. It means that you can keep your barn in perfect condition if you have nothing living in it, but it is also of no use. Likewise, if you keep your home in pristine shape, you may be missing what is really important, the way you are impacting and nurturing your family. Building your home is all about the people in it and your relationships with them.
Today I want to encourage you to be wise and build your house. Speak words that build up and encourage. Don’t use your words to control and manipulate others around you, instead, use them to draw out the gifts and strengths out of those you love. Become wiser everyday by seeking the direction and insight of the Holy Spirit to show you how you can build your house with the wisdom of God and in the process, help those around you to become wise also and build their future homes.
Today’s scripture reading: Proverbs 14