Did you know there are 31 chapters of Proverbs in the Bible? That means throughout any given month you can read one a day to keep the….foolishness away?
A line from the proverb I read yesterday has been playing over and over again in my head and I wanted to share it with you. Proverbs 14: 1:
A wise woman builds her home, but a foolish woman tears it down with her own hands.
Now, I know scholars will read more into this, the metaphors, etc. God tends to speak to me on a more practically. As a woman with a home, I was intrigued.
I began to wonder: Well, how does a wise woman build her home? In what ways can she tear it down?
As a coach of women (and myself), I think of very practical ways a woman can build her home.
- Keep it tidy. Believe me, I understand most of us don’t want to do this one. But, once we lean into it, tidying and cleaning the home is actually therapeutic (take that anger out on the dirt y’all). Moreover, a relatively (as in not OCD) clean and tidy home brings peace to it. For the wise woman and her family. So, at that point she has built a peaceful home for her family. Even though she may not have wanted to.
- Keep the peace. Later on in this proverb, an inspired Solomon tells us that a hot temper shows great foolishness and that us wise women should be able to control out anger. In this way, the wise woman builds her house by keeping her wits about her and leading her family with patience, discipline and love as well as without yelling, criticism and negativity. Not coincidentally, this is almost impossible without God’s help.
- Build the financial house. I also think that a wise woman is a good steward with her money. She takes care of all the assets inside her home as well as the big asset of the home. She builds her financial house by saving money, paying off debt and budgeting for the future.
I think the most important caveat here is the word builds. As in it’s not done yet, it’s a work in progress. I think that if you’re trying, that is totally winning in this situation. No one is perfect and all of these things aren’t going to come together at the same time every time. I just think it’s an interesting concept to meditate on.
Another important caveat is that this verse focuses on the wise woman. So many times we want to look outward at what others can do or aren’t doing. Instead, this advice is telling us to focus on what we’re doing to build or tear down our own homes.
This verse also says to me that the wise woman chooses to build or tear down. Each action she takes is a choice to build or tear down. (Including naps, I think naps are in favor of building up). To yell or not to yell. To laundry or not to laundry. To encourage or criticize. To bite the tongue or have the last word.
I’m just wondering today. What does that line mean to you? In what ways can you build your house? In what ways unique to you might you avoid tearing it down?