The wise woman builds her house, But the foolish pulls it down with her hands.Proverbs 14:1
We often read “a wise woman builds her house,” and immediately start a mental checklist of things about how we build a godly home. There is a great danger in believing that our godliness as a homemaker is proven by how many boxes are checked off by the end of the day.
Regardless of if you are a working mom, stay-at-home mom, or somewhere in-between; if you trust in Jesus as your Lord and Savior, you should be taking steps to build your home of faith. Scripture tells us that a wise woman builds her house, but foolish women will literally tear it down.
The question is, are you building or tearing down?
We as women build our homes. How do we build something that society continues to tell us should be a certain way? Be a stay-at-home mom, be a working mom. Decorate your home this way, don’t decorate your home that way. Raise your children in the suburbs, raise them in the country!
The list could go on. Each of our list of expectations has been shaped by our own culture and society. The pressures we feel are unique to our own situation and what we have been taught through our worldview.
Yet the only authority on how we should build our home should be God’s word. When we base the building of our home on anything else we are not building it on a solid foundation. A wise woman builds her house on God’s word.
The wise woman builds her house, But the foolish pulls it down with her hands.Proverbs 14:1
Proverbs 14:1 is an intriguing passage that has led many women to contemplate how we should be building our homes. What does it look like to build a home of faith? What does it look like to tear it down?
What Does it Mean to Build Your Home?
I like Adam Clarke’s commentary on this passage.
Every wise woman buildeth her house – By her prudent and industrious management she increases property in the family, furniture in the house, and food and raiment for her household. This is the true building of a house. The thriftless wife acts differently, and the opposite is the result. Household furniture, far from being increased, is dilapidated; and her household are ill-fed, ill-clothed, and worse educated.Adam Clarke’s Commentary on the Bible
Another commentary by the Blue Letter Bible says this:
A good wife is a great blessing to a family. By a fruitful wife a family is multiplied and replenished with children, and so built up. But by a prudent wife, one that is pious, industrious, and considerate, the affairs of the family are made to prosper, debts are paid, portions raised, provision made, the children well educated and maintained, and the family has comfort within doors and credit without; thus is the house built. She looks upon it as her own to take care of, though she knows it is her husband’s to bear rule inMatthew Henry, Blue Letter Bible
It sort of seems like we have another impossible standard to live up to.
Or is it?
Strength and dignity are her clothing, and she laughs at the time to come.Proverbs 31:25 ESV
A wise woman builds her house on the word of God. She manages the household in a way that draws her family toward Christ.
Does it sound exhausting to you? Me too. There is a key item to take into consideration.
She is not doing these things of her own strength. She is drawing upon the ocean of Jesus’ sustaining grace in her life.
Your to-do lists do not make your home more godly. We cannot build our home apart from Christ.
Cast your burden on the Lord, and he will sustain you;
he will never permit the righteous to be moved.
Psalm 55:22 ESV
What are the Characteristics of a Foolish Woman?
We assume that ‘foolish’ refers to a woman who has intentionally put her mind to ‘tearing down’ a home. Yet, I think we need to go a step further. There are few women that sit down to destroy their homes.
Yet, there are many of us who face complacency, exhaustion, and poor time management; all of which can bring down a home in a foolish way.
Yes, we live in a fast-paced world, and it can be completely exhausting at times to keep up with all the demands that managing a home brings. Add motherhood and work to the mix and the possibility of tearing down a home becomes a lot more likely. A wise woman builds her house, a foolish one tears it down with complacency, exhaustion, and poor time management.
I know it can be tough, but Mama, you can do the hard things, including managing your household in a way that draws your family toward Christ and builds it internally and eternally.
What Makes a Virtuous Woman?
One of the best Bible studies that I’ve ever done on being a godly woman is by Barbara Huges called “Disciples of a Godly Woman.” Not only will it challenge your mindset, but it will encourage you to walk deeper in your faith in Christ.
A virtuous woman is one that leads her home and family with integrity, and discipline and strives toward the Fruits of the Spirit in all she says and does.
But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control; against such things there is no law.Galatians 5:22-23 ESV
A Wise Woman Builds…
Are you looking to build a home of faith? Are you desiring to be a wise woman who builds her house?
Trust in the Lord with all your heart, and do not lean on your own understanding.Proverbs 3:5 ESV
As we walk in this journey of building our home, it is imperative that we remember that building our home is not going to be of our own strength. We need Christ in this journey. He understands our weaknesses.
For we do not have a high priest who is unable to sympathize with our weaknesses, but one who in every respect has been tempted as we are, yet without sin.Hebrews 4:15 ESV
We are not going to build our home perfectly and we will often fail, but we have a high priest who can understand and sympathize with everything that we go through. An excellent book for mothers on this is from Jill Savage called “Real Moms, Real Jesus.” If you doubt that Jesus understands everything that you go through as a mother, please dive into this book.
1 – A Wise Woman Builds Her House with Scripture
There is nothing more important than saturating your home and life with God’s Word. Even when you feel like you have no time, that is the very moment you need God’s word the most. A wise woman builds her house with scripture.
Yesterday, I found myself at a crossroads. It was time to leave the house for work and school, yet I still had not found time to read my Bible. There were no cracks or crevices to fit in the time. The kids were screaming, the dog was pacing, and I found myself about ready to lose control.
I packed the kids up into our Ford Explorer, took a deep breath, and went back inside. There is a little chair right next to our door and I grabbed my Bible and a small devotional. It was at that moment that I found a crack and crevice to get into the Word of God. Was it fruitful, not really. Did I even have time to pray? Not really. But I maintained the routine and importance of getting into the Word. It took approximately 90 seconds to prioritize the Word of God.
If you prioritize it, you will find the time.
2 – A Wise Woman Builds Her House with Prayer
The God of the universe wants to hear your prayers.
Imagine that! You! Me! He wants to hear both of us come to Him in prayer and supplication as we commune with the Father of the universe.
Don’t underestimate the power of prayer. It does not change God, but it does change us.
On the days when you feel at your breaking point as a mother and homemaker, remember there is a line of prayer right there for you to grip onto.
3 – A Wise Woman Builds Her House with Patience
May I be completely truthful to you right now? This is one that God has been gently working with me on.
Remember how a foolish woman tears down a house but a wise woman builds her house? Patience is a very important factor in this. Especially during the young years of children when they just seem to know how to push, annoy, and move us toward our breaking point at great speed.
Older children know how to do this, but they have slightly more self-control (or at least we hope).
Losing our patience not only tears down a home, but it teaches our children how to do the same.
If you struggle with this, consider memorizing some scripture with your children to recite when that surge of rage or impatience comes to you.
A hot-tempered man stirs up strife,
but he who is slow to anger quiets contention.Proverbs 15:18 ESV
4- A Wise Woman Builds Her House with Love
This one might seem a little cheesy, but we cannot skip it. Godly love should permeate our home in everything we say and do. It’s not just about loving our spouse, children, family, or friends. It’s about first and foremost loving God.
Do your spouse and children see that in your life?
Do they see you in the Word of God? Do they see you falling deeper and deeper in love with Christ every day? Are your affections turning toward him?
And he said to him, “You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind.Matthew 22:37
5 – A Wise Woman Builds Her House with Her Spouse
This may be the most ‘foolish’ way we tear down our homes. Now, there is a time to separate. I will not deny that. Gary Thomas has an excellent book on this subject named “When to Walk Away“. However, our culture has made it very easy to walk away from a spouse. Yet that is not how God intended it.
Our homes are meant to be built by both a man and a woman. Our parenting is meant to be a combined force of a nurturing mother and a faithful father. They draw their family to Christ as a united front.
A wise woman builds her house with her man. Do not walk away from that truth.
And though a man might prevail against one who is alone, two will withstand him—a threefold cord is not quickly broken.Ecclesiastes 4:12
Stand united with your husband and Christ. A strand of three is not easily broken. Foolish women will tear down their houses by dividing that strand of three.
You can Build a Home of Faith
Be a wise woman! Follow Jesus’ wisdom to abide in him. Doing is not the answer. Instead, we need to learn to simply be who God has created us. Rest in the promise that you are a new creation! The old has gone the new has come. You will bear fruit as you put your to-do list aside and learn to allow God to build your home in his timing.
A wise woman builds her house.
Are you ready for the challenge? I have created a starting point for you with A Prayer Journal for Moms. This guided prayer journal will walk you through the scriptures we have talked about in this post. When you sign up you will also get access to the completely digital copy which s designed for tablets or iPads with a stylus.
You can download all the scripture cards from this post here.
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