A Wise Woman Builds Her House
Every wise woman buildeth her house: but the foolish plucketh it down with her hands. (Proverbs 14:1)
Perhaps when you read that verse, you think something like, “If I want to be a wise woman, I need to build my house. Hmm…how do I build my house?”
I’ve asked for people's thoughts about this verse on social media before, and all of the answers I received were along the same line. Everyone was thinking something like, “A woman can build her house by doing a, b, and c” ; and the a, b, and c were things like:
- Put others’ needs first
- Keep my home clean and clutter free
- Make my home inviting for the family
- Do things together as a family
- Have supper together every night
- Schedule in rest time, family time, chore time, Bible time, and exercise time
- Control my mouth – speak kindly to others and don’t complain
- Be organized
- Be frugal
- Prepare nice meals for my family
Now, there’s certainly nothing wrong with doing these things. Speaking kindly to your family, spending time together, and using your time wisely are all beneficial things to do for the ones you love.
But if we are not careful, we can fall into a great big trap of believing that our godliness as a homemaker is proven by how many boxes we can check off on a list.
I want you to understand that the “godly homemaker list” only brings bondage. The more things you manage to check off the list, the more things you will think of to add to it. – “I did a, b, and c, but my family would really benefit if I also did x, y, and z.” If you believe that you must figure out ways to build up your home in order to be a wise woman, you will forever find yourself unsatisfied (because you will always think of some good thing that you're not doing!)
When you measure your success or failure by a list, you are setting yourself up to fall into one of two ditches:
1. Perpetual guilt that you can't seem to do all the good things on your list.
2. Pride that you are doing good things better than someone else is.
When you measure your success or failure by how many “homemaker-y” things you do and how well you do them, you've got things backwards.
You see, when you try to figure out ways to build your house and work hard to do them, you are living life out of our own wisdom and strength.
We can never build our houses apart from the Lord, and we cannot be wise apart from him.
For the LORD giveth wisdom: out of his mouth cometh knowledge and understanding. (Proverbs 2:6)
So, my friend, how do you build your house?
You walk in the wisdom of God.
Through wisdom is an house builded: and by understanding it is established. (Proverbs 24:3)
Listen to the words of Jesus:
•Come unto me, all ye that labour and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. (Matthew 11:28)
•Abide in me, and I in you. As the branch cannot bear fruit of itself, except it abide in the vine; no more can ye, except ye abide in me. (John 15:4)
And here’s what Jesus says will happen when you listen to his words:
Therefore whosoever heareth these sayings of mine, and doeth them, I will liken him unto a wise man, which built his house upon a rock: And the rain descended, and the floods came, and the winds blew, and beat upon that house; and it fell not: for it was founded upon a rock. And every one that heareth these sayings of mine, and doeth them not, shall be likened unto a foolish man, which built his house upon the sand: And the rain descended, and the floods came, and the winds blew, and beat upon that house; and it fell: and great was the fall of it. (Matthew 7:24-27)
Do you see? When you try to build your house on any other foundation, it will not stand!
When you try to check the boxes of what you think a “godly homemaker” is supposed to look like, you’re building your house on the wrong foundation.
But when you build your life on the rest that Jesus Christ offers you; when you abide in him; when Jesus IS your life – everything else will flow from that!
The foolish woman focuses on DOING. Yet all her best efforts will fail.
The wise woman focuses on BEING. And because she is not living through her own efforts, but through the power of the resurrected Savior, she can never fail.
A plant doesn’t have to try hard to bear fruit. The only way a plant bears fruit is to simply be. The roots do the work of providing everything the plant needs to flourish and be fruitful. Likewise the fruit we bear can only and ever be a result of simply abiding in the vine.
“As ye have therefore received Christ Jesus the Lord, so walk ye in him: Rooted and built up in him…” (Colossians 2:6)
Does it feel impossible to do *everything* you're *supposed* to be doing?
Maybe it’s time to ditch the checklist and simply abide in the vine.
*Doing* all the things to build your house is not what makes you a wise woman. That's backwards.
But when your life is hidden in Christ – when you rest from your efforts to do, and you learn to simply be who you are (a new creation, filled with all the fullness of God!) – you will find freedom and rest like you’ve never experienced before!
Be a wise woman, my friend, and follow Jesus’ invitation to abide in Him.
When you do, your life will bear much fruit! You can cease from your efforts and stop living in either guilt or pride, and the people in your home will experience the power of Jesus' grace as it fills your own heart and spills over onto them.
If you want to read further on this subject, here a couple of great suggestions:
• Grace for the Good Girl: Letting Go of the Try Hard Life by Emily P. Freeman
• The Naked Gospel by Andrew Farley