I married later in life. Fact is, I wasn't sure if I'd ever get married.
The one thing I always wanted to be was a wife and mommy. When all my schoolyard buddies wanted to be firemen, nurses, police officers and mailmen, I wanted to be a wife and mommy.
The years of being single among all my married friends granted me an inside view into what this verse really meant:
"Every wise woman builds her house, but the foolish pulls it down with her hands" (Prov. 14:1).
That is a pretty amazing statement right there.
They don't just bulldoze or take a wrecking ball to their homes. No, with their bare hands, they tear down their own homes brick by brick.
Have you been guilty of engaging in some demolition? I have from time to time, too.
3 Ways a Wife Tears Her House Down
1. A Critical Spirit
When we allow our spirits to become critical, bitter and filled with gossip, we destroy the spirit of our marriage, home and children.
Over the years, I watched those who built their homes, while others tore theirs down with their own hands.
A critical spirit demolishes a home rather quickly, but a joyful spirit that encourages and fills the home with praise builds it into a luxurious mansion and haven for her family.
We do this by first taking charge of our thoughts and then our tongue, by filling our hearts, spirits and mouths with praise. We do it by turning each negative and critical thought into a praiseworthy and positive thought. And we do it by allowing God to cleanse our hearts of bitterness and purposing never to gossip in our hearts or with other women.
Stop! You mean you can gossip in your own heart? Yes, you can! By thinking, meditating and creating mock conversations about or with the one you are angry with.
And it breeds anger, criticism and bitterness.
Let us not be foolish women by tearing our houses down with criticism, bitterness and gossip. Let us be wise women by building our houses with praise, gratefulness, faith and grace.
2. A Worried Heart
As mothers and caretakers of our homes and families, we often allow worry and anxiety to fill our hearts. We worry about how to care for our families when money is tight or sickness takes over.
We grow anxious over our children's futures and our husband's job security. Worry is a cancer that eats away at our heart and spirit. It guts out our homes and leaves them cold and empty.
However, a quiet spirit is a spirit at rest, knowing that God always provides: "I have been young, and now am old; yet I have not seen the righteous forsaken, nor their offspring begging bread" (Ps. 37:25).
A quiet spirit knows that God loves and wants to care for our family even more than we do, and He will provide, even from unexpected or unknown sources.
It is a faith-filled spirit that fills its home with rich promises of God's Word and the warmth of His peace that blankets the home in the luxurious comfort of His presence.
Hebrews says if we don't have faith, we cannot even please God.
If we want to please God, we have to have a secure, quiet and steady faith in Him to provide and bring health to the ones we love.
We can build our homes with the building blocks of faith by memorizing verses about not worrying, reading books of great men and women of faith and encouraging our children to join us in prayers for miraculous provision.
You can also keep a "Faith Chart":
Draw a picture of a thermometer and color in each level as God answers prayer. Write the answered prayer beside each level.
This will give you a visual picture of how God provides, and it will be a visual reminder to your children as well.
This is building your home with your own hands as a wise woman!
3. A Nagging Tongue
There is nothing worse than a nagging wife.
Even the book of Proverbs says that it is better to be dirt-poor or to live in a corner attic than with a nagging wife who will not stop her endless prattle (see Prov. 21:9).
Here are a few pointers I have learned from my husband:
1. Lists and men do not go together. Do you want to frustrate your man? Give him a list with numbers 1-10. These do not bode well for his nerves.
2. Men don't mind being reminded, but don't remind him constantly and every day. Gentle but clear, occasional and distinct reminders are helpful, but not when they are combined with complaints and sarcasm.
3. Men don't mind being reminded as long as they feel gratefulness for all of the things they are already doing, like going to work every day, helping out with the kids or helping out around the house. Reminders combined with a grateful spirit will earn you kudos!
A wise woman can build her home by first building gratefulness in her own heart for what her husband already does and reminding herself that her husband needs Saturdays for downtime. When it becomes a "honey-do" day, he will quickly burn out. Give to your husband by first giving yourself a grateful heart.
And then wisely build your home with love and gratefulness; the other stuff will get done in its own time.
So this year, let us purpose to be wise builders of our homes and marriages. It's a lifetime commitment.
To Start, Answer These 5 Questions:
1. For what you are thankful in your family and marriage?
2. What do you find unique and wonderful about your family and marriage?
3. What first attracted you to your husband?
4. In what character qualities do your children excel?
5. What are those things your family and/or marriage can offer to your community and church family?
6. What answered prayers or divine provision have you experienced recently?
I am starting today. Who will join me?
Rosilind Jukic, a Pacific Northwest native, is a missionary who is married to her Bosnian hero. Together, they live with their two active boys in Croatia, where she enjoys fruity candles, good coffee and a hot cup of herbal tea on a blustery fall evening. Her passion for writing led her to author her best-selling book The Missional Handbook. At A Little R & R she encourages women to find contentment in what God created them to be. You can also find her at Missional Call where she shares her passion for local and global missions. You can follow her on Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest and Google +.
This article originally appeared at rosilindjukic.com\.
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