Homework

Homework

Some of you may ask why I bring up this subject when school is out for summer break.  I’m not referring to school work, but to our work in the home.  Titus 2:4-5 gives us an assignment for our home work.  It says that we are to love our husbands and children, to be self-controlled and pure, also to be busy at home, kind, and subject to our husbands so that the no one will malign the Word of God.

I am going to be sharing a lot from my personal experience in trying to live out the above scripture.  It was not an easy transformation, and I still have struggles at times, but it is an assignment that I am willing to continue doing because I have seen the fruits of putting it into action.  I hope that some of you are able to learn from my mistakes.

1.   We are to be busy at home.  (Titus 2:5)  As a new mom, who was used to working full time, this was really hard for me.  I craved time with adults.  Often, if I wasn’t leaving to go visit a friend, I was at least spending a large amount of time on the phone talking to friends.  While it’s not bad to converse with friends, many times I found that the conversations were going in a direction that wasn’t good.  Yes, I admit it, we were gossiping.  (I really don’t like that word!)

I was feeling isolated, trying to stay at home.  Part of the reason I was isolated was because I was out of God’s will.  The Bible tells us that we are to be busy at home, not to be busybodies!  The isolation was because I wasn’t obeying what God said.  As I began to read Proverbs and several books about women’s issues, it was becoming so clear to me that I was out of God’s will in several areas.  To try and stay home more was going to take a lot of work!  I began to ask the Lord to help me learn to be content at home (in all circumstances).  Phil. 4:11

2.   We are to love our husbands and our children.  (Titus 2:4)  To do this, you can’t be running on empty all the time.  I found that I was leaving home to go shopping or going to garage sales on a frequent basis.  There’s nothing wrong with doing these things, but if they become our focus, we get ourselves into trouble.  I found that on the days when I did so much running around, Rachel and I were both cranky.  We were both tired and I was very stressed.  I have found that running errands or going shopping are big users of my energy!  When evening came, I didn’t feel motivated to fix a big meal, nor did I feel like being too kind to my husband.  I wanted him to come in and take care of Rachel so that I could have a break!  It sure wasn’t a good way to show love to him or Rachel.  I’m sure that it often left him feeling like he was being taken for granted.  As I continued to pray for God to help me learn to be content to stay at home, I quickly saw that on the days when we did stay home, the atmosphere was MUCH more peaceful for all of us.  My stress level greatly decreased.  It quickly became my heart’s desire to be home as much as I could.

3.   Be self-controlled.  (Titus 2:5)  If we aren’t self-controlled, then our home work is going to haphazard at best.  I saw in Prov. 1 that the Proverbs were written for attaining wisdom and discipline, for acquiring a disciplined and prudent life, doing what is right.  I want to focus on the word “prudent.”  It refers to one who is exercising sound judgment in practical matters, who is cautious in conduct, and manages carefully.

I had begun to spend more time at home, but was feeling no real sense of purpose, beyond changing diapers, being a built in milk factory, and personal laundry attendant.  As I pondered on the word “prudent,” I came up with the idea of checking out the prices at several grocery stores.  I found out that I had been shopping at the most expensive store in town.  To use “sound judgment in practical matters,” I began to revise how I did my grocery shopping.  I was very quickly able to save us at least $20 to $60 a week.  I found a real sense of purpose in what I was doing.  I saw that I was putting some principles from Prov. 31 into practice by doing my husband “good, and not harm.”  I saw that my “trading” was profitable because it was stretching the money which my husband was earning.  I had a new sense of purpose and a joy in my heart because I knew that I was starting to live out more of the principles found in the Word.

4.   We are to be kind and pure.  (Titus 2:5)  I found that part of putting this into practice was by being cautious in friendship.  (Prov. 12)  Going again to the word prudent, we are to be cautious in our conduct.  I knew some people who were constant gossips, one of whom was constantly talking about her husband in a bad way.  It wasn’t like she talked about him to get me to keep him in prayer, but she just felt the need to give him a tongue-lashing, even when he wasn’t present.  I was striving to be kind and pure in my walk with the Lord, so I quickly began to find different friends.  I didn’t need a “friendship” that was going to suck the spiritual life out of me in just a matter of minutes.

Another way of being cautious in friendship is just by being mindful of how much time you spend with your friends.  You don’t want to cause your friend problems in her own family by the amount of time which she is spending with you.  I still visit my friends, mainly because it gives my only child a chance to play with other children.    Even then, we don’t do it more than once every 7-10 days.  The Lord has helped me to achieve a good balance there.  I also picked friendships that were like “iron sharpening iron,” mentioned in Prov. 27:17

5.   We are to be subject to our husbands.  (Titus 2:5)  Part of being subject to our husbands is learning to do what pleases them.  I don’t know of any man who desires to come home to a house that is dirty or cluttered.  Going back to being prudent, one who manages her home carefully is going to be one who manages to stay home to see that the work gets done.  Every day there needs to be a time set aside for tidying up the house before our husbands get home.  We also need to be mindful of how hard they work to make an income.  That requires sacrifice on our part at times — like staying away from the malls.  They are often a deceptive tactic of the enemy to cause us to be filled with discontentment.

6.  We are to teach what is good.  (Titus 2:3)  We are to be diligently teaching and training our children.  We are to be instructing them in righteousness.  I found that as I learned to stay at home more, I had much more energy, not to mention more time, to teach Rachel about the Lord.  We still often talk about God while we are running errands, but we are also spending a lot more time reading devotions together.  At bedtime, we are getting into the habit of reading the Word before we go to sleep.

Proverbs 19:16 tells us that she who obeys instruction guards her life.  The instruction for me, as a stay at home wife and mother was becoming much clearer.  (Although I haven’t really even touched the surface of it in this message.)  As I began to put this into daily practice, I found a new joy and contentment in my heart.  Granted, we aren’t at home all the time, but our days of errand running are down to only one or two days a week now, instead of three to four days.  I have much more energy for the tasks that are before me.

Yes, ladies, we have much home work to do, and if we allow God to teach us how to do it His way, we will find that godliness with contentment is GREAT gain.  (I Tim. 6:6)  This kind of home work may not earn us a diploma, but it may earn us these words:  “Well done, good and faithful servant.  Enter into the joy of the Lord.”
© 2003, Stacy R Miller

Housework – The Thankless Job

Housework – the thankless job

We clean and we clean, and nothing ever stays done.  We clean and we clean, and no one ever seems to appreciate it.  It’s easy to cop a bad attitude if you dwell on that fact.

God has placed us in our homes to be homeworkers, and we need to keep our focus in the right direction.  Psalm 16:6 says that the lines have fallen for me in pleasant places; yes, I have a good heritage. (Amp. Bible)  Do you really believe that the lines have fallen in good places for you — even while you are doing housework — the job that seems so “thankless”?

Jesus calls us to be faithful in the small things. Luke 16:10 says that he who is faithful in the very little things is faithful in much.  Sometimes the small things for us may be cleaning the toilet, wiping a runny nose, filling up a sippy cup, or taking out the trash.  You see, those “little things” do matter to God.  God entrusts the little things to our care to teach each of us faithfulness in bigger things.  He also wants you to see how even those little things can have an eternal effect.

Matt. 25:34-36 says “…for I was hungry and you gave me something to eat, I was thirsty and you gave me something to drink, I was a stranger and you invited me in, I needed clothes and you clothed me.” (NIV)
Think of it this way:  When you give your child a bath, you do it for Jesus.
When you scrub the stains that are so often on the clothing of small children, you do it for Jesus.  When you sew a button on hubby’s shirt, you do it for Jesus.  Even speaking a word of encouragement to someone can have an eternal impact.

A word of caution though – Col. 3:23-24 “Whatever you do, work at it with all your heart, as working for the Lord, not for men, since you know that you will receive an inheritance from the Lord, as a reward.  It is the Lord you are serving.”  (NIV)  So, what is your motive and your attitude when you do these “little things”?  If we grumble and complain, or do it to receive the applause of man, we can’t expect a reward.

Let’s look at some of the things which Jesus did.
1.   He helped to settle arguments between people.  (Mk 9:34-35)  Any mothers out there who have done that recently?  🙂
2.   He served a meal to others. (Jn. 6:11)
3.   He even cleaned house, so to speak.  (Jn. 2:15-16)
4.   He washed feet.  (Jn. 13:5)
Do you see it?  Jesus did the SAME LITTLE THINGS which we are doing, and we get the privilege of doing them on a daily basis!

Get this in your spirit, and remember that when you are cleaning the house, you are doing it for Jesus, and He does care that you are doing it, He does see that you are doing it, and He does appreciate that you are doing it, as long as you do it with a joyful heart, and with the right motive.  I had to learn this recently because I was really getting a bad attitude.  It has really changed my way of thinking.  I have a whole new attitude when I approach housework now, and it is absolutely wonderful!

That’s all for this time.  I think I’ll go scrub a toilet!  🙂

© 2003, Stacy R. Miller

The House on the Rock

The House on the Rock

When my daughter was a toddler, we frequently sang a song about the wise man and the foolish man.  She loved doing the hand motions for the house that was built on sand.  I had no idea how the truths of that song would affect me in years to come.

Part of keeping our house on the rock is to make sure that we don’t choose the better over the best.  Sometimes I see the need to give up some very good activities so that I am able to grab hold of the best.  In my quest to try and keep my house built on the rock, I will frequently assess the activities in my life.

For instance, I was looking forward to attending a dinner for our women’s group at church.  It was the first opportunity that the ladies would have to hear our new pastor’s wife speak.  That same evening my daughter had gym class.  This was only the second time our homeschool group had met to have this class, and my daughter was really looking forward to participating.

I had to make a choice.  I could serve myself and enjoy the women’s function, or I could set my own needs and wants aside and serve my daughter.  Since my daughter is higher on my list of priorities than the women’s ministry, I chose to take her to gym class.  This helped me to keep my house on the rock because I chose to invest in my daughter, showing her that she is more important to me than the women at church.

My normal habit is to attend church on Wednesday evenings.  However, one Wednesday, I could tell that my husband was incredibly stressed.  Since he is higher on my priority list than my church attendance, I decided to have a friend take our daughter to church so that we could have some alone time – a huge rarity in our house.  I wish you could have seen my husband’s face when I made the arrangements for Rachel to attend without me.  He was very pleased.  Later when we were alone, I got out the massage oil and gave him a wonderful treat that he didn’t soon forget!  Once again, my choices helped me keep building on the rock, rather than shifting sand.

Another opportunity came when I found out that my friend’s son had a cyst on his brain.  I had not been able to get in touch with her, so I left a message on her answering machine, asking her to return my call.  Since she knows that I am adamant about not taking calls during our homeschool hours, I also told her that I would pick up the phone if I heard that it was her.  Now, while homeschooling is very high on my priority list, that particular day, I felt the need to drop it down a bit so that I could minister to my friend, as well as find out the details on what was taking place with her son.

Writing devotions is a passion of mine; however, I must not make the mistake of allowing it to come before the Lord.  Nor can I let it come before ministering to my husband, my daughter, or even keeping the household running.

Recently, I went through a season where I wasn’t writing at all.  Other things were just consuming my time.  During that time, it would have been very easy for me to become frustrated over not having any new material ready to send out to those on my mailing list.  Instead, I focused on continuing to build my house on the rock.  I knew that if I kept my priorities in order, God would honor those decisions.  Finally, I sat down one evening and grabbed my pen and paper.  Very quickly, I had written and typed up six devotions.  I was even able to write four more the next day.  I couldn’t seem to write fast enough to get my thoughts on paper.

As I’ve had to set aside a few of the things that I really wanted to do in order to choose God’s best for our family, I’ve had no regrets.  God is so faithful in pouring out His peace and joy when we are obedient to His Word.  The sense of balance that I have felt when I know that I have made choices that honored Him has been marvelous.  It makes it easier for me to say “no” to shifting sand.

Are you making choices that help you to build on the rock?

© 2005, Stacy R. Miller

Homeland Security

Homeland Security

In pondering on terrorist attacks, I realized that not only do terrorist attacks come into our home, but we are capable of launching them ourselves.  Just as our own country now has a department called ‘Homeland Security,’ we also need to devise a spiritual ‘Homeland Security’ plan.

Many of us are entering that stage of life where we may see our husband go through a mid-life crisis.  As men reach the stage of life where the hair begins to thin and the waist begins to thicken, they may suddenly realize that as they go walking down the street, they no longer draw the attention of women.  Ladies who may likely do a double-take when they see a good-looking man, don’t even acknowledge that he exists.  They may get that sudden panic-stricken feeling of realizing that their youth is quickly fading before their eyes.  To top it off, they come home, only to hear the following kinds of comments:
‘Dad, can I have an increase on my allowance?’
‘The washer quit working today, and the car is acting up.’
‘Did you remember to stop by the store and pick up some milk?’
‘Dad, did you write out the check for church camp registration?’
‘I need money so that I can pay the bills.’
‘Junior got put in detention for the second time this week.’
‘Janie got a D on her report card.’

Suddenly, not only does he feel old and fat, but he feels very unappreciated and unloved.  Part of devising a homeland security plan is to be very strategic about the timing of these kinds of issues.  We also need to teach our children to be mindful of how and when they approach their father with these kinds of requests.

Ladies, if we aren’t careful, we can launch a terrorist attack of infidelity.  You see, we are told in Eph. 5:33 that we are to respect our husband, to notice him, prefer him, praise him, compliment him, and admire him exceedingly. (Amp.) When we fail to do this, it can further launch him toward the temptation of an affair.  The other woman never brings him problems (like a broken washer, car repairs, etc.), but she plays up to his ego.  She compliments him, admires him, praises him, notices him, and she even takes the time to listen to him.  She does what we may have failed to do.  When we take the time to give our husband what I call ‘positive strokes,’ we launch a homeland security plan that keeps him coming home to us, rather than looking to another woman.

Continuing on the subject of homeland security, keep in mind that when your husband has been out working all day, he likely sees dog-eat-dog competition, and hears negative talk, criticism, and backbiting, not to mention a lot of ungodly talk in the form of dirty jokes and foul language.  A perfect solution for this would be to give him some time to read the Word when he first gets home.  However, I have heard from many women that their husband won’t take the time to read the Word.  The blood of Jesus cleanses us from our own sin, and the Word cleanses us from the dirty things to which we are exposed on a daily basis.  So if our husband isn’t taking time to read the Word, letting it cleanse him from the filth that he’s dealt with all day long, how can we launch a homeland security plan to help him?  We need to counter all of that negative ‘stuff’ when he comes home.  If he isn’t in the habit of reading the Word, we can try to offer a pleasant, wholesome atmosphere in our home.  We can be diligent about reading the Word ourselves, and then sharing in conversation with him the things we are learning, or even letting him know how we are being challenged in our own walk.

Many times in our marriage, our spouse may say something that angers us.  If we don’t quickly crucify our flesh, we will launch an ungodly terrorist attack by lashing out in our anger and bringing up past issues and past hurts.  That kind of attack may cause damage to our marriage that is similar to the Twin Towers when they came crashing down. The very foundation was destroyed.  Rather than destroying the foundation of our marriage in the heat of an argument, let’s determine to have a homeland security plan that shows us to be peacemakers, showing ourselves to be true daughters of God. (Mt. 5:9) We are to make every effort to live in peace with ALL men, including our husband. (Heb. 12:14)

Another homeland security plan that I have enforced is by teaching my daughter that we are to be different — aliens and strangers on this earth. (Heb. 11:13) We don’t dress in hip huggers or low-cut, tight-fitting shirts because as Christian ladies, we are to be self-controlled and chaste in our actions, deeds, and our manner of dress so that God’s Word won’t be blasphemed or exposed to reproach.  (Tit. 2:5) We are to control our bodies in purity, not dressing like the ungodly who purposely dress with the intent to get men to lust for them.  For when we dress and behave immodestly, we defraud young men by getting them to think that we can provide satisfaction for them, and it’s GOD who should bring ultimate satisfaction to them.  God doesn’t take this matter lightly either — rather, He will punish all (wo)men for such sins. (I Th. 4:4-6) By starting the teaching on modesty and proper behavior at a young age, we have engaged a homeland security plan that may help to keep our daughters pure in body, mind, and spirit.  It can help to destroy the terrorist attacks that are so prevalent in the lives of many young ladies in this day and age.

Many times when our hormones are all out of kilter, our tongues can unleash a vicious terrorist attack.  One plan to keep the homeland safe during these times is to meditate on Phil. 4:8.  If we find that our thoughts aren’t true, noble, just, pure, lovely, virtuous, or praise worthy, we can go to war and take our thoughts captive and make them obedient to Christ. (II Cor. 10:5) There is nothing wrong with taking some medication to help us during those time of crabbiness.  I’ve taken herbal medicines, as well as a generic premenstrual medication to help soothe my raging hormones.  I also go on the offensive and warn my family that my hormones are acting crazy.  I ask them to please try to bear with me.  I let them know that if I’m short-tempered and cranky with them, it’s not their fault.  They are much more likely to grant me grace in those times if I simply forewarn them.

In this final lesson on homeland security, we will be discussing how to launch a plan to teach our children faithfully about the Lord.  We will also deal with the overwhelming issue of suffering through depression, even when you have been faithful to read the Word of God.

Another very pro-active homeland security plan is to be faithful to teach our children about God, and how God wants us to live.  So many times, parents leave the spiritual training to the church and the workers at the church.  Having worked in children’s church for quite some time, I can assure you that a lot of time is wasted during children’s church because of the rowdy children.  I know that many times the workers wonder if any of their message came across because of the myriad of distractions they face every week.  I know that we are all tired at the end of the day, and we just want to send the kids off to bed so that we can have some peace, but that is a prime time to talk with the children.  They are very open in those moments.  Don’t let a satanic terrorist steal those moments from you, never to be recaptured.  If you make this a habit, in only a matter of about thirty days, it will become an automatic habit and a good one!  You will never regret taking that time to talk with your children.  Sometimes the subject will get off target, but that’s all right.  Let them talk, and be sure to really listen to them.  If you don’t take time to listen and talk with them about the unimportant issues, they won’t talk to you later about the really important issues.

Too many people are quick to condemn those who suffer with depression.  They leave you with the impression that if you read the Word, it will take care of any depression.  While that is true in many case, it isn’t true in all cases.  Sometimes there are physical things wrong that need to be corrected through medication.  To those of you who may be on medicine for depression, I want to say, ‘Bless you for getting help!’ You may be facing guilt and condemnation from the enemy.  In fact, some of that guilt and condemnation may even be coming from your own church family.  I applaud you for realizing that you needed some help from a doctor.  Because of your wisdom in seeing this need, you may never realize what kinds of terrorist attacks you may have stopped just by simply taking medication to help your body function the way God made it to function.  You have launched an effective security plan for yourself, and for your family.  Don’t feel guilty about being on the medication.  After all, God is the one who gave doctors the wisdom to help you!

Sisters, do you need to start up some homeland security in your home?
© 2004, Stacy R Miller

Home Court Advantage

Home Court Advantage

I enjoy watching the Pacers play.  It’s always more fun to watch when they have the home court advantage because you get to sense the excitement of the crowd.  Most teams will do better on their home court because they know it well and are comfortable there.

Many of us have forgotten about home court advantage because we are too busy running the children off to ballet classes, gymnastics lessons, piano lessons, soccer practice, basketball or football practice, Bible clubs, Cub Scouts or Girl Scouts, or many other activities that are available to kids these days.  We also have the adult activities that we participate in, so when added together, it leaves very little time to have the home court advantage.  We are so seldom there that we never quite get used to ‘playing the game of life’ together, nor do we have time for ‘practice’ or ‘team meetings.’

The majority of families do not have meal time together in the evening.  If we are there, often the TV is allowed to fill that space, keeping us from talking and connecting as a family.  We are to be our children’s cheerleaders, but when we fail to take time to converse with each other, learning of the struggles or the victories, it’s hard to cheer for each other.

We saw early in the 2004-2005 NBA season what can happen when we are taken away from our home court advantage with the infamous ‘basket-brawl’ in Detroit.  Some of the players, and at least one of the coaches actually feared for their lives.  When we spend too much time away from the home court, our loved ones may wind up in a spiritual ‘basket-brawl.’  The enemy may be devouring them, but we are too busy with our activities to even take notice.  Just as there was a lot of trash and alcohol thrown at the Pacers when they were leaving the court, there are many people out there who would love the opportunity to pollute your child’s mind with trash and alcohol.

There are many advantages of being in our own home court:
1.    Close relationships will build between the parents and the children.
2.    Our lives will be much more relaxed because we won’t be on the run constantly.
3.    There is time for fun devotionals times that teach spiritual principles that will stick with the children.
4.    When we take lots of time to listen to our children, when they face things like sex, drugs, and alcohol, they will be more receptive to listen to us because we have invested hours in that relationship already.
5.    You may find that your children actually WANT to be with you!  Instead of seeing their parents griping about running late, needing to hurry off to the next activity, they can see that Mom and Dad actually know how to play games, joke around, and just have a good time.
6.    You may also find that you will have much less conflict during those turbulent teen years because you have shown your children that they are important, valued, and deeply loved.

How’s your home court advantage?
© 2005, Stacy R. Miller

Guard Duty

Guard Duty

 

We find a command in Prov. 4:23 to guard our hearts because it is the wellspring, or abundant supply, of life.  In the CEV, it says that we should guard our thoughts because they are the source of true life.  Indeed, when we take the time to meditate on God’s Word, it gives life to our spirit.  In the negative, when we think upon negative things, it can zap us of any positive outlook, causing us to be negative.  We will wind up in a bad mood, and our spirit will reek of a terrible stench to all who have the sad misfortune of meeting us on those days.

 

In Mt. 12:34, Jesus tells us that it’s from the abundance in our heart that our mouth will speak.  What kind of abundance is in your heart?  In verse 35, Jesus tells us that a good man will bring up good from the treasure stored within him, but an evil man will bring up the evil that is stored within him.  If we are honest, we will admit that we all have times when evil comes out of us.  But, how did it get there when we are Christians?  Eph. 4:26-27 tells us that one way we let evil in is by letting the sun go down on our wrath.  The next verse tells us that we shouldn’t give the devil a foothold.

 

Any soldier who has been in Iraq could tell you that in guard duty, you have to be wise as a serpent and harmless as a dove. Mt. 10:16.  The soldiers are in areas where there are many civilians.  They want to be harmless where innocent civilians are concerned, but they know that there are enemies lurking among the civilians.  As Christians, we need to be on active guard duty.  Even among people whom we consider friends, there can be an enemy lurking.  That is why Paul addressed the issue of factions and discord within the church in Gal. 5:20.  James was speaking to the church when he mentioned the quarrels and fights that were taking place in James 4:2.  I find it interesting to note that just a a few verses later, in verse seven, he mentions resisting the devil.  It looks to me like the Christians went AWOL from guard duty, only to give Satan a foothold through their bickering.  Have any of us gone AWOL?

 

Here are some keys to avoid going AWOL from spiritual guard duty:

Col. 4:2 Be watchful and thankful.  Pay attention to areas of your life where you are growing lax.  Learn to cultivate a thankful attitude.  When we give in to complaining and murmuring, we open ourselves up to the enemy’s attacks.  Just look at what the Israelites faced when they grumbled in the wilderness.

I Tim. 4:16 admonishes us to watch our life and doctrine closely.  To do this, we must be diligent to be in the Word, absorbing it so that we aren’t carried away by every wind of doctrine.  Eph. 4:14.  Even on Christian TV, there are times where things are spoken that aren’t scriptural.  If we don’t get ourselves filled with the Word, we won’t be able to discern the difference.  We should be like the Bereans in Acts 17, who searched the scriptures, looking to make sure that what Paul said was true.

Phil. 4:7 tells us to pray with thanksgiving, giving all of our requests to God, then He will guard our hearts and minds.

Ps. 141:3 Ask the Lord to set a guard over your mouth.

Mk. 13:33; I Cor. 16:13 Be on guard, standing firm in your faith.

Lk. 12:37 tells us that it’s good for the servant whom Christ finds watching when He returns.  This isn’t a passive watching, but it’s very active.  Thinking again to soldiers who are on guard duty, they use surveillance, and they are vigilant and aware.  Being on guard duty  means to attend to or to concentrate.  They are active in watching out for any attacks of the enemy.  These are all active words, rather than passive.

May our Lord Jesus find each one of us active in watching and awaiting His soon return.

© 2003, Stacy R. Miller

 

Building a House

Building a House

If you have ever observed a house being built from the very foundation, you know that there is a LOT of hard labor involved.  It’s no less laborious for women to build their spiritual house either.  It may be a different kind of labor, but it still requires much work.

Proverbs 9:1-2 tells us that wisdom has built her house.  Then in verse 12 it goes on to say that your wisdom will reward you.  It is going to require Father’s help for us to build our house on His wisdom.  Proverbs. 14:1 says that the wise woman builds her house, but with her own hands, the foolish one tears hers down.  Verse 3 goes on to say that the lips of the wise (their speech) protect them.  What we say, and the atmosphere that we set in our home can make it a very inviting place, providing that WE have made the WISE CHOICE to make it that way.  In Proverbs 10:21 it tells us that the lips of the righteous (their speech) nourish many.  We have an opportunity to nourish many, IF we choose to build our house on a godly foundation.  Not only that, but the house of the righteous stands firm and is a secure fortress for her children. (Proverbs 12:7, 14:26).  So, when the storms of life hit our family members, home can be a refuge – a safe place for them.  They know that they can come home at the end of a hard day, to be nourished by the kind, thoughtful, loving words which we will speak to them.

I thought it was interesting to see in Proverbs 22:11 that he who loves a pure heart and whose speech is gracious will have the KING for a friend.  You have probably heard men say the phrase “I am the king of my castle.”  I don’t know about you, but I know that I want the king of this castle (my husband) to be my friend! I want him to desire my company over all others, next to the Lord, of course.

Let’s see how the foolish woman can tear down her house:

Proverbs 19:13, 27:15 A quarrelsome wife is like a constant dripping.  No one wants to hear constant whining and nagging.  If we set that atmosphere, not only will our husbands not want to be there, but we are setting a horrible example to our children.  So many times, children end up being a carbon copy of their parents.  God help us not to set up THAT kind of example!

Proverbs 21:9, 19 tell us that it’s better to live on a corner of a roof, or in the desert than to live with a quarrelsome wife.  Think about that – the corner of a roof does not sound like a very inviting place to me!  Nor does the desert – it is a hot, dry, dusty, lonely place, filled with serpents and scorpions, yet God’s Word says that living there is better than living with a quarrelsome wife.

Proverbs 24:3-4 tells us that by wisdom a house is built and through understanding it is established.  It’s through knowledge that its rooms are filled with rare and beautiful treasures.  Proverbs 15:6 tells us that the house of the righteous contains great treasure.  One of the treasures of a house built in this way is a woman who is of noble character, whose worth is FAR MORE than rubies.  (Proverbs 31:10)  Rubies, because of their rarity, have a higher value than even diamonds.

Another way we can bring rare and beautiful treasures to our house is to “wage war.”  Sometimes we need to war against our flesh, crucifying that fleshly desire to always want things our way, or to crucify a nasty attitude that has been trying to lay hold of us.  Another kind of “war” we need to wage is spiritual warfare on behalf of our family members.  I remember when my husband was out of town for a few days.  One night I was in bed, trying to go to sleep.  I had such a wrestling in my spirit for him.  I began to intercede for a long time, asking God to keep him safe.  Finally, I felt a release in my spirit and was able to go to sleep.  The next day, he fell twelve feet and landed on his back.  He could have been seriously injured, if not killed, but I believe that my intercession on his behalf put the plans of the enemy to flight.  Because of my intercession, I may have saved myself from being a widow with a newborn, as I delivered my daughter two weeks later.

Another treasure in building our house is that we can watch over the affairs of our household.  (Proverbs 31:27)  When a house is being built, there is always an overseer, making sure that the job is done right.  In building our homes, we need to be a watchful overseer of the home, not to be confused with being the “head” of the home.  Verse 11-12 of this chapter tells us that this lady’s husband had full confidence in her.  Why?  She brought him good all the days of her life.  She had proven her faithfulness and devotion to him and to their household.

Titus 2:5 tells us that women are to be busy at home.  Sometimes this is hard for us to learn because many of us haven’t been taught how to do this.  In that case, it’s a good idea to find a godly woman who would be willing to be a mentor to you, teaching you how to put this into practice.  Pray for God to lead you to a wise woman because he who walks with the wise becomes wise.  (Proverbs 13:20)

What will be the results of building our house the way that God intends?  You will be blessed because God blesses the home of the righteous.  (Proverbs 3:33)  Your children may just arise and call you blessed. (Proverbs 31:28)  Your husband may also sing your praises.  (Proverbs 31:28)  Verse 29 goes on to say that her husband told her that many women do noble things, but she surpasses them all!  Wow!  What a compliment!

As I stated at the beginning, “Wisdom has built her house.”  When you build your house with godly wisdom and insight, you may just find that the promise of Proverbs 24:14 comes alive to you.  “Know also that wisdom is sweet to your soul; if you find it, there is a future hope for you, and your hope will not be cut off.”  (NIV)

© 2003, Stacy R Miller

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