Good morning! I pray you have started off your day blessed?! My prayer for you today is that you would go out today with FAVOR! That everything you put your hands to would prosper and that today would be a day of fulfillment. That at the end of the day, you would be able to say, "I had a really good day." That is my prayer for you today! Now... let's get into the Word! :)
Proverbs 14:1 - EVERY WISE woman builds her house, but the foolish one tears it down with her own hands.Before diving into things, let's first take a look at the Hebrew definitions for a few words in Proverbs 14:1.
- Builds: refers to building a family.
- House: dwelling habitation, human body, house as containing a family.
Proverbs 31:13, 19, 22 - She seeks out wool and flax and works with willing hands [to develop it]. She lays her hands to the spindle, and her hands hold the distaff. She makes for herself coverlets, cushions, and rugs of tapestry. Her clothing is of linen, pure and fine, and of purple [such as that of which the clothing of the priests and the hallowed cloths of the temple were made].Our Proverbs 31 friend is working on the area of developing her physical house. She may not do the actual construction, but we know that she does work with her hands to make this house a home. We know that all of the small things that make a home a "home", she is working on them. I'm sure you have been in places that you can tell a distinct difference. Those homes that feel warm, have cushions on the couches and tapestries hanging on the walls, it feels warm & cozy. It feels like a home. Versus a place that may not have the extra touches of a woman. No paintings on the wall, no warmth to the place, no elegant cushions lining the couch. My first thought goes to a "bachelor" pad. Often before a man gets married, the "extras" in his house are few. The walls are white, the furniture plain, minimal if any extra touches to make the house feel like a home. No flowers or plants, no candles, no "homey" extra features. This is what a Proverbs 31 woman brings to a home. She brings the "extras" that make a person want to get comfortable and stay. She has provided an environment of growth & peace.
- The foolish woman puts little time in creating an environment of peace. Her household is NOT a place that the family wants to be. It is messy, cold & breeds chaos. The foolish woman's husband most likely does not want to come home from work, because he knows it will just be an environment of stress and disharmony.
Proverbs 31:15 - She rises while it is yet night and gets [spiritual] food for her household..We have discussed this verse several times. Our Proverbs 31 friend puts a priority on growing spiritually. Her spiritual "house" is important and she takes time to develop her relationship and walk with the Lord. She spends time in the Word. She girds herself up with strength, spiritual strength. She is a picture of stability. Her consistency in the Word grounds her, and that is what also gives people confidence in her. She is stable. She is not swayed or wavering. When people are around her, that aura that she puts off is one of peace. Have you been around people, or in someones home and you immediately feel the presence of stress? The mom always seems stressed or in a hurry, always frazzled or yelling, the whole environment just lacks peace? Sure, everyone has their "days" that may be challenging, but when it is on a daily or a consistent basis, I would anticipate that this woman has not invested into her daily spiritual growth.... "spiritual house." The "wise woman" as talked about in Proverbs 14:1, puts a priority in establishing her own spiritual growth, and it in turn spills into the whole environment and warmth of her household.
- The foolish woman does not spend daily time developing her spirit. She allows herself to remain B.U.S.Y. - Being Under Satan's Yoke. Though she may recognize that maybe at one time she spent daily time in the Word, she does not make a change to come back to that discipline. The foolish woman may be doing things that appear good, running kids to and from soccer practice, making dinner, going to work, but the most important aspect of her house, her spiritual growth, goes unattended too.
Proverbs 31:17 - She girds herself with strength [spiritual, mental, and physical fitness for her God-given task] and makes her arms strong and firm.Our Proverbs 31 friend treats her body, "house", as a temple. She strengthens herself in her physical body. She is strong. She does not need to make a "New Years Resolution" to go to the gym because physical fitness is a part of her life. It is a priority. It's not just a short-term goal to loose 20 pounds, physical fitness is her lifestyle, it is part of her regular schedule. Not only does this allow her to have energy and accomplish more, but because she is fit, it also makes her more attractive to her husband. Because she is fit, her innermost parts of her body are healthy & she is able to live a LONG, healthy life because she invests in her fitness! She dies at an old age, and is even physically strong then.
- The foolish woman neglects her physical body. Her physical "house" may be the home of junk food and processed foods. She spends little time focusing on putting good wholesome food in her body, fruits & vegetables, good proteins, whole grains, etc. Due to her unhealthy eating lifestyle, her vitals are most likely also poor resulting in high blood pressure, being overweight, and higher risk factors for disease. The foolish woman also tears down her body by NOT remaining physically fit. Due to extra weight she carries around, it puts pressure on other aspects of her physical body (organs, ankles, knees, etc). The foolish woman does not remain physically fit causing her to feel sluggish & tired, overall less productive in what she is called to do.
Proverbs 31:27 - She looks well to how things go in her household, and the bread of idleness (gossip, discontent, and self-pity) she will not eat.The Proverbs 31 woman builds her family up. With her words and encouragement she establishes a home that breeds growth and success. Her children grow up truly believing that, "Yes! I CAN do all things through Christ who strengthens me!" She sets such a standard of godliness, that her children desire to duplicate her. In her prayer life, her children desire to follow. Because the prayers of the "righteous are powerful and effective" and this Proverbs 31 woman sees results & fruit, her children don't desire to go the ways of the world. They see that they ways of the Word come with blessings! Come with favor! Just like the old "Life" cereal commercial with the tag-line, "Mikey likes it!" You see the little boy copying everything his father does, that is the life of the Proverbs 31 woman's children. They see she is blessed, therefore, they copy what she does leading to a life of godliness and a new generation of believers.
- The foolish woman unfortunately tears down her family with her words and actions. She may call her children "stupid" or tell them "you can't do anything right." She does the same to her husband. Instead of building up and encouraging, she does just the opposite. She tears down those around her, tends to wallow in discontentment, and enjoys spreading negative about other people.
So many ways to build our house! My goal is to model the life of the Wise Woman and the Proverbs 31 woman. Sure.... I'm not perfect, and surely do make mistakes.... but my goal is to stay on the path of LIFE. Life that leads to godliness. What about you? Does your life model that of the Wise Woman or the Foolish Woman? What adjustments could be made?