Proverbs 14:1 says, “The wise woman builds her house, but with her own hands the foolish one tears hers down.” I love that verse, but it is sure convicting at times!
So what does it really take to build a house?
Here are five ways to build a beautiful home:
If we want to be wise women, we need to learn how to be used by God to build a solid home for our family. There are so many conflicting messages in society about what it means to be a woman and homemaker!
Before turning to Facebook, Pinterest, well-intentioned authors, or other women for advice or counsel on what it takes to build a home or be a wise woman of God, always go first to God’s Word to see what He wants for us, our marriages, and our homes. I read Proverbs 31:10-31 when I need a good biblical challenge! I should probably reread it right now :-).
Do you ever have a sour attitude about doing housework, cooking dinner, or managing your home? What about negative attitudes or careless words in your relationship with your husband? Gulp.
It’s so easy to blame circumstances and other people for our attitude, isn’t it? But when I read the second part of Proverbs 14:1, the part about “with her own hands the foolish [woman] tears hers down” I quickly remember my own responsibility for the state of my home. We can tear down our own homes in many ways! If we want to build a beautiful home, we have to keep watch over our attitude and actions around the house. No one likes a leaky roof in a rainstorm! Ahem. (Proverbs 27:15)
3. Hard work.
Rome wasn’t built in a day, nor is a home built overnight! We live in a world where we almost feel entitled to instant results and gratification with less effort. Procrastination, impatience, lack of planning and organization, or misplaced priorities can leave us with a home in chaos. We want a beautifully furnished and finished home NOW, even if it means our budget or family suffers.
Building a home takes time and hard work. It took me years of trial, error, and practice to figure out a simple daily routine to keep up with my housework! It has taken me years of dedication and patience to create the still imperfect home I have now. My husband and I have spent years committed to our marriage and we still have so much to learn. We have spent years raising children one day at a time to know God and be responsible young adults. I’ve worked hard for ten years to build a business to help our family (and attempting to not sacrifice my home, family, or church in the process!). It takes time, patience, and perseverance to build a beautiful home that reflects Christ and nurtures our family. Building a home is hard but rewarding work! (1 Timothy 5:13-15, Proverbs 14:23)
Building a beautiful home isn’t about striving to make the popular page on Instagram. A well-staged photo of our home, meal, or DIY project might get lots of repins, but how we actually live behind the camera or Facebook status is a much better measuring stick for our success in home building.
Before you cringe and hide under the laundry pile, remember that a perfect home isn’t the goal. Being a good steward of what God has provided us so we can pursue more of Jesus and love for others helps us to focus our time on what really matters. Running a well-managed home definitely gives us more time and energy to serve God and others, just as striving for a perfect picture can consume and distract us in unhealthy ways. (Mark 12:30-31)
If I think about building a beautiful home in terms of how expensive it is to create the perfect house, I lose perspective. When I think of everything I do all day to keep our house from falling apart, I can easily want to give up or cry. Every day there are more dishes to scrub. Every day someone gets hungry again. Every day the laundry piles up. What’s the use of making a bed we will just crawl back into again at night or sweeping a floor that will be once again covered by crackers in the afternoon? We fix one thing and a half-dozen things break. Money doesn’t seem to grow fast enough on our trees and it gets exhausting keeping up with a home.
But I need to remember that every time I cook a meal, wash another dish, make a bed, fix a toilet or clogged sink, or put on a smile instead of fussing over something, I’m showing gratitude for my blessings. An attitude of gratitude and thanksgiving turns what we do every day around our home and where we live right now into more than enough. (Colossians 3:17)
In what ways do you struggle or strive to build a beautiful home?