The wise woman builds her house, But the foolish tears it down with her own hands. Proverbs 14:1
I have been giving a lot of thought to this verse in the past several weeks; thinking about what it means to “tear down my own house with my own hands.”
It would be easy to tear my house down around my head by majoring on the mistakes, sin, areas of unfaithfulness and what I perceive to be foolishness that I might see in my husband. I would practice being harsh and critical of him daily.
If I wanted to tear my house down I would constantly harp on his areas of failure in our lives and in our marriage. I would blame him for things he has no control over, and needle him for his deficits.
If I wanted to tear my house down I would become lazy. I would not care about my home's appearance or cleanliness. I would leave the laundry unfinished and he would have to get his socks out of the dryer each day because I would "be too busy" doing other things that are more important to me.
I would also cease caring about my own external appearance. Perhaps I would gain weight, or stop exercising, stop fixing my hair and makeup for him. I would have an attitude of "It's my body I can do what I want with it." I would prefer the company of my girlfriends or a good book to his. I would spend more time on the computer than in conversation with him.
To add to the destruction of my house I would disrespect him as a person and disrespect his authority as the God-given head of our home. I would constantly question his judgment and override his decisions. I would contradict him in front of the children or in front of others, causing him to appear foolish. He would know that he never measures up to my standards and that nothing he provides will be good enough.
If I desire to tear down my house with my own hands I will become very emotionally needy. My life will become all about "how I feel" at any given moment and I will be given to great emotional drama as a result. Every day will be ruled by how I feel about myself, my life, our current situations and circumstances. I will insist that he must meet my needs and make me feel good about myself. I would manipulate him with my emotions; sulking, crying, whining to get my own way and give him the cold shoulder and silent treatment when he does not submit to my wishes.
I would become silly and superficial and abandon my God-given role as a godly woman. This would entail cessation of Scripture reading and internalizing of its precious truths. I would stop making application of God's Word to my heart and life. Once I did that, I would quickly become bitter, angry, vengeful, and gossipy, keep records of wrongs and generally become very hard to live with.
To complete the destruction of my house I would be unforgiving when he sins against me. I would cherish hurts and wounds in my heart and store them up to hurl at him for the next time we disagree. I would major on minor things and everything would have to be “my way.”
This is a tragic picture of far too many married woman today. It is the complete opposite of who and what I aspire to be as a woman and as a wife and I hope you can say the same!
My heart’s desire is to build my house and to build it up daily through the learning and application of the Scriptures to my heart and my life. I want to run fast and hard away from the things that would tear my house down.
Is it always easy, no it is not always easy! Married people are two sinners living under the same roof day after day for decades. We learn each other’s positive and negative characteristics and over time we can begin to almost predict the response of our husband to a particular situation. It demands selflessness and sacrifice every day and I know I am profoundly blessed to have this kind of a life with him.
This is a part of what the Bible calls becoming one with each other. I have said in the past that after 20 years of marriage it is hard to determine where he ends and I begin and this is God’s design. I cherish him and I know he cherishes me. He is the love of my life and I am his. There is no one for him but me and no one for me but him.
This kind of marriage is available in Christ by God’s grace to everyone who seeks it. Are you a woman who is currently tearing her house down? If so, today is a new day and you can make changes right now.
Confess your sin to God and be washed in His cleansing flood of mercy and grace. Repent of your sin and make a plan to change at the heart level. Determine to love Him and honor Him first, and as you begin to do that you will find that loving and honoring your husband will come much easier. To God be the glory!