by: Sydney Mckneelen
The wisest of women builds her house,
but folly with her own hands tears it down.
Since wisdom is personified many times throughout proverbs as a wise woman, it is no accident the series of proverbs that begins with the contrasting imagery of wisdom, being constructive, and folly being destructive.
One of the clearest themes in Proverbs as a whole is one of personal accountability. Whether we choose wisdom, and its blessings, or the path of folly with all it’s hardships and curses, the responsibility for those choices is our own.
However, the imagery of a family home shows us how while we are responsible for our own actions, our decisions can affect the people in our lives closest to us. The family unit, and the home in which they live, is the cornerstone of any civilization, and for the household of God, a microcosm of the Kingdom of Heaven.
When cared for from a position of godly wisdom a home is a refuge, a place of nourishment and comfort. A spiritual oasis from a world that constantly seeks after material wealth and physical pleasures.
When we abandon wisdom and open our homes up to the pursuit of folly, the results can be catastrophic. Not just for ourselves, but our family unit. A woman, as our proverb makes its focus today, who chooses to serve her own self interests engages in this folly. Certainly, men and husbands are capable of this, but the tragedy of the nurturing, compassionate motherly figures we hold as an ideal becoming foolish seekers of worthless things is a bitter irony.
When we define our families as outlets for our own satisfaction, our own happiness, benefit and support, we lose focus on how being in a family is a contract of mutual dependence. Spouses are to support each other. Parents are to lovingly guide their children. Kids are to learn from the example of their parents, and go on to do the same.
But too often we focus on ourselves, and tear down the very families and homes we rely on for support. But wisdom is always a path we can choose each day. If we have been selfish in the past, choosing to foolishly seek our own needs first, we can repent and do the opposite today. We can learn, grow and apply the wisdom of scripture to our lives and build up a foundation of love and trust that can help weather the storms of life.
It is God’s desire to see his children living a blessed and peaceful life. The prophet Isaiah tells us, “My people will abide in a peaceful habitation, in secure dwellings, and in quiet resting places.” (Isaiah 32:18) This is the ideal, and while we cannot often control what happens outside our homes, as Joshua told the nation of Israel, “…but as for me and my house, we will serve the Lord.”(Joshua 24:15)
Today, let’s make the choice to build our homes up in wisdom. Whether we live with our family, roommates, or even alone, our homes can be a place of physical and spiritual refuge where we can be at peace in serving the Lord. The chaos and destruction of choosing folly are just too high a price to pay.
Prayer for Today
Father thank you for the blessings of your truth and wisdom. Guide me so that wherever I dwell your presence will dwell with me. Jesus, you promised us that where there are 2 or more of your people, you are with us. Be with us in our homes, teach us and guide us in your mercy and love. Fill our homes with your Holy Spirit, so we can be blessed with lives of peace and comfort in you. Amen.