I found this excellent article by Mercy King and thought I should share it:
This morning, I began to consider Proverbs 14:1 which says, “Every wise woman builds her house: but the foolish pluck it down with her hands.” And to reflect on the wise woman verses the foolish woman. This passage contrasts two women who were both “stay-at-home” types. However, only one is praised for her virtue.
The Wise Woman
First, the wise woman will build her home. She will garnish it with the grace of feminine beauty suitable to the admiration of both sexes. She will adorn it with the flowers of fair speech, kindly intuition, and gracious acts of mercy. She may not have much in terms of material possessions, but she is thrifty and builds upon what she already has. Or, if she is wealthy, she gives much of it away for the service of God and to be used to build His kingdom. She adds to the family economy by working “willingly with her hands.” She fixes mementos in her home by making memories out of her speech, which is “the law of kindness.” It is her portrait that is seen when a stray thought returns to her home. Her husband may be grand, or less esteemed in the world’s eyes, but she builds him up in love, respect, and affection, calling him lord. She shall be as a fruitful vine by the sides of his house. Her society may be disagreeable or pleasurable, but she does all that she can to benefit the downtrodden and needy. She does not shame, but builds and restores that which is broken within and without. And, to all, she is careful not to show impatience or impolite behavior. The woman who builds her house lays it with her very life, her health, and her strength. She willingly lays down her life so that others around her may flourish. Her pleasure is gained by seeing others edified and cared for.
The Foolish Woman
In opposition, the foolish woman will be the one that pulls down with her hands what she does have. That which she alone has been entrusted with to cultivate, nurture, and beautify, she destroys. With crass words, complaining lips, and a murmuring spirit, she finds discontentment in everything. Her work is to chase vanity and to imitate vain people. Rather than work on her home (her very heart) she lets the thorns of bitterness encapsulate the life pulses of love and tenderness. Mark that woman! And, approach not unto her home to learn her ways. She will continue to sink lower and lower as her foundations crumble. Eventually, she will have nothing left. She who pulls it down, uses others to gratify her own desires. Her pleasure is mounted on the displeasures and discomforts of others.
Let us, as Reforming Women, strive to be those who build up their houses.
Repentance to God and man may be a daily thing as it is with me!
You may always wonder whether you will gain the mastery over your spirit.
You may cry every day “Help me God to do what’s right.”
God sees you and he knows you.
He will comfort you so that you can comfort others. Psalm 55:22 says, “Cast thy burden upon the LORD, and he shall sustain thee: he shall never suffer the righteous to be moved.”
A house is not built except one stone at a time.
Even what has been torn down can be rebuilt for service to God!
Let’s get building
the home God has given
each of us to cultivate!