Have you ever wondered why God did not say “a wise man builds his house”? After all, the husband is the head of the wife and the leader of the family. It would seem that the weight of building the home should be on him. But in His infinite wisdom, God puts the stability of the home on the wife.
We were formed in the image and likeness of God (Genesis 1:27). Most importantly, God made the woman to be a “helper” or great influence for her husband (Genesis 2:18). This influence was intended to be used to build and pattern a marriage after God’s desires for marriage and family.
Throughout the Bible, God shows us how He wants our marriages to be (Proverbs 18:22; 1 Cor. 11:9; Ephesians 5:22, 25). He wants us to build our marriages and homes in that God-like image. You and I, as wise women, are to use the godly influence we have to build our homes. Not to manipulate, but to build. Not to abuse, but to build. Not to tear down, but to build. I often tell women to stop crying over their marriages and use the influence God endowed them with and build their home. Dear wife, your influence is so strong that you have to be careful not to abuse it. Unfortunately, most of us never learn how to use that influence but instead cry foul every other day.
God did not say a wise man builds his house, but a wise woman does. She holds influence. I believe my husband is the architect and designer of our home, but as a woman, I must then take the blueprint and build my home. The power of a wise woman is unfathomable. Have you noticed how you, as the woman, can control the atmosphere in your home? In my own house, I have found that when I am frustrated and am on-blast with instructions to the children (and even my husband), the house is tense. I have also found that instead of the children obeying quickly, as I would expect when I’m bellowing instructions in a serious tone, they actually move more slowly and bicker among themselves. Everyone in the house becomes agitated because Mommy is agitated. As a mother and wife, I have the power to bring peace to my home or put stress on my family.
God expects me to build my house, and He has given me everything I need to build a solid, unshakable home.
If I am the one to build the house, I must come to terms with the fact that any existing problems in my home are not only my husband’s fault (ouch!). As women, it is easy for us to blame our husbands for anything that goes wrong in the home:
“He’s not taking leadership.”
“He’s lazy and shiftless.”
“He lacks initiative.”
“He’s bad with money.”
“He doesn’t take spiritual leadership in the home.”
“He doesn’t help me in the house.”
And the list goes on. All of these could be true, but I daresay your husband is not the sole cause of problems in the home. Many are caused by us women. Yes, I said it! We play a large role in the dysfunction in our home. It is with the foolish woman’s own hands that she tears down her house. She is responsible for her actions. She cannot blame her husband.
It’s scary to know we must own our actions! No matter how you may feel your husband drives you to your poor actions and reactions, you play a significant role in many of the negative interactions that take place within the home.
Let’s review 1 Peter 2:12 and 3:1, NKJV:
Having your conduct honorable among the Gentiles, that when they speak against you as evildoers, they may, by your good works which they observe, glorify God in the day of visitation.
Wives, likewise, be submissive to your own husbands, that even if some do not obey the word, they, without a word, may be won by the conduct of their wives.
These Scriptures show us how powerful we are. We are creatures of influence. We don’t even have to use words to influence, but our actions can yield positive results.
Proverbs 14:1b says a foolish woman tears her home down with her own hands. At first, she set out to build her home, but somewhere along the way she began to take it down one brick at a time. I imagine that when she was first married, she was likely determined to not be like her mother. She watched how poorly her mother treated her father and vowed to never be like that. She took the teachings from church and applied them, but then she grew weary. She has been doing all the right things — at least she thinks so — and doesn’t see any change. She has been rising early to pray and stand in the gap for her home, but things don’t seem to be changing much, and she has grown frustrated. Now she is beginning to unknowingly tear down her home with her own hands.
I believe the phrase “her own hands” refers to her actions. It is our actions, both verbal and non-verbal, that we use to tear down our homes. We are creatures of influence, and our actions will either build our homes or place a time bomb under them.
If we look to God and let His Holy Spirit work within us, He can make us wise women who build up, instead of mess up, our marriages.
To read more from Fiona Arthurs, check out her new book, “Stop the Foolishness for Wives,” available HERE.