How to Build a Strong House
by Heather Longshore
Proverbs 14:1 states, “The wisest of women builds her house, but folly with her own hands tears it down.” I find this verse to be a sobering one. God lays out two very clear paths in this proverb. Women can wisely build up their homes, or they can foolishly destroy them. Consider three truths as you labor to be a wise woman, building her house.
First, build on a good foundation. In the Gospel of Matthew, the Parable of the Wise and the Foolish Builders appears at the end of the Sermon on the Mount. Matthew writes,
Everyone then who hears these words of mine and does them will be like a wise man who built his house on the rock. And the rain fell, and the floods came, and the winds blew and beat on that house, but it did not fall, because it had been founded on the rock. And everyone who hears these words of mine and does not do them will be like a foolish man who built his house on the sand. And the rain fell, and the floods came, and the winds blew and beat against that house, and it fell, and great was the fall of it (Matthew 7:24-27).
This parable illustrates the importance of building your life on the teachings of Jesus, His example, and His Word. His Word and divine power have all we need for a godly marriage. When we are faced with marriage trials, disagreements, and bitterness, we can take comfort. His Word supplies us with grace and truth to navigate those struggles. Such trials are various: a lack of affection for our husbands, discontentment, being on different pages with raising up your children, not delighting in homemaking, wishing your marriage was as great as the ones you see on social media appear to be. Yet, although the trials are many, God supplies us with what we need in the Scriptures.
So, in order to build your home on the Rock, read the word, pray the Word, sing the Word, come to church every time the doors are open and hear the Word, encourage your husbands to daily give your family the Word. Hear the Word and do the Word. Doing so is not easy. It may not be glamorous. But it is the way to build your house on a solid foundation so you can endure the storm.
Second, fix problems when they are little. If anyone has ever owned a home, you know that most homes don’t break down overnight. It starts as a leaky faucet, or a small hole in the roof, or just a few termites in the wood. If you don’t ever check for those termites, or you continue to push off the leaky faucet, those small problems (that could’ve been resolved much earlier with far less intervention,) will turn into massive problems. I recently heard a man speak of his coming divorce after 11 years of marriage. We have heard of couples divorcing after all the kids are grown and out of the house. But the trouble in those marriages did not appear over night. There were lots of leaky faucets that got duct tape wrapped around the pipe instead of taking the time to get the tools and fix it properly.
Marriage is the coming together of two sinners. That means there’s going to be a lot of sin. We must go into marriage resolved to do a lot of repenting and a lot of forgiving, daily—your first year sometimes hourly. A healthy marriage requires lovingly and humbly pointing out sin in your husband’s life. It requires quick forgiveness and reconciliation. If you put your marriage on coast, you will likely coast it right off a cliff. It might not be the first year, or the 5th year, but unkept gardens eventually get snuffed out from the weeds.
Those weeds are a lot harder to pull out the longer you let them grow. So fix problems when they are small.
Third, don’t set your house on fire. I’m not talking about a literal fire. I am talking about our tongues. God’s Word says we can burn things down with our tongues. James 3:5 says, “So also the tongue is a small member, yet it boasts of great things. How great a forest is set ablaze by such a small fire!” Listen to a few more verses that speak about our tongues:
- “Whoever keeps his mouth and his tongue keeps himself out of trouble.” (Proverbs 21:23)
- “Let no corrupting talk come out of your mouths, but only such as is good for building up, as fits the occasion, that it may give grace to those who hear.” (Ephesians 4:29)
- “Gracious words are like a honeycomb, sweetness to the soul and health to the body.” (Proverbs 16:24)
- “There is one whose rash words are like sword thrusts, but the tongue of the wise brings healing.” (Proverbs 12:18)
And then even more specifically about a wife’s tongue:
- “A foolish son is ruin to his father, and a wife’s quarreling is a continual dripping of rain.” (Proverbs 19:13)
- “It is better to live in a desert land than with a quarrelsome and fretful woman.” (Proverbs 21:19)
- “It is better to live in a corner of the housetop than in a house shared with a quarrelsome wife.” (Proverbs 25:24)
God knows how important a woman’s tongue is—especially with our husbands and children. So take His warnings and don’t use words to set your home on fire, strike your husband as with a sword, or be an annoying leaky faucet. Instead use your words to build your house, bring grace and sweetness to the soul. Use your speech to heal the body and give life. A woman who wants to help build her house will learn, by God’s Grace to control her tongue and use it to give life.
As you go about all of this building, remember the Lord Jesus Christ. He is the One who lived, died, and rose again for us. We have forgiveness in Him for all of our failures. And we have grace and power in Him to get on building our homes in wisdom, as we trust and obey His Word, repent of our sin at first sight, and use our tongues for building up and not burning down.
This post was originally published on Founders.org.