The other day, I was reading in Proverbs, and this verse stood out to me:
A wise woman builds her house, but a foolish one tears it down with her hands.
I was so convicted, reading this and allowing the Holy Spirit to work in my heart. I had to ask myself: am I building up my house, my family, my husband and daughters by the things I say and do? Or am I tearing them down? Far too often I find that I try to do one thing, but in the end I do the other.
It’s harder to build than to tear down. It takes intentionality. It takes practice. It takes preparation. It takes a heart attitude of love.
What do I want to build in my house? Confidence. Character. Resilience.
We have been talking about how to build character here at the stewardship school. The first step is to identify character – talk about different character traits, point them ouit in people and situations. The second is to require character. Expect good character to be shown in day-to-day activities. Model the character traits you want to see in your family. The third is to recognize godly character – to intentionally praise demonstrations of good character qualities, even if the actions may seem small.
Too often I find that my discipline and correction is only negative. Destructive instead of constructive. I want my attitude to be more like that of Jesus. In Isaiah it says He wouldn’t break a bruised reed!
Instead, I want to build up my family, encouraging them in things that are of eternal value. Looking past those things which are temporary or external. Building them up from the inside.
I know this won’t just happen – buildings don’t just appear without a plan. I am going to make a plan of how to build and encourage godly character in my children. I will choose some character traits to work on, and develop a strategy for how to identify, require and recognize these in them.
Every day I am spending energy interacting with, teaching, modelling to, and disciplining my girls. I want my time to be well-spent; not randomly adding a brick here and here, but purposefully building with precious materials (1 Cor 3:11-13), until my ‘house’ is filled with beautiful treasures (Proverbs 24:3-4).
This kind of building will require wisdom, knowledge, and understanding. Once again the Lord must be my foundation (Isaiah 33:6). After all, He is the master builder (Psalm 127:1). I must make sure I am dwelling on His Word daily, so that I can teach with wisdom (Col 3:16).
So I will be confident in this: the Lord has promised to complete the work He started in me (Phil 1:6); I can trust Him to lead me and give me the wisdom I need to build my house. I trust that you will be able to do the same!