Proverbs 14:1 says, “The wise woman builds her house, but with her own hands the foolish one tears hers down.” I love that verse, but it is sure convicting at times!
So what does it really take to build a house?
Here are five ways to build a beautiful home:
If we want to be wise women, we need to learn how to be used by God to build a solid home for our family. There are so many conflicting messages in society about what it means to be a woman and homemaker!
Before turning to Facebook, Pinterest, well-intentioned authors, or other women for advice or counsel on what it takes to build a home or be a wise woman of God, always go first to God’s Word to see what He wants for us, our marriages, and our homes. I read Proverbs 31:10-31 when I need a good biblical challenge! I should probably reread it right now :-).
Do you ever have a sour attitude about doing housework, cooking dinner, or managing your home? What about negative attitudes or careless words in your relationship with your husband? Gulp.
It’s so easy to blame circumstances and other people for our attitude, isn’t it? But when I read the second part of Proverbs 14:1, the part about “with her own hands the foolish [woman] tears hers down” I quickly remember my own responsibility for the state of my home. We can tear down our own homes in many ways! If we want to build a beautiful home, we have to keep watch over our attitude and actions around the house. No one likes a leaky roof in a rainstorm! Ahem. (Proverbs 27:15)
3. Hard work.
Rome wasn’t built in a day, nor is a home built overnight! We live in a world where we almost feel entitled to instant results and gratification with less effort. Procrastination, impatience, lack of planning and organization, or misplaced priorities can leave us with a home in chaos. We want a beautifully furnished and finished home NOW, even if it means our budget or family suffers.
Building a home takes time and hard work. It took me years of trial, error, and practice to figure out a simple daily routine to keep up with my housework! It has taken me years of dedication and patience to create the still imperfect home I have now. My husband and I have spent years committed to our marriage and we still have so much to learn. We have spent years raising children one day at a time to know God and be responsible young adults. I’ve worked hard for ten years to build a business to help our family (and attempting to not sacrifice my home, family, or church in the process!). It takes time, patience, and perseverance to build a beautiful home that reflects Christ and nurtures our family. Building a home is hard but rewarding work! (1 Timothy 5:13-15, Proverbs 14:23)
Building a beautiful home isn’t about striving to make the popular page on Instagram. A well-staged photo of our home, meal, or DIY project might get lots of repins, but how we actually live behind the camera or Facebook status is a much better measuring stick for our success in home building.
Before you cringe and hide under the laundry pile, remember that a perfect home isn’t the goal. Being a good steward of what God has provided us so we can pursue more of Jesus and love for others helps us to focus our time on what really matters. Running a well-managed home definitely gives us more time and energy to serve God and others, just as striving for a perfect picture can consume and distract us in unhealthy ways. (Mark 12:30-31)
If I think about building a beautiful home in terms of how expensive it is to create the perfect house, I lose perspective. When I think of everything I do all day to keep our house from falling apart, I can easily want to give up or cry. Every day there are more dishes to scrub. Every day someone gets hungry again. Every day the laundry piles up. What’s the use of making a bed we will just crawl back into again at night or sweeping a floor that will be once again covered by crackers in the afternoon? We fix one thing and a half-dozen things break. Money doesn’t seem to grow fast enough on our trees and it gets exhausting keeping up with a home.
But I need to remember that every time I cook a meal, wash another dish, make a bed, fix a toilet or clogged sink, or put on a smile instead of fussing over something, I’m showing gratitude for my blessings. An attitude of gratitude and thanksgiving turns what we do every day around our home and where we live right now into more than enough. (Colossians 3:17)
In what ways do you struggle or strive to build a beautiful home?Leave a Comment
Bev @ Walking Well With God says
A couple of these points are really convicting for me. I know that I need to be a good steward of the home that God has chosen to bless me with. Even if that means raking the leaves (will they ever stop?) or changing out air filters, it is all in what I need to do to take care of something that would not be mine, but for God.
And gratitude. I have never been homeless or without a roof over my head. What a glorious blessing that is. So whether the roof was over a small, studio, one bedroom apt, or over space to sprawl, I need to remember to always thank God for this provision. Someone else’s house will always be larger, better decorated, have more expensive furnishings, but gratitude doesn’t compare….it just says “Thank you for what you’ve blessed me with.” All great reminders this am.
Melissa Michaels says
So true, we are surrounded by glorious blessings! Blessings to you, Bev!
I am currently struggling. My house is so cluttered. 9 people live here and I find ir very difficult to stay organized without a lot of stress and yelling.
On top of that is the fact that we are in my in-laws’ house to be here for them. Father-in-law passed almost three years ago and mother-in-law is in hospital waiting for a nursing home. Now we have to buy or move. Unfortunately buying doesn’t seem likely. Finding it hard to be content with my situation.
Michele Morin says
BJ, thank you for your obedience to the biblical command to care for our loved ones when they are in need. I’m sorry that this has put you in such an uncomfortable position — I hear you. My mother lived in our home for five years, making for a household of 7 with only one bathroom, and a growing population of teens. You’ve got a lot of decisions ahead of you — And so, Lord, I pray for BJ. Please bring peace to her heart today. In this world of Pinterest perfection, flood her heart with reasons to give thanks in the midst of the chaos that comes with an over full house and a long list of people who depend upon her. Grant wisdom to her and her family in making decisions for their future, and I pray that you would provide for this family’s future in every way.
Debi Gable says
I understand what you are going through, & how difficult it can be. I struggle with keeping peace & order in my home, too. What I find that often helps is to focus not on what I don’t have, but on what I do have. I’ll start listing all of the things God has provided for me, one after another (eg. a soft, warm bed, a roof over my head, clothes…
). I’ll be praying for you that He will be able to give you peace in the midst of the storm.
Thanks, ladies. I need the encouragement. It’s been a very messy situation with my husband’s siblings who live far away and are uninvolved except to criticize. In-laws didn’t make decisions in a timely fashion or get things on paper. I do NOT want to be bitter, but I am struggling with resentment as we’re likely going to come out of this situation with nothing, having lost what equity we had in our old house and had to file for bankruptcy. All to move here to help. I know our rewards are in Heaven, that it was the right thing to do, and we wouldn’t not do it. Just feeling particularly discouraged. Praying for a fresh start, not just in the physical, but also in our hearts and spirits in the new year. Thanks again.
Melissa Michaels says
Praying for you, BJ!
Rebecca L Jones says
Praying for you BJ, I know that is hard to live with relatives, having taken in some who needed it. More housework, cooking and not a lot of gratitude. It has challenged me, but be sure God has a plan.
Beth Williams says
Sweet sister. I am praying for you now. Father give BJ & family a discerning heart to know whether to buy or move & where. Show them step by step what to do. Give them peace about any decisions. I want to commend you for taking care of your in laws. I took care of both my parents-both had bad dementia & other health issues. Now I find myself caring for my in-laws. Tough to do. I even quit a good job to care for dad. I don’t regret one minute of the hard work.
I pray you feel God’s loving arms around you hugging you tightly. He know the plans He has for you says the Lord. Plans to prosper you & not to harm you, to give you a hope & a future. Trust in God always!!
Convicting that the number 1 item is wisdom. Not a can do, get it done, hit the ground running attitude. I am tempted to get up and do….and this am in particular, I felt the call to simply get up and reflect on God, and my role to be His Daughter, His creation first.
I just praise and thank God for you all Melissa your wise direction through this devotion and ladies your replies BJ I too lift you up before the throne of grace because that is what you all did for me this day, praising Him too, for sisters of the heart! ♡
Wise counsel ❤️ My struggle is in the pendulum swing: I spent too many years remodeling homes and focusing on a finished result that now the pendulum has swung to not caring very much. If it’s clean and organized, it’s good enough. But I realized this fall that our home was missing some of the special touches that make it feel personal, so I’m going to start making this house more into our home.
Melissa Michaels says
Good for you, Tracie! It’s easy to lose heart and even stop noticing or caring about those little details that make a house a home. Blessings!
Reading everyone’s responses leaves me encouraged just as much as the post itself; and thank you so much for the post! The Lord’s timing is perfect, and I have been reminded of that twice this morning.
My boyfriend and I have been discussing marriage for the past few months, and we’ve been moving very quickly about it (despite not yet being engaged–he promises it will be soon, even if it’s not Christmas like I was hoping for). However, this past Friday when I arrived at his apartment after work, he informed me that a friend at work had given him some well-meaning (if not a little misplaced) advice–and by misplaced I mean that his suggestion to us was that we need to test out living together before we get married to make sure that we can handle that. My boyfriend and I had a conversation yesterday about how that’s not the way to go about things, but anyway, he told me that he feels we need to wait just a little bit longer before actually tying the knot, that he’s putting it up to God’s timing instead of his own. For which I am infinitely proud of him–even though I’d be lying if I said my feelings didn’t get hurt almost instantly and the fear didn’t come creeping in.
However, this morning as a I sit at my desk at work, I felt the stirring to write him a letter in the book that I’ve been keeping for him since before I knew him (a book of letters to my future-husband that I started three years ago, to be able to share parts of my life with him and the parts of our journey to marriage that he hasn’t been aware of, and now my side of things as we work closer towards marriage). In writing this morning’s letter, I realized that I was studiously ignoring the call to seek God’s timing in all this because I was SO eager to just get engaged and set a date. I mean, I’ve been praying for two and a half, nearly three years for this man to be mine and now I’ve got him and you mean I CAN’T marry him right. this. minute? For real?
But I know that relying on God’s timing for us to be legally married will lead to a better life together and, most likely, less problems down the road.
And now this post is speaking to another part of me; the part that needs to be prepared to be a wife. Where I’ve already spent quite a bit of time in prayer, working towards being made a girlfriend for this wonderful man I’ve come to call mine, I still need to be prepared as a wife, and that’s probably going to take a little more refining and effort. And this, I think, is the perfect start toward actively working towards that.
So, thank you again for posting all of this, and the scriptures to back up and further each point. I will keep this close to my heart as I really actively begin my path towards being made a suitable wife for the man I will one day soon call husband.
KatRen96, just a word of encouragement – I remember feeling just like you before my husband and I were officially engaged. It just seemed like it was taking forever. He wanted to do things in a certain way and make everything perfect. I spent the time praying for him and preparing myself to be a good wife, studying God’s word, serving at church, and learning how to wait. That was 29 years ago and now seems like it was no time at all. Also, glad you are standing strong in not living together. It is so tempting nowadays for economic reasons especially but i always see more joy in the faces of the brides and grooms who didnt already live together.
Melissa Michaels says
<3 Thank you for sharing your heart. Seeing circumstances as a refining process and waiting on God's timing is always worth it. Blessings to you!!
♥ ♥ ♥
I was needing your post today. Sometimes I get wrapped up in things and I forget whats important.
Rebecca L Jones says
Just don’t let clutter on the outside get inside. We make too much work for ourselves sometimes. And if we slack off or have a nobody appreciates me attitude, remember God does. Have a Holly Jolly Christmas!
Anonymous (for today) says
I enjoyed reading your post so much and yes, I am convicted with point #2. I get a little annoyed when others don’t do their part around the house so this is definitely a work in progress for me. I also struggle with other family members who do not make it a priority to have a beautiful home. Just this morning I was going over in my mind how to talk to my husband about this. We always go to the same relatives house for the holidays and I find it very uncomfortable because I am closer to the other end of the spectrum with being very particular about my home. I am having a hard time with trying to overlook being in an environment that is unclean, unkempt, and not welcoming in my opinion. What do I do? Do I simply just go and be uncomfortable like always? How should I handle it?
Melissa Michaels says
While imperfections in housekeeping can put guests at ease and make them feel welcome, particularly dirty or messy or uncomfortable environments can make some guests feel the opposite. Everyone has a different comfort level with mess, it’s true.
So when we are a hostess it’s helpful to consider ways we can serve others, make everyone feel cared about, thought about, welcomed and loved.
As a guest in someone else’s home, it helps to go with a focus on connecting with the people we are there to see. Even if the hostess didn’t consider our particular needs, or our comfort or we are feeling unwelcome for any reason, they invited us into their home to spend time together and that’s what we are there for, too.
We can overlook a lot of flaws and messes and even awkward relationships when we go prepared with grace and a plan to be a blessing to them, to hear their stories and connect with their heart. I hope that helps!
Kaitlin Akvan says
I have been feeling SO convicted about gratitude lately. I have so much to be thankful for and yet I choose to focus on the negative. Thank you for sharing! My husband and I are first time home buyers and will be moving soon. I’m so excited but I want the work to be done. I want everything finished in a month. All the painting, moving, building fences for our horses, new furniture, the list goes on! However, I need to focus on the process and know I will appreciate my home even more the harder we work. Thank you for your words!
Susan Shipe says
I follow Melissa’s blog and love her style and her heart that she shows so beautifully in this post.
Beth Williams says
My problem is when I watch HGTV and see the pretty after pics of nice new kitchens & the house all neatly decorated. My home was built back in 60s. My hubby did a lot of renovation work on it before we married. We continue to this day to renovate here and there. It’s just that I want a nice new kitchen now (HA)!
Another area of contention is attitude. It’s not about housework. Usually careless words toward my sweetie. Between keeping a good house, working some & caring for elderly parents & in-laws life gets hard. He has a tough demanding job at hospital 36 hrs a week & long commute. Stress just creeps in there. We apologize constantly and talk about our problems.
I am very grateful to God for the house we have. It is just perfect for the two of us. We have never been homeless or had many major issues with this house & for that I praise God!