I know that’s not good grammar, but I don’t care.
Above all else, I want to convey the message that if we truly want to live as wise women and have homes that reflect that wisdom, it’s time to get serious. Not the “I know I need to do it, but…” kind of serious, but the “There’s no way any of this will work if God doesn’t move and help me to do this” kind of serious. Desperation, ladies. It’s not pretty; it’s not popular; it’s not sexy. But it darn sure puts us in the place we need to be to ask for, live for, depend on the infallible wisdom of our Father. This reality is what I’m seeing and sensing from God.
The Lord has strategically linked two verses in my mind. First came this one:
A wise woman builds her home, but a foolish woman tears it down with her own hands. Prov. 14:1
I began to pray for understanding. What are the characteristics of a wise woman, other than the Proverbs 31 passage? Then some mornings later, this verse was immediately in my mind when I woke up:
But the wisdom from above is first of all pure. It is also peace-loving, gentle at all times, and willing to yield to others. It is full of mercy and good deeds. It shows no favoritism and is always sincere. James 3:17
I was captivated…and stunned. I instantly felt that the “wisdom” I was presenting to my family is, let’s just say, not what that verse describes. Oh, I might be right. In fact I might be right most of the time. But true wisdom, that wisdom from God Himself above, is about so much more than being right. Being right is the floor, not the ceiling. My “wisdom” is too often edgy, borne out of intense, sustained frustration and irritation. Peace-loving? Not that often. Gentle? Ha! Willing to yield? Get real. I was so far off the mark, it literally
wasn’t funny. But here’s what kept me in the hunt. In the midst of my searing self-critique, my Father stepped in and reminded me that He knew I was floundering; that’s why He whispered the verses to me in the first place. I just love, L-O-V-E , Love! how His remedy is always built in to our wretchedness. Just as sure as I was/am a hot mess, He just as surely was/is hot on my trail with the answer.
So, I dug in to His word, and parsed out each characteristic in the verse from James so I could get a clear picture of what I should look like as I walk and build my home in wisdom.
Pure…wisdom from above is pure. The clue to understanding what this means is in the verses preceding James 3:17. Listen:
If you are wise and understand God’s ways, prove it by living an honorable life, doing good works with the humility that comes from wisdom. But if you are bitterly jealous and there is selfish ambition in your heart, don’t cover up the truth with boasting and lying. For jealousy and selfishness are not God’s kind of wisdom. Such things are earthly, unspiritual, and demonic. For wherever there is jealousy and selfish ambition, there you will find disorder and evil of every kind. (emphasis mine) James 3:13-16
Then the Holy Spirit drew my attention to James 1:19-20:
Understand this, my dear brothers and sisters: You must all be quick to listen, slow to speak, and slow to get angry. Human anger does not produce the righteousness God desires.
Ahhh..the light was beginning to come on. I meditated on all this, and I felt these impressions in my spirit…statements about what a wise home-building woman should look like:
- She operates out of a humble and pure heart, one that is uncontaminated and rendered ineffective by jealousy, selfishness, and uncontrolled anger. She doesn’t allow herself to constantly compare her children, her home, or her life to what she perceives to be the superior lives of women around her.
- When she corrects and disciplines her children, she’s not motivated by her secret and subtle resentments that her kids are not like so-and-so’s kids.
- When she makes decisions about her family’s welfare, she is not scheming about how they can accumulate more and more; she isn’t only concerned about what will bring her comfort, happiness, or recognition.
- She demonstrates an open heart toward her loved ones, yielding at times even when she has the “right” to hold her position.
Wisdom from above is also peace-loving:
- She seeks solutions that will bring, and emanate from, a desire for peace in her home. She is steadfast and unrelenting in her quest to root out the disorder that comes from rampant, unchecked selfishness and jealousy. So then she resists that nagging temptation to always have the last word…to highlight every infraction and offense, great or small…to ground people into dust with her penetrating and highly-analytical debates where she presses every point to the nth degree. She values and cultivates peace and reconciliation, and is always ready to make the first move towards it.
Oh. My. Goodness. It seems like a lot. It seems impossible. It is a lot, but it’s not impossible. It’s also not easy and doesn’t come cheap. We will have to let GO and walk AWAY from some deep-rooted, heretofore comfortable and familiar behaviors and mindsets for this to happen. Accept it. Embrace it. And for goodness’ sake, R U N to the throne of grace where He will be waiting with…well, everything we need to become wise homebuilding women.