Tuesday, July 7, 2009

Home Improvement

"The wise woman builds her house, but with her own hands the foolish one tears hers down." (Proverbs 14:1, NIV)

Several years ago, I read one chapter of the Book of Proverbs each day of the month. (31 days, 31 Proverbs) These pithy sayings are notorious for their timeless wisdom. As I read through, I highlighted verses that resonated with me or convicted me. Today's verse, though perhaps not particularly popular in today's culture, hit me right between the eyes.

Proverbs 14:1 causes me to reflect on how I want my household to function. What am I doing to build my family up? What destructive habits need to be eliminated? Ultimately, it all comes down to relationships and behavior.

It's easy to seduce ourselves into identifying only the positive things we do in our households. I doubt that any of us would have a hard time naming the traditions we establish as a family. The efforts we put forth to cook, clean and provide for our family are part of our every day life. We run kids to sports, to friends, to doctors. We may even share hobbies as a family.

Admitting to the destructive isn't always so fun. While we can all admit we probably get more irritable with our kids than we should, there are some less obvious things that prove us the fool. Are we criticizing our spouse openly to others? How about gossiping right in front of the kids? Do we engage in a little too much "retail therapy"? What role does the TV and the things we watch on it play in our household?

Each and every choice we make leaves a powerful legacy with our spouse, our kids and with those who are watching us all. While dads are traditionally the head of the household, moms really set the tone. After all, "If mama ain't happy, ain't NOBODY happy"!

I want to be proven wise in the end, and I can only do that by following God's lead. I struggle every day with my own selfishness, quick temper or unreasonable expectations. But if I commit my ways to being an imitator of Jesus, my household is edified by love, generosity, humor and encouragement.

Spend some quiet time with the Lord assessing your building skills. As you make this a more frequent habit, you will draw closer to becoming a remodeler than a one-woman wrecking ball!

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