Just Tearin’ Down My House—as Usual (The Wise Woman Builds Her House)

wise woman scripture Prov 14.1

wise woman scripture Prov 14.1

One of the Bible verses that stays with me through thick and thin and good times and bad is this one:

The wise woman builds her house, but with her own hands the foolish one tears hers down.

—Proverbs 14:1 (NIV)

I think I like it because it’s appropriately convicting, yet practical as it offers concrete instruction.
What does it assume? It assumes several things:
  • a woman’s sphere of influence is her house (household)
  • a woman can act foolishly or wisely
  • a woman’s work, tone, words, and countenance are important to her home and family
  • a woman’s actions will strengthen or destroy
I’m not trying to make any blanket statements about where or how a woman chooses to work. Whether you are working outside the home full-time or part-time, working a business at home, working full-time as a stay at home mom, or doing any combination of the above, you have a profound and primary influence on your house.

The Deception of Sin’s Sufficiency

Ready for a little bit of True Confessions?

Here we go.

I’m struggling big time lately with turning to my sin to mask and medicate my pain. And I realize I’m doing this. And it’s not working (duh), but I’m still doing it anyway.

And … it’s not even in the “big” stuff, either. It’s in the daily struggles and worries.

No. For some reason, I can see God on “the other side” of cancer, tornadoes, and the like. But it’s handling the pain of stubborn splinters that’s most difficult for me.

In any given day, I deal with some or most of these (I bet you do, too):

  • parenting issues, questions, confusion
  • overwhelm with work responsibilities, household responsibilities
  • financial concerns, worries
  • spiritual fatigue, hunger, and thirst
  • confusion over what’s God’s plan for my life, what am I doing here, and why does it all matter?

And, good gravy, if they don’t all but do me in!

Why? Because they all produce pain.

Sin is painful.
Photo credit: stockarch from morguefile.com

Identify what you feel when you experience these emotions, and I think you’ll agree that it’s pain:

  • boredom is painful
  • fear is painful
  • stress is painful
  • unrest is painful
  • anger is painful
  • loneliness is painful
  • hunger and thirst are painful

Here’s where I’m stuck. I’ve identified these issues. I realize these issues cause me great pain. I know that I don’t care to struggle with and experience the pain once or twice, much less multiple times over the course of my life.

So, I simply choose escape from the pain. I’ve noticed I—almost automatically—retreat to sinful thought patterns for a few moments of no-strings-attached imagination, which dulls the pain. For a second, sin is delightful, a welcome relief from the nagging pain of my life.

But then the deception is eventually revealed when the pain comes back, after the sinful thought leaves.

When is this cycle broken? When do I grasp that grace is sufficient for me? That grace is the healing balm for the pain? When do I have a greater appetite for the work of grace than for the deception of sin?

Like I wrote earlier this week, God is pruning me. I know by his grace, he reveals this destructive and sinful pattern to me. I know by his grace, he cuts away the death, in order to bring new and hearty growth.

I’m just eager to move on; that’s all.

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