Home Builder or Demolition Expert?

The wise woman builds her house, But the foolish tears it down with her own hands.” Proverbs 14:1

It is interesting to follow the ongoing description of two women in Proverbs. These two women are the wise and godly woman and the immoral and foolish woman. Here they are contrasted in how they deal with their own house. House is used here not of a literal building but rather of how a woman builds up her own family. Thus the wise woman builds up her family. She is selfless and gives herself away to strengthen and encourage and bless her family members. Her husband knows her love and support – and her children are partakers of her love, discipline, and care. Truly, the woman who does this gives untold blessings to her family. Her spirit pervades the home and makes it so much more than just a place to live – but a place to grow and thrive. Keil and Delitzsch make a comment that I want to quote here.

“In truth, the oneness of the house is more dependent on the mother than on the father. A wise mother can, if her husband be dead or neglectful of his duty, always keep the house together; but if the house-wife has neither understanding nor good-will for her calling, then the best will of the house-father cannot hinder the dissolution of the house, prudence and patience only conceal and mitigate the process of dissolution—the folly of the house-wife, always becomes more and more, according to the degree in which this is a caricature of her calling, the ruin of the house.”

Moms are such a blessing to the home if they are godly ones. They will build up their homes with their own hands and with their own works. That house is truly blessed to have one – to have a mother who is a wise woman – and who builds up her home by her constant efforts to make it a place of peace and an environment where the work and presence of the Holy Spirit is welcome.

On the other hand – the foolish woman tears down her home with her own hands. Her foolishness is what is keyed upon here. Foolishness throughout the book of Proverbs is seen in those who do not take God’s perspective on things. To the extent that a woman does not focus upon the Lord – to that extent she will tear her own house to the ground. Women who focus on wealth and the world’s view of beauty will do great damage to their sons and daughters. The woman who thinks that a career is far more important than the job of being a mom will do great damage, not just to her own family, but to the society around them. Multiply this attitude a million-fold in a society and you have the makings of that societies’ downfall. She can teach her daughters that they should focus on chasing men rather than seeking God. She can have them think that a man is gotten by her female wiles rather than by her chaste and godly character. Such foolish women have destroyed their homes down through the ages. The Bible is full of examples of both these women.

Ahab, that wicked king of Israel had two of them in his life. First his mother did not rear him to fear the Lord. It is amazing to see that every king had his mother mentioned – and then afterward it is told whether he did right or evil in God’s sight. Possilby her greatest failure with Ahab was allowing him to marry Jezebel, the second foolish woman in his life. She counselled and encouraged Ahab to do evil and even to kill to get a piece of land he wanted. Ahab turned into a pouty, spoiled, godless man due to the influence of these women. He was responsible for his own actions, but how often the actions of a child reflect the mother who reared him. Ahab wound up destroying not just himself, but ever single child born to him. In the end, both his mother and Jezebel destroyed and tore down their houses with their own hands. These are not the only women who exhibit this behavior. There is Athaliah, who not only counselled her son to walk in th ways of Ahab, but who when her son had died, killed all the rest of the royal offspring so she could be queen. There was Micah’s mother who blessed her son’s thieving ways and dedicated her stolen precious metal to make an idol for him and her household. There was Herodias, who had her daughter debauch herself so that she could carry out her deadly grudge against John the Baptist by having his head cut off and put on a silver platter. These ungodly woman torn down house after house and paved the way for greater destruction in future generations.

Thank God that we also have godly examples placed before us. We have examples of women who built their houses instead of tearing them down. Godly Sarah who called Abraham lord, even though he was not the greatest of protectors. She was responsible for building up the house of Israel. There was Jochabed, mother of Moses who risked her life to protect and care for Moses – and then when God had allowed him to be placed back into her hands as his nurse – she taught him the ways of the Lord. There was the godly mother and grandmother of Timothy, Lois and Eunice, who took the time to teach him the Scriptures which made him wise unto salvation. What blessing was passed from generation to generation through these godly women. May God add to their number more and more so that our nation can be blessed in its future as well.


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