but the foolish plucketh it down with her hands.
Except the Lord build the house, they labor in vain that build it.
What a work God has done in my heart with these two verses! For so many years of my marriage, I was a foolish woman, constantly plucking my house down around me with my very own hands. Oh, I didn’t realize that was what I was doing. I thought that I was standing up for my rights as a “liberated” and “educated” female. I thought that I deserved a life beyond my husband and two children. I didn’t realize that God had given me a precious gift – a household full of wonderful people – and that I was the one steadily destroying it. God had done more than His part, bringing my family through many self-inflicted storms and trials, but every time the Lord would begin to pour a foundation for my family, there I would be, tearing it down to the ground by my words and neglect.
Now that I look back, I should have seen what was going on, especially since in His mercy, God had given me a very vivid physical example of what neglect causes with the house that we had bought soon after our daughters were born. This house seemed perfect when we first visited it – quaint, quiet, understated – the perfect place to raise our children. But little did we know the work that is required to keep a house, especially an older house, as ours was, in good condition.
I was busy with my job (in a Christian work, by the way) and my husband was busy establishing a new business. The house – like my family – was left to itself. Unbelievably soon, the roof was leaking, termites had eaten through the foundation, and the beautiful yard that the previous owner had so painstakingly landscaped was overgrown with weeds. We were so overwhelmed when we realized the work ahead of us that we simply threw up our hands in defeat. And I did the same thing with my family. I will spare you the details of the damaging results, but suffice it to say, my home and my family were nearly destroyed.
But then a miracle occurred. God saved me and began to open up the truth of His Word to me, line upon line, precept upon precept. He began to use my physical house to show me what was happening to my household and to my family.
One day, my husband discovered that the main support of the house would have to be replaced before any other repair work could be done; God used this to show me that my family needed Him as our main support before any other lasting improvements could be made.
On another occasion, my husband found that termites had damaged our walls and many of them would have to be rebuilt; likewise, we would have to rebuild our family’s spiritual walls through prayer, study, and church.
Little by little, we have begun to repair our home, both physically and spiritually, and little by little, I am changing from that foolish woman who destroys her home to one that builds her home. Each day I pray that God will show me ways to build – and any ways that I may be destroying – the precious family with which He has blessed me.
Through wisdom is a house builded; and by understanding it is established: and by knowledge shall the chambers be filled with all precious and pleasant riches.
The above anonymous testimony was first printed in Dawning Light © 2004. I, again, extend my thanks to ladies willing to share their story to the glory of God.