Divine Design
Lynn Cowell

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

Boiling point. That is what I had reached as I sat on the floor in my office thinking, "How did I get here?" Was it the discovery of a third needed root canal in my son's mouth only one week before he started college? Maybe it was the discussion of who was going to take over his room when he left? It was also my daughter's new job which required me to provide transportation right in the middle of the day. I guess at that point it didn't really matter. I could feel a slow boil in my heart and I feared an explosion was nearing the surface.

Proverbs 14:1 instructed me that morning with exactly what I needed to hear, "The wise woman builds her house, but with her own hands the foolish one tears hers down" (NIV).

The choice was and is mine: to be part of the divine design or the devil's demolition. My kids don't make me blow up. My husband doesn't cause me to feel exasperated. Proverbs makes it pretty clear, it's my choice.

That is a lot of power. I think, at least in America where for years women have fought for equal rights, we've missed this enormous amount of power that we have held since Eve was created: the power to build a home.

We hear of women who build innovative businesses and women who build influential ministries, but how about women who build solid homes, investing in lifelong marriages and raising up godly children as the next generation? Proverbs says this woman is wise. Never mind what society says is valuable and praiseworthy. This power is of utmost importance. This tremendous power that is within us is the power to build or destroy and we, the women of the home, hold it.

Learning to wield this power isn't something that just happens. Jesus gives insight in Matthew 12:34 when He says that out of the overflow of the heart the mouth speaks. Our mouths are one of our primary tools. So, what is the mouth's source? Our heart.

That is why we have to be so careful what we allow to linger there. Is it positive thoughts about our kid's, their behavior, their future, their friends? Do we think good things about our husbands throughout the day, thankful for their hard work, grateful for their companionship?

If our mouths are currently being used to tear down instead of build up, it's time for a heart overhaul; time to get the thoughts that we dwell on lined up with the good that is right under our roof.

Friend, I hope you will join me, inviting the Holy Spirit to empower you today to build your home. Look for ways to invest and opportunities to hold back those words that tear down. He wants to make us builders. Let's say "yes"!

Lord, I want to build today. I can see what this day holds: driving in carpool, washing dirty clothes, making another supper and learning third grade math…again. Open my eyes and shut my mouth when my actions are leaning toward destruction. May I choose inspiration, not irritation. Make me a builder empowered by your Holy Spirit with strength and wisdom. Thank You for this incredible opportunity. May I make You proud! Amen.

Related Resources:
The Mom I Want to Be: Rising Above Your Past to Give Your Kids a Great Future by T. Suzanne Eller

Would you like more ideas on how to build a bridge to your child’s heart? Stop by Lynn’s blog for an opportunity to win her teaching CD on doing just that.

What a Husband Needs from His Wife by Melanie Chitwood

She's Gonna Blow! Real Help For Dealing With Mom Anger by Julie Ann Barnhill

When you purchase resources through Proverbs 31 Ministries, you touch eternity because your purchase supports the many areas of hope-giving ministry we provide at no cost. We wish we could, but we simply can't compete with prices offered by huge online warehouses. Therefore, we are extremely grateful for each and every purchase you make with us. Thank you!________________________________________

Application Steps:
Start a Bible study with some friends or neighbors choosing to focus on either marriage or raising kids. Click here to find some great studies to help you get started.

Visit our Everyday Life section to read more encouraging articles on family life.

What time of the day do you find most difficult when it comes to being a woman who builds and invests positively in your family?

In addition to spending time in prayer and reading God's Word, what do you need to do to be successful in building up your home: accountability with friends, more sleep, a better diet, exercise?

Power Verses:
Proverbs 14:8, "The wisdom of the prudent is to give thought to their ways, but the folly of fools is deception." (NIV)

© 2010 by Lynn Cowell. All rights reserved.

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Blogger Unknown said...

I really needed to hear this. We have be struggling so much with our 7 year old and sometimes I focus so much on what he is not doing that I forget to focus on what he is doing right. Thank you for the reminder that God is in control not me.

Anonymous Anonymous said...

I did not live in the Spirit yesterday with my kids, at all. Thank you for the reminder.

Blogger Cindy Duncan said...

I really needed this today! So many times I focus on the bad things my family does instead of all the wonderful things they do! I am so thankful for my family and having the health to be able to cook, clean and take care of them when they need me! God has been so good to me! I need to focus on when I feel that "boiling" point coming on, to just take a minute to pray and be thankful! Thanks for sharing!

Blogger horseprariechatter said...

Building up a home, building up a relationship-well, isn't it all about grace and forgiveness? Thanks for the encouragement today.

Anonymous Anonymous said...

I am an empty nester. I wish that I had read this years ago. There were so many times I would blow! I never thought that I would do that but I think the word "overwhelmed" comes to mind. I didn't pray then and wished that I had a "do over" for the many times I screamed and yelled. Thankfully and by God's grace, I have a wonderful spouse and awesome children.
So for the many young Mom's reading this, you do have a choice as the devo said this am. Choose to be a part the Divine and not the demolition! Embrace Motherhood! Thank you for this devo.

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Thank you for these inspirational words. I left a high powered career 12 years ago. While I know my children are better because of it, the day to day tasks of laundry, cooking, and cleaning don't come with many acts of gratitude. Thank you for the reminder that my prayers and words of encouragement are doing more for my children than any paycheck!

Blogger Laci said...

Such an important topic that so many women just don't understand. Thank you for the reminder that our greatest and most important job is building a solid home where our families can thrive with Jesus!

Anonymous Anonymous said...

When God brought this verse to mind years ago, my life and my marriage had a dramatic change. I was able to see how I was undoing my family, my marriage and our home one brick at a time because of my choice to be selfish and controlling.
Ladies, heed this important advice and continue to build up your home, your husband and your relationship with God. So many people think they are a victim of their past or how they were raised, we have a choice each day how we choose to live. I pray that we all choose wisely.

Blogger Unknown said...

I, too, needed to hear this today. It is a struggle to help my first grader do his homework because it is so FRUSTRATING. It is not his fault...well, maybe a little, but mostly mine due to being snippy and short with him. He's 6, not 36, and he has to learn!! Thanks for the reminder. I want to build up and not tear down...

Anonymous Rachel said...

What a great, balanced article/post! I especially love the questions at the end about sleep, diet, etc.... I know that my lack of self care can be a major player in my lack of self control with my attitude.... thanks for the awesome thoughts! (also really appreciate the mentality that what we are building at home is of utmost importance- so true!!)

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Thanks for this. It really hit the spot! Caused a little pain, too. My children survived me as a working and frustrated mother, they grew up and by the grace of God have become better parents than I was to them. Now I have the opportunity to help them keep their families strong- I am no longer working and am so grateful for a sort of "do-over" with my grandchildren. My one bit to young mothers- take a big breath, step back and ask yourselves: Is this going to matter to the kind of person this child will be in 20 years?
If it's that important choose your discipline angle to build your child's character in love.

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Thank you for this. It opens my eyes of what i said to my sons because of irritation and anger... I think your right it's time for a "heart overhaul"... thank you so much :)

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