I’m in the Lego phase. Since I have four boys I think I will be in the Lego phase for…the next 107 years. Right now the boys are 6, 4, 3, and 2 so their definition of “building” is very broad. They can work on Legos for an hour and by the time they’re done I still have no idea what they made. To me there is very little difference between their treasured spaceships and the mound of creations they destroyed and tossed aside.
But to them there is a huge difference. I can tell because when one brother wrecks a precious jumble of mismatched blocks, the other brother wails in agony. They are either building or destroying and they know the difference.
Moms are constantly building or destroying, too. I read this verse again yesterday and I was struck with fresh reverence for the power I hold over my own household:
“The wise woman builds her house, but the foolish tears it down with her own hands.” (Proverbs 14:1)
Encouraging? Yes. Sobering? Definitely. There is no passivity here. The verse is packed with action. We are actively building or actively tearing down. Did you know you had so much sway in your home? Things are not just happening around you. You are Mom. You set the tone for the entire home. You get to choose. Is your home a home of peace or stress? It depends on us a lot more than we often think.
“If Mama ain’t happy, ain’t nobody happy.”
Whether we like it or not, it’s true. Our mood has a direct impact on our families. Our tone, our reaction to the good and bad, and our words can either build up or tear down. Sometimes in small ways, sometimes in big ways.
“But I just change diapers and do laundry all day!” you might say. “Isn’t that pretty neutral?”
We can look at every tiny task as a way to build up our families. Even the small stuff like diapers and laundry have eternal value. We turn menial tasks into heavenly treasures when we do them with perseverance and thankfulness. Always with a big giddy smile? No. Some days are hard. Some are painful. But we can tackle every day and every situation with peace because we know the God Who directs our steps. The peace written on our hearts should be written on our faces. We might still burn dinners and shrink our husband’s new shirt in the wash, but we will be building something eternal. Over the course of years our children will look at us and think, “I want to know what keeps Mom steadfast even when chaos is reigning all around her.”
This verse brings great comfort to moms who are going through hard times. We can be tight on money, going through a health crises, or dealing with extended family drama, and still build our homes with the peace and joy of the Lord. My grandpa always says, “We were dirt poor, but I never knew it. I was having a great time.” I credit that not so much to my grandpa’s ingenuity as a kid, but to his mom’s peaceful spirit in the midst of what must have been a very challenging time for her.
The opposite is also true. Everything could seem fine and dandy on the outside, but our walls could be crumbling on the inside. How? It often comes down to the simple things. Do you greet your husband with a warm smile when he comes home, or a list of complaints? Do you sigh and slam cupboards when it’s time to make yet another meal? Do you look for ways to out-serve your husband, or are you too busy keeping track of who owes who what service? This verse might shed new light on why peace is absent from our homes.
Christ purchased a peace for us that can never be destroyed (1 Peter 1:4). To be moms that build we have to go back to the source. Don’t just take stock of your words and attitudes – take stock of where you find your peace. Peace in Christ is a peace that builds.
“The Gospel-Centered Mom” Bible study is a must-have for busy moms looking for practical ways to get in the Word. Get your copy on Etsy!
Photo credit: http://betsy-ann.blogspot.com/2008/10/when-super-cape-doesnt-fit.html