House of the Wise
“Every wise woman builds her house …” (Prov. 14:1).- Proverbs 14:1; 31:10–31
If you work outside the home, you usually work with other people who hold you accountable and give encouragement. This is not the case for the housewife, who labors alone throughout the day until her husband comes home. While her family’s praise should be enough, often women long for others to acknowledge their work. Too often, housewives do not feel as if their work is as important or fulfilling as more flashy jobs outside the home. Despite those feelings, however, their work is a worthy calling from God in which He expects just as much diligence, forethought, and commitment as He would in any other job.
When a woman runs her home well, she is pleasing to the Lord. The work of the housewife is of the utmost importance. Her responsibilities are of eternal consequence. She has been entrusted by God and her husband to care for the needs of her children—emotionally, physically, spiritually, and intellectually. To carry out these responsibilities, she must exert much physical, mental, and emotional effort. This takes time, commitment, and creativity. She must also care for the needs of her husband and keep the house orderly and clean. But too often women neglect their work through laziness, or they consider things outside the home more important. Their character is thus likened to that of the foolish woman. The result is disruption of the family—the home is a mess, the children disorderly, and the husband frustrated.
Solomon calls the woman who is not committed to her work at home foolish and destructive. “Every wise woman builds her house, but the foolish one pulls it down with her hands.” Commenting on this, Bridges wrote, “But mark the foolish woman—her idleness, waste, love of pleasure, want of all forethought and care, her children’s wills allowed, their souls neglected, their happiness ruined!” But what of the godly matron? “She is the very soul of the house. She instructs her children by her example, no less than by her teaching. She educates them for God and for eternity; not to shine in the vain show of the world, but in the church of God.” While many might not see the value of a woman laboring in her home, her children, her husband, and ultimately God will praise her and call her blessed.
If you are a married woman, how committed are you to keeping the house, raising your children (if you have any), and caring for your husband? Discuss with your husband ways in which you can improve your efficiency within the home. Husband, praise your wife today and encourage her in the work she does at home.
Passages for Further Study