Written by Erica, Contributing Writer
Solomon, the writer of most of the book of Proverbs, encourages us as women to build up our homes. One aspect of home building you can include is the act and art of building up your husband and other family members.
“Every wise woman buildeth her house: but the foolish plucketh it down with her hands.” ~ Proverbs 14:1
Marriage and home should be simultaneously built together because each one depends upon each other. Our marriage is lived and acted out in the home and our home is the place where our marriage resides and the people of the family are nurtured and prepared to live out their lives in the world.
In the early years of my marriage my husband was working full-time and going to college full-time. He was usually working nights and going to school in the morning hours, leaving us with little time together because he needed to sleep and do his homework in the remaining time of the day. In that time frame we also had our two oldest boys eighteen months apart, we were one really stressed out little family! In our marriage we made unwise decisions with our time, money, words, and selfish actions toward each other.
In retrospect I realize that all of the “sins” of a selfish nature that were committed against me by my husband I harbored and in turn became bitter. In my bitterness I committed more “sins” in return in my angry words, bringing up the past in every fight, and rubbing his bad choices in his face regularly. It was my “foolish” and wicked heart that began plucking down my home and my marriage figuratively with my hands but mainly with my mouth.
In the New Testament Jesus teaches where the source of mouth troubles begins.
“A good man out of the good treasure of his heart bringeth forth that which is good; and an evil man out of the evil treasure of his heart bringeth forth that which is evil: for of the abundance of the heart his mouth speaketh.” ~Luke 6:45
The source of the destruction in my home was a result of the sin in my heart. My mouth was only the mirrored reflection of the sin on the inside.
God began working on my heart and pointing out to me that I was causing more damage than my husband ever did. In so doing He pointed out that I needed to building up my home by building up my husband. One night on a piece of paper I wrote out:
“Commit thy works unto the Lord and thy thoughts shall be established.” ~Proverbs 16:3
My thoughts needed to be changed and in order to change my thoughts I was going to have to change my actions.
I continued to write out a list of my husband’s admirable qualities to remind myself in the times I was thinking badly about him.
The list reads:
- He is slow to anger.
- He is forgiving.
- He is faithful to our marriage.
- He is hardworking.
- He is dedicated to his employer.
- He is determined to finish college.
- He is improving his leadership skills.
I wrote out another list of impressions and thoughts that I needed to stop giving and saying. I did not always say these things specifically but they were often attitudes that I was demonstrating through the things I was saying and doing to get back at my husband and driving my husband away. This is a humbling list to share because you can see the inward selfishness and blame I was shifting onto my husband regularly.
- You are not good enough.
- It is all your fault.
- You can’t do it right and never will.
- You are a bad father.
- Your leadership is inadequate.
- You don’t do anything for our family.
- You are lazy and unmotivated.
- You priorities are all screwed up.
- I can’t trust you and won’t.
- I don’t like you.
- You are stupid.
In order to commit my works unto the Lord, I had to begin thinking in a positive and honest way about my husband. The last list I made that night was a list of things that should be said to my husband.
- You are valuable as a person.
- You are needed in our family.
- Your sacrifice is appreciated.
- Your opinions and thoughts matter.
- Your progress is evident.
- You are a great student.
- Keep up the good work!
- Our finances are much better now that we work together on them.
- You need some rest.
- Thank you for your time.
- What can I do to help you?
- You are handsome. You look nice today.
- I like the way you did/do that.
- Thank you for helping me with _________.
- That was a wonderful idea.
- I am praying for you.
This list is a list that anyone can use to build up the people in your home. Even in our hurt and bitterness we can turn against our children and say or give the wrong impression about who they are. It is not the power of positive thinking that will help you build the people in your family, it is the power of true and righteous thinking! Study Philippians 4 to know what your thoughts should be focused on.
I wish I could say that I have mastered the art of building up my husband with my words now that we have almost been married for eleven years. It takes a conscious effort to continue to commit my works unto the Lord so that my thoughts will be established to make a right choice to wisely build up my home instead of foolishly tearing it down.