A wise woman builds her home, but a foolish woman tears it down with her own hands…
I was thinking the other day how it’s so easy to get frustrated with the smaller things of life. The seemingly large and blown-out-of-proportion scenarios that really stem from tiny annoyances are often the catalysts for our frustrated outbursts. With just one utterance of an unkind word, a killer look, or a frustrated display of body language, we can bring the spirit of our family down in ruins.
I know that’s putting a lot of pressure on us moms. I know it’s hard to tame the tongue and keep our feelings upbeat when we’re feeling the pressures that life demands- trying to make it all happen with a smile on our faces. But the Word of God says that a wise woman builds her house. So rather than tearing it down with a bad attitude we need to ask the Lord for strength and wisdom to build our homes for His glory.
And just how do we do that?
Of course it’s easy to get upset at your kids when they’re dragging 10 feet behind us in the grocery store and whining for the Lucky Charms cereal or when our infant is screaming loudly to be nursed right when you’ve gotten your over-full cart and 3 kids towed to the check out counter. It’s easy to blow your steam when you’ve had that talk with your teenage son or daughter for the gazillionth time about coming in late or being more responsible around the house. And then there are the petty annoyances- like the toothpaste being squeeze from the middle instead of the bottom or the toilet paper rolled being placed on the wrong way- whatever rocks you off your boat.
No matter how big or small, any annoyance can escalate into a much larger, more sophisticated, and hugely complex issue. Just give it some time, and if you’re not patient, you’ll stew until your issue at hand becomes bigger than life.
This is where you need to take a moment, take a deep breath, and remember that you represent God’s child in your home. In fact, you ARE a child of God. So you now have the responsibility to walk out your faith. Remember the fruit of the spirit? Patience is one of them. I know- easier said than done. I’m no poster child for perfection, but I’ve learned one key thing in life recently that has made all the difference in my outlook when issues arise. Being patient is the one key strategy to letting go of our control and letting God take our situation and make of it what He will in His timing. When we practice patience, we actually practice rest. The Word of God says in Matthew 11:28 “Come to me, all who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest.” Patience may seem like hard labor. After all, who among us naturally lends ourselves to patience? Which one of us feels like patience is innately part of our makeup? I don’t know of a single mom who doesn’t have trouble being patient sometimes. But God’s word promises that when we practice His patience, even in the midst of our toughest situations, He gives us rest. So there is a relief, there is hope, and there is rest in walking out the Fruit of the Spirit in our lives.
This is a personal season of recalibrating for me. My husband has a new job, we’ve relocated, and I’m weeding out the old in my life so that I can embrace the new God has in store. But this means in the midst of my busy-ness, I have to slow down. Slowing down long enough to hear from the Lord is pertinent. Part of building our homes is being available to the people in our homes. If we’re so super busy that we barely have time to do anything except the basics for our husband and kids, then we can’t really plan on building on a foundation that isn’t complete. A secure home desparately needs the foundation of one or both parents to navigate the atmosphere of the household into one of peace and joy. THis can’t be done when we’re too busy to notice what the atmosphere in our home is like. Remember to slow down and focus on making your home a peaceful sanctuary to the best of your ability. Do what you can and leave the rest up to God.
Last but not least, smile more often. It’s amazing what this simple gesture can do to your home. If you find yourself often criticizing, mocking, belittling, or shouting at your kids and husband- beware that the foundation of your home most definitely has a big, faulty crack. A wise woman builds her home by making amends. Make your foundation strong. Show love. Be patient. Smile often. The Bible says “A soft answer turns away wrath”. Change the way you respond to your kids and your husband when they irritate you (because they will). You may not be able to change their behavior or attitudes, but you can change yours- and you can set the tone for the family. Your family is watching you, listening to the words you speak, watching your body language, and hearing your tone of voice. THey are very aware of your disposition throughout the course of the day, and will soak in your energy- whether positive or negative. So make it an opporutnity for positive influence, lower your voice, speak patiently, and give more smiles.
Hey, I know about the sharp tones that get our kids’ attention when nothing else does- and don’t think I haven’t gone there recently! But in general, if we practice patience we’ll find that we’ll not need to fuss so often, if we slow down long enough to hear someone out we won’t need to criticize, and if we put a smile on our face- we might just drastically shift the atmosphere in our home.
Try it- then let me know how building your home is coming along!
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