There’s a verse that has been on my mind lately. I saw this verse recently on Instagram of all places and have had it saved on my phone for a while now. I was reminded of it the other day when I was, according to this verse, acting very foolish…
“The wise woman builds her house, but the foolish tear it down with her own hands.” Proverbs 14:1
Its an amazing responsibility we have, as the women in our households, to either build up our homes with encouragement, safety, and love…or do the exact opposite and tear it down with judgement, sarcasm, and anger.
The day that this verse came to my mind, I was being more like that “clangy cymbal lady” that the Bible says to stay away from…and for good reason. I’ve noticed in my marriage that when I have days when I’m short tempered and irritated, it really effects our communication, and therefore our joy and happiness.
Have you ever been around someone who is a “Debbie Downer”? Maybe you were really looking forward to an activity or an outing, and the person you were going with was in a bad mood, or was acting like they couldn’t care less or be bothered? How did that effect your day? It was pretty awful, right?
Well, that’s the kind of presence we have in our own homes with our own families. Our attitude will more than likely set the tone for the whole day. And, I don’t know about you, but there are a lot of days that I struggle to be cheerful and sincere.
Most days I feel like there is so much to get done. The to-do list never shortens. I feel like my time is split between 5 different places, and something is always lacking the attention it needs.
I’m sure we all feel that way from time to time. But then what do we do? We add on more…. We add on kids, pets, church functions, bigger houses (with bigger bills & more to clean…AHHH!!!), more projects at work, and the list goes on and on.
It’s all good stuff, and can be things that lead us to a happy more fulfilled life….but, how can we do it all and still remain joy-filled and not overwhelmed?
Well, that’s an excellent question…and if you happen to have some miraculous answer, please do share! I’m sure we would all appreciate knowing your secret!
I don’t have an answer either or a magic formula, because…lets be honest…my husband may be reading this…I fail at this more often than not. It’s not my intention, but it happens. So, how do we break the cycle and begin building our families back up again and creating joy-filled households?
Lets try to apply these 5 steps to our every day life & see how this changes our homes…
- Find Your Focus- have you ever actually listed out the qualities you want your home to have; the way you would like your family to conduct themselves; or how you’d like your house to function….like a Family Mission Statement? I have…And it became another arduous long seemingly impossible list. So let’s try to focus on what’s really important. In our household, as we are preparing to hopefully bring children into this mess, I want to focus on family unity. I want to make it a point to carve out as much family time as possible… go on adventures together, have traditions we carry on each year, and therefore make lots and lots of happy memories. My hope and intention is that the unity and happy memories will carry our family through some of the hard times. Because let’s face it, we’re all going to encounter hard times. Maybe once we know what our focus truly is in our families, we will be slower to react in anger so as to not wreck the good work we’ve already done in our homes. Which leads me to the next point…
- Keep Faith First- I want my future hypothetical children to grow up in a home where God is the center. A place where we pray for each other and those around us. Where we practice forgiveness and honesty. Where we attend church together. Where we have strong Christian values that are talked about and understood. Let’s be honest, shall we? There are going to be days where we are hanging on by a thread, and we will need the Grace of God to get us through the day without loosing our minds. Having that foundation of faith as part of our big main focus will allow us to continue building the good strong home environment that we all long for.
- Take A Time Out- Sometimes the best thing we can do for ourselves and for our families is to step away. Whether that be for a few minutes while we gather our thoughts, or whether it be for an afternoon of relaxing at the spa (doesn’t that sound amazing?)….sometimes we just plain need a breather! This can be hard to do with all the demands we face today, and you may have to get a little creative. Don’t lose yourself though in the process of growing and developing a family unit. You still matter. And once you start to take care of yourself, you will be able to give more and hopefully not feel completely drained.
- Remember That Guy By Your Side- Do you still remember that guy you fell for so many moons ago? That guy you’d do anything to impress and win over? Yah, he’s still there. Often hidden in the shadows of the other half a gazillion things that consume your time. You two were the start of your family, and most likely you’ll be the two together in the end when all the kids have flown the coup. Life is moving by at lightening speed, even though there are days that can’t end fast enough. Don’t forget about him…talk to him, love on him, & cherish him. Once again creativity may be needed, but carve out some time for just the two of you. Go on dates; have special dinners together; find a hobby you both like. It can be done…and it must be done. A strong marriage is another pivotal point of building up our households. Forgetting about your spouse, your partner in crime, your better half…is like winding up the wrecking ball and getting it primed to take a swing at your precious family home. The relationship you have with each other effects your home in more ways than we could count. So, work on it, value it, and don’t take your marriage for granted.
- Surrender It All- Ultimately our days are planned for us already, so why not surrender our everything…our family time, our prayers, our church, our homes, our marriages, our lives… to God. I can work on all these points and have our home and marriage prepped for having babies, but in the end, God has already determined my life for me. He knows what my family will look like. He already knows who my kiddos will be long before I do…when they’ll arrive, what their interests will be, what they’ll be when they grow up. It’s crazy to think about. And, He knows the same for your family too. Whether you are just beginning your family like we are, or if you’re in the middle of raising your kids, or if your kids are all grown and your household has changed…God knows our path. So let’s surrender everything we do to Him who is the author of our lives.
Will you join me today in applying these steps to your life? Isn’t it exciting that we as the women in our household carry so much influence on our families. Let’s not get overwhelmed by this, but instead look at the wonderful opportunity we’ve been given. First find your Family Focus, Keep the Faith, Take a Timeout when you need to (or even when you don’t…no judgement here!), Keep Dating That Guy that’s been by your side this whole time (thank him today for that!), & Surrender It All to the Almighty God who has set our days, good and bad, into motion. Are you encouraged? I know I am. Let’s go to work building our joy-filled households, shall we?!