Build It or Break It

Build It or Break It

“The wisest of women builds her house, but folly with her own hands tears it down.”  

Proverbs 14:1


Today you have a choice.

And tomorrow.

And the day after that.


As women establishing our households, which we’ll define as the atmosphere, habits and relationships in our homes, the Bible teaches that we are faced with this choice:


Build it or destroy it.


There really is no middle ground.  If I want to be numbered among the wisest of women, I have to intentionally make choices with my words, looks, actions and attitudes that add stability and beauty to my home.  Features like grace, trust, order, joy and holiness.


If being part of that club is not a priority in my life, by default I am going to employ words, looks, actions and attitudes that weaken, deface and crumble my family life.  I have witnessed families being destroyed by external circumstances or foolish husbands, but in more cases than not, I have seen women destroy their homes by their own doing.


We are all at risk of this because we all have our “tearing” tendencies.  I regularly battle mine:


  • Fretting over what has to get done in a given day, and bemoaning all that didn’t.
  • Picking at and “improving” my young ladies instead of nurturing and enjoying them.
  • Giving grace-deficient responses to my guy when I’m tired or preoccupied.
  • Waiting until the furry growths in my shower are large enough to name before I clean them.


But God, true to His promise to bless my faith-filled efforts, has allowed me to see some progress in my household-building efforts when I employ my hands, expressions, voice and time for construction instead of destruction.  So today I want to share with you some of the choice “bricks” I reach for that have added stability and beauty to my home over the last 20 years.


To build my house, I try to:


  1. Preempt the fight by choosing to diffuse it before it escalates.
  2. Choose a gentle tone even when I don’t feel gentle on the inside.
  3. Read one chapter of Proverbs for each day of the month to grow in practical wisdom.
  4. Soften the endless request and commands of the day with tender names like “Sweetheart”, “Honey” or “Darling”.
  5. Utilize candles, music or rocking chairs to slow myself and create an inviting atmosphere.
  6. Have a plan for meals and do some dinner prep earlier in the day.
  7. End each day with a clean kitchen.
  8. Surprise my kiddos with random acts of humour and silliness, like wet-cloth tag, decisively out-belching them or opening my daughter’s window in the car wash. (Yes.  Yes I did.)
  9. Play with my hubby’s hair while riding with him in the car.
  10. Pack love notes in lunches.
  11. Use sweet speech, not volume, to increase my persuasiveness.
  12. Keep inspiring quotes or verses to memorize on my kitchen blackboard or by my sink.
  13. Seek forgiveness quickly and grant forgiveness readily.
  14. Cuddle awake sleepy trolls and bring breakfast or tea when necessary.
  15. Plan and work so that I am not busy or mentally preoccupied in the evenings.
  16. Minimize drastically the time my family observes me looking at a personal electronic device.
  17. Invest my minutes creating something of value for the precious ones in my life instead of consuming information about someone else’s life.
  18. Identify and thank God for the blessings that necessitate all the mundane responsibilities that fill my days.
  19. Take holy naps. (Def: a brief rest taken intentionally for the purpose of joyfully engaging family and preventing sin.)
  20. Begin my day with God since he’s the only one who can help me do all these things that go against my selfish nature.


Build it or Break it?  We’ll do one or the other with our hands, expressions, voices and time today.


What’ll it be?



  1. Flourishing in the Ordinary – Foundational Truth | Janet Surette - […] relationships in our homes.  In that post I addressed the building or tearing choice we each have (great practical…

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