I was asked to speak at a women's tea at my church this past Saturday. A few people have asked for a copy so I thought I would just put the whole speech I had written here.
Through wisdom a house is built, And by understanding it is established; By knowledge the rooms are filled With all precious and pleasant riches.
Today I would like to talk to you about a couple of things the Lord put on my heart regarding being a homebuilder.
The first has to do with us as wives.
The wise woman builds her house, But the foolish pulls it down with her hands.
An excellent wife is the crown of her husband, But she who causes shame is like rottenness in his bones.
Awhile back I read a story about a Christian couple who were doing a family life seminar at a large conservative church. When people arrived at the seminar they were all given age appropriate questionnaires. Every child from about age 10 up to single adults still living at home were asked these two questions.
1. Is your home happy?
2. What one thing would you like to see changed in your home that would make you a happier person?
This couple thought they would get some answers like more freedom, or to be able to have name brand clothes. They hoped for some serious answers like wanting to be trusted or to spend more time with their parents. But the answers they received back were heart breaking.
Out of about 75 responses only 2-3 kids considered their homes happy. Almost all the answers to the second question were the same. They said something to the effect of ...
I wish my mom and dad would love each other.
Some of their actual responses were
"Our home would be happier if Mom and Dad would not fight."
"I would make my mom and dad like each other."
"We would have a happy home if Mom would not talk bad about Dad."
"I wish my mom would not talk back and make Dad get mad and yell." and
"Our home would be a more peaceful place if Mom would not walk around with this frozen bitterness. I feel like we live in a war zone."
It is really a sad story, but unfortunately it's not just that community this is happening in.
The divorce rate in America is 50%.
HALF of all marriages will end in divorce.
When you look at the divorce rate among people who claim to be Christians it is still 50%, and the divorce rate among born again Christians is even higher. On the contrary the divorce rate for agnostics and atheists is lower than the national average.
Is this the way it is supposed to look???
NO, of course not, but as a culture we've gone so far away from God's word. As Christians though, we are called to go back to it.
the older women likewise, that they be reverent in behavior, not slanderers, not given to much wine, teachers of good things—
that they admonish the young women to love their husbands, to love their children,to be discreet, chaste, homemakers, good, obedient to their own husbands, that the word of God may not be blasphemed.
This verse says older women but for me two women I learned a lot from about building a home were not much older than I was, but they had been walking with the Lord longer than I had been, and their families were doing well. They didn't have it all together but God still used them greatly in my life. So if you've been walking with the Lord for a long time teach other women these things and if your young in the Lord seek out Godly women because you can learn a lot from them.
Going back to that verse where it says obedient to their own husbands.
Colossians 3:18 says
Wives, submit to your own husbands, as is fitting in the Lord.
and let the wife see that she respects her husband.
Wives, submit to your own husbands, as to the Lord.
For the husband is head of the wife, as also Christ is head of the church; and He is the Savior of the body.
Therefore, just as the church is subject to Christ, so let the wives be to their own husbands in everything.
Submission is not an easy thing. We come from a fallen world and we're sinners. We want to have things our way. But God created us to be our husband's helpmeets. Not the other way around. I know in marriage the wife is only part of the equation but how much better would our marriages be if we as wives would choose to trust God and obey his word concerning this.
He who finds a wife finds a good thing, And obtains favor from the LORD.
As wives let's be a good thing to our husbands.
The second topic I want to talk about today is children.
The Bible tells us in Proverbs 22:6
Train up a child in the way he should go, And when he is old he will not depart from it.
What does it mean to train up?
Training is repetition. It's time consuming. It takes effort. We cannot just tell our kids to do something and expect it to get done. We have to train them to do it.
Just like when potty training a child, it takes time, and patience. It takes effort,and it takes us being diligent even when it is inconvenient to us.
Awhile back I read a book where a man who teaches about child training was talking about how misbehaved his dogs and horses were. Someone asked him why he didn't train them better. His response was because he didn't care enough about them.
I read that and thought "OUCH!" That stings. It's intense but there is so much truth in it.
There are many important things to train our children to do, one of which is to obey.
My husband and I heard a woman on the radio one day talking about how she trains her children to obey.
All the way, right away, and with a joyful heart.
We love that so we are trying to teach that same concept to our children.
All the way- because partial obedience is disobedience.
Right away-because not obeying quickly means you are still holding on to your own will so that too is disobedience.
(A good example of this is when parents count to three. They are training their children not to listen until there is a consequence.)
And with a joyful heart- because obeying grudgingly, doing it but being grumpy about it is also disobedience.
If our children don't obey these three ways we go back to the training. Discussing it with them and practicing.
Training is different than discipline. When training you look ahead to the desired goal and ask how do we get from here to there. Discipline on the other hand is a correction for sin.
The rod and rebuke give wisdom, But a child left to himself brings shame to his mother.and
He who spares his rod hates his son, But he who loves him disciplines him promptly.
I have heard many people say that spanking doesn't work or that when they were spanked as a child that it made them angry.
I believe the main reason for this is that most parents spank their kids because they are angry with the child or at what the child has done.
I believe the Lord would not have us spank because we are mad but because we desire for our children to do well so we spank them to correct the behavior.
When one of my kids has done something wrong I need to take them aside and talk to them about it making sure they see what they've done is wrong. Spank them for it, pray with them, hug them and let them know I love them.
It works. The sin is dealt with and our relationship is not severed. My child does not leave angry with me.
I know that there is a lot more to building a house than what I've mentioned here today, but these are some of the things the Lord has been pressing upon my heart and working with me on through the years.
So as wives and moms let's pray that God would give us wisdom in our families so that our homes would be glorifying to God.