Several years ago we put new locks on the doors of our church and we issued keys to those that needed them. A few days later when I came to work I put the key in the door it wouldn’t work.
After I looked closer at the key ring I realized it was my old set of keys. No matter how sincere I was the wrong key wasn’t going to work.
Building a successful home requires using the correct key. Using the wrong approach will always result in failure. And no one wants to fail.
As I write this my wife and I have been married for over thirty-eight years. While we haven’t had a perfect family we love each other and enjoy spending time together. Paula and I have learned much about the fundamentals in having a happy home.
While there is more than one single quality that defines a strong family, one stands out above others.
A key in building a strong home is wisdom. This wisdom is found in the Bible, from the Author that designed the family. He has given timeless, universal principles as to how a home is to function. When we honor God’s principles they will honor us. It is not a matter of luck or chance, but of honoring the plan of the divine Architect.
Leo Tolstoy said, “Happy families are all alike; every unhappy family is unhappy in it’s own way”.
The common thread of strong families is their knowledge and application of God’s wisdom. Wisdom is one of the most valuable possessions one can acquire.
Wisdom is better than vast amounts of money. The Bible teaches that there is no comparison between wisdom and great riches. It is folly to spend time and energy to make a large income and to neglect the wisdom found in God’s Word.
“How much better is it to get wisdom than gold! and to get understanding rather to be chosen than silver!” (Proverbs 16:16)
Wisdom is better than having a strong body. I battle a chronic disease that gradually has dissipated my strength. One of the emotional challenges of this is that I can still remember when I was strong and able to do things I can’t do now.
But I can still grow in God’s wisdom daily.
“Wisdom is better than strength…” (Ecclesiastes 9:16)
If I neglect the wisdom of God in His Word I will become discouraged in my soul and it will affect my relationship to my wife, children and grandchildren. The joy I gain from His Word changes my attitude and spirit.
Wisdom is better than military might. While building weaponry to secure our nation is not wrong, it is not enough. Even better is to have wisdom, the ability to solve problems and to keep them from happening in the first place.
“Wisdom is better than weapons of war…” (Ecclesiastes 9:18)
Leadership is established by one’s ability to solve problems and that comes through wisdom. There is a time to fight and war, but there is also a time to conquer through wisdom.
There is much more to be said about wisdom in the Bible. Suffice it to say that it is the key to a successful life, family and nation. Without it we will fail.
When wisdom is absent the sure result is our living like a fool. And a fool disrupts everything in his environment.
Parents especially pay the price when their children lack wisdom and behave foolishly.
Foolish children bring hurt to their parents. The Bible states that “… a foolish son is the heaviness of his mother.” (Proverbs 10:1) The word “heaviness” carries the idea of grief, sorrow and depression. A foolish child breaks the heart of his parents.
I’m sure I did this to my parents at times and I’m sorry for it. Sometimes we have grieved over bad decisions of our kids. We still loved them, but it didn’t assuage the hurt.
Foolish children hold their parents in contempt. The Bible says “… a foolish man despiseth his mother.” (Proverbs 15:20) The word “despiseth” means to hold one in disdain and contempt. It is an attitude as well as an action. Fools fail to respect and honor others, whether it is a parent, sibling or your husband or wife.
When we neglect to discipline our children and hold them accountable for their actions we are leading them to a life of destruction.
A strong and happy home is not established accidentally. It is the result of wise parents and spouses investing God’s principles in the way they build their home.
The key ingredient in building a strong home is God’s wisdom – “Every wise woman buildeth her house…” (Proverbs 14:1)
“Through wisdom is an house builded; and by understanding it is established”. (Proverbs 24:3)
As a husband and father I committed early in my marriage to building my family around the principles of the Bible. That doesn’t mean I followed them perfectly, but I was sincere about discovering and applying them. Whatever is good in our family can be traced to our honoring God and His Word.
Failing to build a family on wisdom results in destruction – “…the foolish plucketh (the home) down with her hands.” (Proverbs 14:1) The words “plucketh down” are very strong. It means to be broken in pieces, in absolute and utter ruin. This involves pain and sorrow.
Ultimately, there are only two types of families. Those that are carefully and intentionally constructed with God’s wisdom and those that are just hoping it will work.
One has God’s blessing and hope; the other ends in ruins with shattered children, broken marriages and despair.
One of the motivations that drives me to write the posts on this blog are the tears I have caught and stories from broken hearts I have heard through the years. I desperately want to help people make a difference in their homes. Even the name of the blog, http://www.familyencouragement.com, reflects this desire.
In the following posts I’ll be focusing on three wise actions one can take that will result in building a strong family. I trust they will give you hope that there can be a better day.