Working Together To Build For The Future
The first two verses of Proverbs 14 addresses our roles in developing our homes, churches and lives . Interestingly, it starts with the woman. While the man is considered the head of the family, God chooses to speak first to the women in this Proverb. God looks to empower the women in our churches and homes with this order, not to overtake the man, but to let her know that she is as important to the development of the Kingdom of God as her male counterpart. She is tasked with being wise in her decision making and actions. While the following verse talks about men living a good and devoted life to God, he can accomplish this far more easily with the prayers and wise counsel of a good woman in his life. Having a woman to lay up prayers of protection and preservation for the family and church allows our men to direct the family with confidence knowing that he is guarded. If a man doesn't have a wife, he needs to seek prayer from his mother or from a trusted elder in the church. Our men need to be covered in prayer if they are to help expand the Kingdom of God and direct our families through the murky waters of this world.
A woman's role isn't just to protect her man, but also to grow her house by teaching those within her influence. This includes her children, but also those who are in need of teaching in the church. Throughout the Bible, women are commanded to teach and lead those who are in need of instruction. God designed both genders differently. While a man might be able to inspire and even educate people on the Word, God seems to have put a special purpose inside of each woman to nurture and develop those in need. As a mother nourishes her child, so should our women purpose to nourish the church and the lost with the Word of God and with prayers. As she does this, it is incumbent on the man to lead his family and the church into new territory and deeper understanding of God's Word.
The main thing we find from these opening verses is that it takes a unified front from both the men and women in our families and churches if we are to grow and develop in God. Everyone has a role and working in that role will bring us to new successes in God we never thought possible.
What it takes to Be a Builder
Obviously wisdom, right living and devotion to God our key elements in building our homes and the Kingdom. However, the remainder of Proverbs 14 gives us further insight into what it takes to be a builder of others.
Faithfulness is key. It takes an honest and consistent witness to be a builder of others (v.5). If they can't count on us to be there and tell them what we believe, we can't hope to reach them.
Next, we must be prudent. Being cautious in what we say, how we say it and who we say it to is key and will open us to further direction from God (v.8). Everyone is in a different place with God, whether saved or unsaved, and we must be sensitive to their place in relationship with God if we hope to help them.
Don't count on your own ideas or thinking. We must abstain from our own understanding and the ways of man when it comes to important spiritual and developmental matters (v.12). People's souls aren't spread sheet data. There's no way to quantify or systematize soul winning. It takes a personal touch and the leading of God in each case.
The enemy is looking to tear us down. We must be devoted to God if we are to abstain from falling into evil while we pursue the development of the Kingdom and our families (v.16). One false step and we can destroy our witness.
Being closed off or introverted won't work. We must be friendly and open to others, especially the less fortunate (v.20-21). If we can do unto the least of those in our society, it will be a witness to everyone else.
Planning is great, but it requires action. We must be willing to act and not just talk and plan if we want to see profit (v.23). Making reasonable goals in our plans help, but it also takes faith and commitment to the cause to achieve whatever we have set before us.
The Truth shall set them free. If we are true in our witness we will grow the Kingdom and our household (v.25). People want the truth. We just have to be willing to give it to them.
We can't win someone with out being God-centered. Acting like God in our actions and words will inspire people and produce growth (v.29-31). This will bring us closer to God, also.
Interestingly, all of these tools for building our homes and churches require the elements found in the first two verses: wisdom, right living and devotion to God. When we have those three basic principles down, it opens us up to a wider array of blessings and opportunity from God. They will help us see growth in every area of our lives and in the Kingdom of God. Moreover, we will be happy and fulfilled in God.
Commit to your role in the Kingdom of God and your household.
Bring wisdom, right living an devotion to God to the forefront of your priorities.
See how these expand your ability to use the tools above to grow you home and the Kingdom.
Chris Farris is the author of The Way, a manual detailing how to implement the Beatitudes into your life. He review events and other media and offers other insights into writing and working for the Kingdom of God.