Recently, a friend of mine, who doesn’t really cook very much, decided to cook something special for her husband. For someone that cooks all the time, this is no big deal; but for someone who does not cook, this was a true challenge and an opportunity to bless her husband. As she told me what she was doing for her husband, I was challenged in my own life to do something specific for my husband, Curtis.
As I thought about her and what she was doing, I was reminded of Proverbs 14:1 that says “The wise woman builds her house, but with her own hands the foolish one tears hers down.” How do we do that? — Through our words and by our actions. I thought about that with regard to my life. How could I build my house? How could I bless Curtis? What were some things that I didn’t want to do but was willing to do for my husband?
I like to mow the lawn. It’s great exercise, and I really enjoy the quiet time. As I mow, I pray and talk to the Lord. So for me, even though it’s physical work, I find it relaxing at the same time; however, there are things regarding the yard work that I don’t like to do like toting plants, compost, etc., in the wheelbarrow. The back of my yard has a slight hill; so when you push the wheelbarrow from the back to the front yard, you have to push the wheelbarrow uphill. When it’s full, it’s a workout. Once or twice is ok, but more than that is just too much. Honestly, I just don’t want to do it. I kept thinking of my friend and how she blessed her husband. I love my husband, and I wanted to show my love for him through my actions.
We had a pile of limbs and tree cuttings that were in a big pile and needed to be taken to the front yard for the tree truck that comes by weekly. Curtis has been working a lot, and I’m sure the last thing he wants to do when he gets home is pick up yard clippings and debris. So yes, I picked them up and wheel barrowed them to the front. And let me just say, there were more than two trips! You’re probably thinking that’s no big deal, and you’re probably right; however, what speaks to my spouse probably won’t speak to yours.
It’s not about the specific chore or service; it’s about showing love through our actions, not just our words. It’s through these small acts of kindness that we build our house, that we build up our marriage, that we build up our spouse.
When I specifically think about the Proverbs woman, not just Proverbs 14:1, but the Proverbs 31 Woman — wow, she’s a hard act to follow. Yet there has to be some things in there that I can learn from her to build my house.
My husband and I will be married 35 years this year. But in our early years of marriage, there were times that I did the opposite of building my house. I’ve told Curtis for years that there are only two ways out of this marriage – – death or rapture, whichever comes first. Divorce is not an option. This has truly been my mentality throughout the years we have been married. God wants us to do more than coexist in a marriage. He does not want us to live miserably victorious. God’s desire for my marriage is that we truly love one another, build each other up and love like He does.
Many years ago, when Curtis and I went through a difficult season in our marriage, I remember praying for the Lord to change him and “deal” with him. One day the Lord told me to remove the board from my eye so that I could see the splinter in my husband’s eye. I was quick to argue with the Lord telling Him that He had the two of us confused. LOL. The Lord told me to work on myself and let Him take care of Curtis. So the Lord began calling me to do simple acts of service, things for my husband that were specifically for him and no one else, things that he would know were only for him. And to be honest, many times, the things that God asked me to do, I really did not want to do them. However, as I laid down my selfishness, pressed through and was obedient to the Lord, things began to change in our marriage for the better. I remember being obedient to the Lord as He would suggest things.
About a year later, my husband thanked me one day for changing. He said if I hadn’t changed, he probably never would have. So somebody had to start. Somebody had to take the first step. At the time I didn’t want to go first; but now 25 years later, I’m glad I did. I can honestly say that I love my husband more today than I did when we got married. Regardless of that, it does not disqualify us from having bumps in the road.
I think of the scripture that talks about perseverance and running our race. Perseverance builds character. Marriage and parenting is not for wimps. It builds character. (Romans 5:3-5)
James 1:5 (NIV) 5 If any of you lacks wisdom, you should ask God, who gives generously to all without finding fault, and it will be given to you.
Ask God for His wisdom for your marriage, for your family, for your relationships. Ask Him specifically what act of kindness He would suggest for you to do for that special person in your life. Ask the Lord today how you can build your house.