Home Building Means Building Up Your Husband

Written by Erica, Contributing Writer

Solomon, the writer of most of the book of Proverbs, encourages us as women to build up our homes. One aspect of home building you can include is the act and art of building up your husband and other family members.

Building Up Your Husband

Every wise woman buildeth her house: but the foolish plucketh it down with her hands.”    ~ Proverbs 14:1

Marriage and home should be simultaneously built together because each one depends upon each other. Our marriage is lived and acted out in the home and our home is the place where our marriage resides and the people of the family are nurtured and prepared to live out their lives in the world.

In the early years of my marriage my husband was working full-time and going to college full-time. He was usually working nights and going to school in the morning hours, leaving us with little time together because he needed to sleep and do his homework in the remaining time of the day. In that time frame we also had our two oldest boys eighteen months apart, we were one really stressed out little family! In our marriage we made unwise decisions with our time, money, words, and selfish actions toward each other.

In retrospect I realize that all of the “sins” of a selfish nature that were committed against me by my husband I harbored and in turn became bitter. In my bitterness I committed more “sins” in return in my angry words, bringing up the past in every fight, and rubbing his bad choices in his face regularly. It was my “foolish” and wicked heart that began plucking down my home and my marriage figuratively with my hands but mainly with my mouth.

In the New Testament Jesus teaches where the source of mouth troubles begins.

A good man out of the good treasure of his heart bringeth forth that which is good; and an evil man out of the evil treasure of his heart bringeth forth that which is evil: for of the abundance of the heart his mouth speaketh.”  ~Luke 6:45

The source of the destruction in my home was a result of the sin in my heart. My mouth was only the mirrored reflection of the sin on the inside.

God began working on my heart and pointing out to me that I was causing more damage than my husband ever did. In so doing He pointed out that I needed to building up my home by building up my husband. One night on a piece of paper I wrote out:

“Commit thy works unto the Lord and thy thoughts shall be established.”   ~Proverbs 16:3

My thoughts needed to be changed and in order to change my thoughts I was going to have to change my actions.

I continued to write out a list of my husband’s admirable qualities to remind myself in the times I was thinking badly about him.

The list reads:

  • He is slow to anger.
  • He is forgiving.
  • He is faithful to our marriage.
  • He is hardworking.
  • He is dedicated to his employer.
  • He is determined to finish college.
  • He is improving his leadership skills.

I wrote out another list of impressions and thoughts that I needed to stop giving and saying. I did not always say these things specifically but they were often attitudes that I was demonstrating through the things I was saying and doing to get back at my husband and driving my husband away. This is a humbling list to share because you can see the inward selfishness and blame I was shifting onto my husband regularly.

  • You are not good enough.
  • It is all your fault.
  • You can’t do it right and never will.
  • You are a bad father.
  • Your leadership is inadequate.
  • You don’t do anything for our family.
  • You are lazy and unmotivated.
  • You priorities are all screwed up.
  • I can’t trust you and won’t.
  • I don’t like you.
  • You are stupid.

In order to commit my works unto the Lord, I had to begin thinking in a positive and honest way about my husband. The last list I made that night was a list of things that should be said to my husband.

  • You are valuable as a person.
  • You are needed in our family.
  • Your sacrifice is appreciated.
  • Your opinions and thoughts matter.
  • Your progress is evident.
  • You are a great student.
  • Keep up the good work!
  • Our finances are much better now that we work together on them.
  • You need some rest.
  • Thank you for your time.
  • What can I do to help you?
  • You are handsome. You look nice today.
  • I like the way you did/do that.
  • Thank you for helping me with _________.
  • That was a wonderful idea.
  • I am praying for you.

This list is a list that anyone can use to build up the people in your home. Even in our hurt and bitterness we can turn against our children and say or give the wrong impression about who they are. It is not the power of positive thinking that will help you build the people in your family, it is the power of true and righteous thinking! Study Philippians 4 to know what your thoughts should be focused on.

I wish I could say that I have mastered the art of building up my husband with my words now that we have almost been married for eleven years. It takes a conscious effort to continue to commit my works unto the Lord so that my thoughts will be established to make a right choice to wisely build up my home instead of foolishly tearing it down.

You may have a different struggle but I want to encourage you to take whatever steps necessary to be a wise home builder in not only the things you do at home but in love toward your husband and family!


Managing it All without Losing Your Mind

By Jolene Engle, Contributing Writer

I’m not fond of living in chaos.  A rushed life.  Frazzled.  Always behind.  This way of life leaves me feeling defeated in all my roles.Often times I have felt like I was going to lose my mind in all of the juggling of everyday life! Something needed to change because I felt like a failure. Overwhelmed with life. Constantly drowning in my responsibilities.

Most women fill the following roles:

  • Daughter of the Most High God.
  • Wife.
  • Mother.
  • Homemaker.
  • Possible work at home mom or work outside of the home.
  • Woman in ministry.
  • The list could go on with all the areas that we manage…

And sometimes this list is a lot to balance and juggle in the day to day life.  Often times I have felt like I was going to lose my mind in all of the juggling.

Something needed to change because I felt like a failure.  Overwhelmed with life.  Constantly drowning in my responsibilities.

If you’re a woman, am I speaking your language?

Here is what I’ve learned to do in my own life so I wouldn’t lose it.

  • Know the ‘why’.  Why am I getting up early?  Why am I spending time with the Lord?  Why am I considering my husband’s needs, the needs of my kids, etc.

Your life and my life will look different because we will have different priorities and different callings, but we have the same Savior. And our hearts should want to spill out to give Him glory in all we do.  (Even if it is cleaning a toilet!)

And whatever you do, do it heartily, as to the Lord and not to men, knowing that from the Lord you will receive the reward of the inheritance; for you serve the Lord Christ.  Col. 3:23,34

Knowing How to Spend Your Time

Keep first things, first. If I seek to prioritize my responsibilities rather than try to balance them, then I find that my attitude and actions are generally much more loving.  My heart and disposition is calm rather than chaotic and I don’t feel nearly overwhelmed with life.  When I try to take the ‘balance’ approach in life I feel like I’m pursuing some elusive goal that I can’t attain.

God Comes First

For me, if I wake early and spend time in the Word, then my spiritual cup is filled, therefore I can supernaturally pour into others.

Get in Motion

When I exercise in the morning, this gets my body in motion.  Exercising my body helps me to move about in my day as I clean my home and prep for meals. (And wrangle a few boys. :))  When I skip the exercise, lethargy overtakes me and the last thing I want to do is work hard in my home.  I can totally see the difference in my productivity levels when I do and don’t exercise.

Where Does Your Husband Fit Into Your Day?

I find out from my husband what he needs from me.  This could be something I asked him about the night before, or a conversation I’ve had with him throughout the years so I would know his preferences.  Is he around for breakfast? Lunch?  Dinner?  Does he need something from the store?  What are his priorities for our marriage and family life?

After all that, Make Your Schedule for the Day

Then I look at my schedule.  Are my boys at activities that I need to drive them to?  Are there meetings I need to attend?  Or is laundry on the schedule for that day?  Or is it meal-planning?  Grocery shopping?

I have learned over the years that my schedule will change due to the age of my children or perhaps some of the trials we’re living through, like managing my health or dealing with a season of financial hardship.

And then I use this mental image to help me out.  Let me share it with you:

Imagine you’re holding a plate in your hand.  Now put the most important thing on your plate first.

For example, your time with God would be the main course.

Then add your husband and his needs, as well as your desires for your relationship.

Then add the kids’ needs (obviously if you’re dealing with a sick child, you take care of them first!)

Then your home.  The cleaning of it.  The laundry.  The grocery shopping, etc.  In my life, I have certain days when I plan to do these things.  And sometimes when I’m too lazy for the planning, I then cause my own chaos!  I get behind and that’s when I start to juggle everything.

If you’re working inside or outside the home, you’ll have to add this to your plate.

If you’re involved in ministry, like me, then you need to make sure this does not supersede your first ministries.

All of the above can be managed on one plate, but if some portions are too big, your plate will eventually crack.  And that’s when we lose it!  For example, sometimes we over commit by signing our children up for too many outside activities.  Or we say yes to too many church functions.  Or we get involved in too many ministries.  When these things happen, our priorities become out of whack.

I have found that I keep my priorities in order best when I do three things:

  1. I plan and schedule my days and responsibilities.
  2. I prepare the night before, meaning, I need to get to bed on time so I can tackle the next day without feeling like I’m already behind.
  3. I consider my plate.  If it’s too full, I freely say ‘no’ to men because I’m ultimately saying ‘yes’ to God.

Sure, there will be seasons of our lives where we will feel like we’re living in chaos, but these seasons shouldn’t be the norm.  If this is your norm, perhaps try some planning or consider taking things off of your plate.  It’s okay to say no to a request, even if it’s a worthwhile one.

Now it’s your turn.  Are you living in calm or chaos?  Is it chaos because of a season, or lack of planning, or because you don’t even know where to even begin?  I’d love to hear your thoughts.

Often times I have felt like I was going to lose my mind in all of the juggling of everyday life! Something needed to change because I felt like a failure. Overwhelmed with life. Constantly drowning in my responsibilities.


Jolene @ The Alabaster Jar

Should Getting Married Before 25 Be Illegal?

A recent article in the Huffington Post tried to make the argument that getting married before 25 should be illegal.

should getting married before 25 be illegal?

Note: This post was originally published in June 2012. I thought it was time to get this out of the archives to help squash the young marriage myths! Jennifer’s argument revolved around her own personal experiences. She met her husband at 19, was married at 24 and was divorced by the time she was 29. She begins by saying, “Age is just a number… except when it comes to marriage.” She says that “I was enjoying the freedom of drinking and partying legally for the first time  (I live in Canada where the drinking age is 19).” She didn’t know who she was or what she wanted in life and ultimately this is why her marriage ended. I read articles like this and my first reaction is anger. Don’t they understand? But then I realize, no, they don’t understand. And then I feel sad for people who criticize young marriage like this because they didn’t get to experience the wonder and blessings that I have. 

I see why, to the world, young marriage seems a bizarre and immature thing. For the writer, she was busy drinking and partying at 19. What was I doing at 19? Not partying, and not drinking. I was finishing up my first year at a Christian university while my husband to be was finishing his junior year. I was planning my wedding and preparing for the future. I was learning and studying God’s word as to what it means to be a Godly wife. I was married when I was barely 19 and my hubby 21. The writer states, “I had yet to figure out who I was or what I wanted in my life. I was naïve and impressionable…” The writer looks back when she was 19 and feels that she had no idea who she was. She was partying but really didn’t know what she wanted with her life. I have heard this argument before and I think it is simply a cover up for selfishness. You don’t know what you want with your life? You don’t know who you are? Well, at 19 I knew a lot about myself. I knew that I was a daughter of the King. I was a Christ follower and that was the most important thing in my life. I knew God was calling me to be a Godly wife and hopefully future mother. I knew the Lord was calling me to serve my family and that He was calling my husband to provide and lead our family.

Did my husband know exactly what career path or employer he would eventually work for? No. Do we each have some interests that we didn’t have three years ago? Of course. But what is all this nonsense of not knowing who we are? The only important thing in our lives is that we are Christ followers. Everything else is just likes and interests. Well, why can’t we grow in those likes and interest together? I didn’t blog before we got married. It is a love that I developed after we got married. That doesn’t mean I am a different person than when I got married. I simply developed a new interest, and you know what? My husband developed that interest as well. He spends time learning what is exciting me this week. He takes the time to hear me tell him all about my blog world. He has learned to love blogging and I likewise, do the same with his new interests. Many times I wonder and think about what is wrong with our culture. Since Adam and Eve, the “norm” wasn’t to get married at 30. The “norm” was to look for a spouse in your teens. I am not advocating that we should be marrying 13 year olds. BUT it has only been the past 20-30 years of ALL of  history that we decided that 20 was too young. 20 year olds are babies now. Little more than children, they can’t possible make important life decisions.  But other places in the world today, and throughout history have considered 20 year olds adults. Why are we making a society of children adults? But I digress…

The writer of the article also shares that after the excitement of planning a wedding they settled into married life and “because we had started dating at such a young age, he [her husband] was marrying someone who had absolutely no idea who she was and what she wanted in her life. In short, it was a recipe for divorce.” Can I just ask…how is that a recipe for divorce? So you didn’t know what career you wanted to go into? I know that for my husband and I, we have grown up together! We have learned what it means to actually have a little extra money coming in! We have learned together what it means to be careless with our money and also what it means to figure out how to save money. We have learned through tears and fights what it means to work things out. We have learned together what life is like graduating from college and starting careers. And know we are learning together what it means to be parents and eagerly anticipate the arrival of our first bundle of joy. And you know what? I am 22 years old. I know my husband and I both have a lot of learning and growing to do in the years to come, but we are excited to walk that journey together. I can’t wait to see how the Lord molds my husband into an excellent father and leader of our home. Will we change over the years? Of course. God calls us to continually grow in Him and walk in Godliness.

I know many 19-year-olds who are NOT ready for marriage, but I also know selfish immature 30-year-olds who are not ready for marriage either. So in all, yes, marriage IS just a number. And I am so thankful that the Lord brought us together at such a young age. We have a strong and solid marriage and can’t wait to welcome a new addition to our family later this year. I would’t have it any other way. If the author of that article had her way, I wouldn’t be married for another 3 years. I would have missed out on 6 fabulous years with my husband, that is something that makes me very sad to think about!

You can read more posts I have done about young marriage {It’s somewhat of a passion of mine}

Should Getting Married before 25 be illegal

Photo by Marta Starbucks ♣

The Intent of the Heart {Biblical Modesty}

A discussion of Biblical Modesty must first begin with Scripture. The Bible is sufficient for showing us how to live our lives and there is no exception when it comes to how we dress and act.

The Intent of the Heart - Biblical Modesty

We are called to live modest lives, whether that is in dress, character, or actions.

Likewise, wives, be subject to your own husbands, so that even if some do not obey the word, they may be won without a word by the conduct of their wives, when they see your respectful and pure conduct. Do not let your adorning be external—the braiding of hair and the putting on of gold jewelry, or the clothing you wear—  but let your adorning be the hidden person of the heart with the imperishable beauty of a gentle and quiet spirit, which in God’s sight is very precious. 1 Peter 3:1-4

Slow down, stop and read that verse again. There are a few very important lessons to take from this passage in 1 Peter.

Our modest behavior can have an effect on others

Peter began this section explaining to wives how they can have an effect on their husbands. As a wife, even if we have an unbelieving husband, we can win them to Christ by our behavior!

As women we are to be respectful and have pure conduct. This begins in our hearts. Luke 6:45 tells us, “The good person out of the good treasure of his heart produces good, and the evil person out of his evil treasure produces evil, for out of the abundance of the heart his mouth speaks.”

If we have a pure heart and practice good, then our conduct will reflect that pure heart. Likewise, if our heart is a black hole of deceit and sin, then our lives will eventually pour that out.

Our outward expression of a pure heart is modest dress, speech, and actions. And because the Lord commands it, we must do our best to follow it, even if we often stumble in this area.


The Heart is more important than the outside

There is nothing wrong with wanting to dress in a cute way or have some trendy clothing. At the same time, however, modesty can be made out to be an idol. Some can become self righteous when it comes to modesty and judge others who don’t feel the same convictions as themselves.

But this verse makes it clear that the focus should be on the hidden person of the HEART. It is not sinful to do such things as braid your hair or put on makeup, but that should not be your sole focus.

Your focus should be on your heart and that you are conducting yourself in a pure manner. Focusing on your heart will help you to produce the imperishable characteristics of a gentle and quiet spirit.

Your modest dress is simply an outpouring of your pure and modest heart. 

How does a woman discern the sometimes fine line between proper dress and dressing to be the center of attention? The answer starts in the intent of the heart. A woman should examine her motives and goals for the way she dresses. Is her intent to show the grace and beauty of womanhood? Is it to reveal a humble heart devoted to worshiping God? Or is it to call attention to herself and flaunt her beauty? Or worse, to attempt to lure men sexually? A woman who focuses on worshiping God will consider carefully how she is dressed, because her heart will dictate her wardrobe and appearance. ~ John MacArthur

As MacArthur so eloquently put it, a woman who is more concerned with worshiping God and following his commands than pleasing man and her own selfish desires, will work on having a modest heart and the outpouring of modest dress, speech, and character. We will not always be perfect at this. And sometimes the Lord convicts women differently.

My sisters and I all have a strong desire to serve the Lord and honor him in our dress, and we disagree sometimes on certain modesty issues. But that is okay. The point is, we shouldn’t look at other women and judge. Some women are seasoned veterans in modesty and have walked closely with the Lord for years. Others are new to the Christian faith or have maybe never had an honest discussion about modesty.

I am not here to judge the way others dress, and we should be careful on how we look at those in the church. The Lord convicts each of us differently and at different seasons. 

But I would ask women to listen to the Lord. Just because we shouldn’t judge others for what they wear, doesn’t mean you shouldn’t judge yourself. Take an honest look at your clothing. Ask yourself (and your husband/dad) what is modest and what isn’t. But be careful, it is easy to lie to yourself and make yourself feel better about what you are wearing.

Proverbs 30:20 says, “This is the way of an adulterous woman; she eats and wipes her mouth, and says, ‘I have done no wrong.’”

Tomorrow we will look at the more practical side of modesty and delve into some of the nitty-gritty practical details and tips to help us dress modestly.

More in this series:

Cultivating a Modest Heart Series

A Modest Heart ~ A Biblical Approach

Modesty. Some of you who grew up in conservative churches and homes will roll your eyes at this one little word. “Oh no, not this again.” “Yeah yeah yeah…modesty, we know! We don’t need to hear it anymore!”

But I think a very large portion of the church has never had a real honest and open discussion about modesty. Maybe my perception of this is due in part to the fact that I just spent 4 years living in Southern California, but I don’t think so.

Cultivating a Modest Heart Series

I think that the modern American church has largely lost what it means to dress and act modestly.

I went to church as a kid. I was part of an active and thriving youth group in high school. But I had never had someone teach me about modesty.

I was not walking with the Lord in middle school, and God pulled me back to him during early high school. At that point, I knew I had to put away the miniskirts, but largely my dress didn’t change.

I never thought twice about my cleavage hanging out, or about what my appearance was saying about myself. This was not because I was blatantly ignoring the teaching of my youth group and church, or even living a crazy life while claiming to be a Christian.

No, I was genuinely trying to live for the Lord in high school, and yet I had never studied or been taught about modesty. Slowly the Lord took a hold of my heart and encouraged me to look into modesty. He showed me books to read and sermons to listen to. Little by little my heart was convicted of what modesty means and what it looks like.

As a result, I have a passion for sharing what the Bible teaches about modesty and encouraging ladies to look into the subject for themselves and to ask the Lord to convict their own hearts about their dress. But I of course do not have all of the answers.

I do not look at modesty in a legalistic way, and I pray that you do not either. I understand that some can take modesty and make it legalistic and turn many away from it. But Scripture teaches that we are to have a modest heart and appearance, and it’s not something we can ignore just because someone we know took it too far.

Modesty usually looks different for different people depending on how the Lord has convicted them. During this series I hope to cover the basics of modesty and also give some practical tips on how to dress and act modestly.

Are you ready to dive in? Read the rest of this series on dressing modestly below. And join in our discussions on Facebook!

More in this series:

A Heart of Modesty Series

I hope you will join me on this journey. And I want to hear from you! I know my own journey to modesty and my sisters’ journeys. But what about your journey? Did you grow up (or are currently in) a church that encourages modesty? What are your initial thoughts on Modesty?