Friday, February 25, 2005

Foolish Woman

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

There once was a woman who desired to build a house. And she did so. She was very clever and did much of the work herself, without even the help of her husband. He was willing to help but often ran afoul of her ideas and so relegated himself to giving careful counsel if he thought it would be received. It very seldom was, so as a result, he had little to do but watch.

As I said, this woman was clever. She could figure all sorts of ways to erect interesting structures in her house. The husband had a hard time understanding the utility of some of her ideas but, being a weak man, figured that she was probably more artistic than he and that he should simply acquiesce to her aesthetic eye. To her credit, the woman often asked her husband’s opinion because she knew that he was the head of the household. And besides, she wanted to tell the other ladies that she was submissive. And, the fact of the matter was, that she always did submit to all of her husband’s ideas…..whenever they agreed with hers.

As the house was nearing completion, the husband wondered when his wife was going to install the furnace or at least a fireplace. He thought a fireplace would be particularly homey and besides, she hadn’t even made provision for ducting the house. He had tried to point this out once on a particularly chilly morning but she gave him that knowing scowl and he shivered off down the hill. They finally moved in. The woman was greatly pleased with herself, even as she had let the ladies at church know that her husband had been little help indeed.

About a week later, a serious chill set in. The children were cold, the husband was cold, and what was really odd, even the woman was cold. The husband suggested that they get some warmth by finally installing the furnace. After a withering glance, the woman rushed outside, gathered some firewood and started an enormous blaze, right in the middle of their stone kitchen floor. In two minutes, the furniture caught fire and in an hour, the entire house was burnt to the ground.The next week at the ladies’ bible study, the woman explained that she had simply submitted to her husband’s rule of the house and that the furnace had never been installed. She didn’t say any more because she didn’t want to give any of the ladies the wrong idea about her husband.

Thursday, February 17, 2005


1 Peter 3:7 7 Likewise, ye husbands, dwell with them according to knowledge, giving honour unto the wife, as unto the weaker vessel, and as being heirs together of the grace of life; that your prayers be not hindered.

There was a man who desired a wife and children. He knew the admonition of the Lord and that it was his calling to love his wife and children. He also knew that it was their calling to respect and obey him. The weight of this knowledge was almost more than he could bear. The immensity of it caused him to fall to his knees daily requesting the sustaining grace of the Holy Spirit. That same sustaining Holy Spirit enabled him to rise from his prayers with the weight lifted and the ability to fulfill that which he was incapable of fulfilling by his own might and his own wisdom.

This man often made mistakes, especially when he was young. When he was first married, he often had harsh words for his wife. But he was a sincere Christian and was greatly bothered by his own behavior and even more so by the effect that his harsh words had upon his tender wife. He often remembered the words of the preacher on his wedding day that told him that the bible required him to love his wife. When he considered his harsh words, he knew that this was not love. So, he confessed his sins to God and to his wife and sought forgiveness from both.

Having got these fundamentals of the faith into his simple and humble head, he proceeded to follow this same course in raising his children. He sought to love them with true Christian virtue, often failed but sought wisdom from God and forgiveness against those that he too regularly wronged. And here is the odd thing. This fellow made technical mistakes in his application but always landed on his feet. He was always surprised at the honor bestowed upon him by his wife and children and felt unworthy of such respect from such a wonderful wife and such beautiful children. He constantly had the odd feeling that he had simply got lucky and was blessed with the perfect mate and obedient and cheerful children. This had the strange effect at making him even more humble and even more determined in his service, leadership, and duty towards them. He thought his redoubled efforts might be rebuffed as he needed to shore some things up a bit in the home but the beautiful wife and wonderful children most happily agreed with him. He scratched his head, thanked his God and was quite amazed that his life had worked out so extraordinarily well.

One day, his wife and nearly grown children planned a special party for him and spoke so glowingly of him that he was quite embarrassed. You see, his wife and children always thought these things of this beloved husband and father but were equally humble and seldom bragged about him in public. After the party, the husband desired a few words with his wife and children. “Dear wife and children,” he began, “those were all very nice words but you know that you laid it on a bit thick. I have never been such a good husband or father as all that. We ought to practice a bit more discretion in our speech. You know that I have spoken harsh words, I have overreacted, I have not studied as much as I should, my leading of family devotions has been inconsistent, even my…."

The wife, with bright eyes and a dancing smile joined the erupting laughter of the children. “Oh Dad," they all yelled. "Get off it. You’re the best dad ever!” And the father began to laugh, too. And that family did live happily ever after.