A Wise Woman
1. Once again, Solomon contrasts wisdom and folly.
2. He has contrasted wisdom and folly in all kinds of situations:
• Wisdom causes a son to hear his father…
• Wisdom causes a man to obey the commandments…
• Wisdom causes a man to walk with other wise men…
• Wisdom causes a man to fear the Lord…
3. In this verse Solomon applies wisdom to the home… and especially to the lady of the house.
1. House: can mean either the physical house (dwelling place) or a household, household affairs; family; descendants; those who live IN the dwelling place.
a. It is used hundreds of times in the Old Testament.
b. It is most often used of physical dwelling places; or of a group of people and their descendants—i.e.,… of the house of God; the house of Judah and Israel;
c. That is NOT the sense in which Solomon uses the term.
d. Solomon uses the term in a slightly difference sense:
• Ps. 68:6 – translated families.
• Isa. 38:1 – “set thine house in order” = the affairs of one’s household…
• Jer. 5:27 – “houses full of deceit” = speaks of the moral climate within that household…
e. When Solomon refers to a wise woman building her house, this is the sense that he is suggesting: the family life; the affairs of the household; the moral and spiritual climate within that household.
2. Building: to build; rebuild; establish; cause to continue
a. This also a very common Old Testament word—used scores of times in the Old Testament.
b. Gen. 33:17 – it often has the meaning of construction—masonry; carpentry… building a physical structure…
c. It’s used often of building altars; building cities; building the walls of Jerusalem; building houses; used of the stone quarriers who built the Temple;
d. But this term also has another shade of meaning…
• Ps. 147:2 – building up a community of people… Jerusalem.
• Ps. 89:2 – “mercy shall be built up” = strengthening of virtue is called building up…
• It is in this sense that Solomon uses the term in Prov. 14:1… a community… fellowship… spirituality and virtue… which are built up…
3. Thus, Solomon is using a play on words—one which makes sense both in Hebrew and in English… for we use these terms in a similar sense.
a. Solomon uses the concept of physically constructing a building as an illustration of making and preparing a home.
b. He draws an analogy from carpentry or masonry and applies it to homemaking…
c. In those days, the husband usually built the house structure… and the wife’s responsibility was to make it a home on the inside. That’s the analogy here.
d. Today most men do not build their own homes. Some do. (I love my family too much. I would never let them live in a house that I built.)
e. But we have a few carpenters here who built their own houses. But whether we built it or not—the analogy holds… and is practical and helpful.
f. This proverb is designed to be practical for WOMEN in building up their homes… on the inside.
4. It takes wisdom to construct a building.
a. When the Tabernacle and later the Temple were built, there were plans… divinely inspired plans. (Ex. 25:9; I Chron. 28:11-12; 18-19)
• God expected that the plans were to be followed.
• The Lord would not have been pleased if His plans were ignored… and they built the Temple according to what pleased Solomon or the construction workers.
• They were to follow the plans even if it was difficult and involved much sacrifice.
• They did not have the liberty to alter the plans or add or subtract from the plans.
• They were not to look around them at how the other nations built their Temples. They were to build according to the pattern God gave them.
• The finished structure was to look like the pattern they were given.
• A construction worker might attempt to undermine the architect’s work… by cutting corners here or there… or by using inferior materials… or out of sheer pride think that he has a better way of doing it…
• Wisdom demands that the construction workers follow the architect’s pattern and plan.
b. A wise woman builds her home on the inside the same way.
• God has given the godly wife a blueprint for the home: God’s Word!
• Just as a set of blueprints spells out how everything is to be assembled on the outside of the structure… God’s Word is the woman’s blueprint which spells out clearly how things should be ordered on the inside of the home.
• There IS an order: the husband is to be the loving head; the wife is to willingly submit; they are to work together to bring up the children according to God’s pattern… and children are to obey.
1. This order is never to be ignored or reversed.
2. Kids are NOT in charge; wives do not rule the nest; husbands are to lead…
3. God would not be pleased if Solomon changed the pattern David gave him from the Lord—neither would God be pleased if we change the pattern for the home!
4. God’s pattern for the home is under attack in our day and age… and it is probably irreversible.
a. Gay marriages certainly are not according to the order found in God’s Word.
b. Anyone who dares to oppose it is called a hate monger and a bigot…
c. God’s order for the home is being replaced with disorder… and that does not bode well for our country and future generations.
• Women are to follow the pattern even if it is difficult.
1. There is a lot of pressure on young married women today to change this pattern…
2. There is pressure to be like the women of the world who do NOT believe in submission to their husbands… and have changed the pattern to share in the authority… to share the headship.
3. Sometimes husbands make foolish demands on their wives and it is difficult for them to submit.
4. Sometimes husbands have the wrong concept of headship and lead like a drill sergeant… and the wife feels like NOT submitting…
5. Some of the stones for the Temple were MASSIVE. It would have been a lot easier to make many smaller stones… following the pattern is not always easy… but it is always best.
• Just as the construction workers building the Temple were not to look around them at how the other nations built their Temples, so Christian women today are not to look around at how other women handle the affairs of their homes.
1. A godly woman will look into the Word for her pattern.
2. If you pattern your home after the way others do… you are worldly. You are being conformed by the world.
3. Pattern your home life after the principles in God’s Word…
4. Just because all the other ladies on the block are dropping their kids off at a day care center, that doesn’t mean you should. That is NOT the pattern we see in the Bible. Parents are to bring up their kids—not some hired hand.
5. Just because none of the ladies on the block spank their kids, that doesn’t mean you should stop!
• In building the Temple, the finished product was to look like the pattern, so too the Christian home should LOOK like the pattern we see in the Bible…
1. Be careful with this—not everything that Bible characters DID was to be imitated. (polygamy; adultery; etc..)
2. We see a pattern of a virtuous woman in Prov. 31. That picture should resemble YOUR life as a wife, mother, and home maker.
3. Ladies, does YOUR home look like the pattern we see in the Bible? If not, then perhaps some changes are in order.
4. In fact, the point of this proverb is just this: the woman’s role is to give attention to this very issue: does your home fit the pattern a Christian home according to the principles found in the Bible?
5. It takes wisdom and humility to stick to the pattern God gave.
a. The architect of the home is God Himself!
b. Wisdom doesn’t try to improve on God’s pattern, but humbly submits to it.
c. Wisdom attempts to pay attention even to small details of the pattern… and to incorporate them all.
5. Ladies, your home is YOUR construction project! Be busy at that task. And that does take a lot of work… energy and effort.
a. Buildings don’t just arise up out of the dust on their own. Neither are HOMES built on their own.
b. The woman’s job is to be working on the moral and spiritual climate in the home before the kids.
• A house is built with brick and mortar; wood and nails;
• A home is built with love, kindness, beauty, orderliness; discernment; education; harmony; unity; stability.
c. The woman’s job is to taking care of the internal affairs of the home…
• Is your house IN ORDER?
• Do you take care of your possessions?
• Is it neat or messy?
• Do you walk around the home teaching your children about the Lord?
• Is it a place where Christ is lifted up or hardly mentioned?
• Is it a place of chaos or discipline and order?
• Is the home cold and impersonal or warm and inviting?
• Are the affairs of your household being attended to faithfully—or are you so busy in other things, that the affairs of your household are ignored and unattended to?
• A house is more than a pile of wood, nails, glass, and shingles. A home is more than just people eating and sleeping at the same address.
• Turning that pile of building materials into a house is the job of the construction workers.
• Turning the inside of that building into a home is the wife’s responsibility.
d. A wise woman builds her home…
• The woman builds the family numerically by giving birth.
• She also builds it up spiritually by her godly character reflected in the home day in and day out… and by teaching her children in the things of the Lord.
• She builds it up economically by her industry and hard work. Read Prov. 31 – this woman was a hard worker and profited the whole family from her efforts.