1. Building on the wrong foundation
What are you building your house on? God’s principles or the world’s standards? The Bible or the opinion of your favorite talk show host? The timeless truth in scripture or what is trending on social media?
Scripture says that a house not built by the Lord is built in vain. First and foremost, we need a biblical foundation.
Unless the LORD builds the house, the builders labor in vain. (Psalm 127:1)
2. Nagging and arguing
Don’t sweat the small stuff. Nagging is pointless and can eat away at your marriage. When you find yourself feeling irritated over an issue with your husband, ask yourself if the issue will matter in light of eternity. If it won’t, let it go.
Better to live in a desert than with a quarrelsome and nagging wife. (Proverbs 21: 19)
3. Failing to appreciate the good qualities in their husbands
Not all husbands are romantic and attentive, and some aren’t very talkative. That does not mean they aren’t good men.
If your man works hard to provide for his family, and is a good father to his children, count your blessings. There are many women who would love to have man who is a good provider and who is not a deadbeat dad.
I’ve watched several women throw away good men in pursuit of a more romantic man or because they felt they deserved more in life. As a result, homes were destroyed, children’s lives were disrupted, and the women ended up financially destitute while in pursuit of a better life. The grass is not greener on the other side.
Respect your husband and focus on his good qualities.
A wife of noble character is her husband’s crown, but a disgraceful wife is like decay in his bones. (Proverbs 12: 4)
4. Being discontent
Discontentment is destructive, and Satan knows how to use it to his advantage. It started long ago in the Garden of Eden. Eve was discontent. God told her she could eat any fruit in the garden, except one. Instead of being glad for the abundance of fruit she could eat, she wanted the one she wasn’t supposed to have. Satan convinced her to doubt God’s word and to eat the forbidden fruit.
Eve threw away living in a garden of paradise to live in a world filled with pain and suffering. Don’t give in to discontentment. Remember Eve. It only takes one bad choice to ruin your life.
Learn to develop a thankful attitude. Choose to enjoy the good things God has blessed you with. Being content and living in peace with what you have is good for your health.
A heart at peace gives life to the body, but envy rots the bones. ( Proverbs 14: 30)
5. Being addicted to social media and cell phones
Social media and cell phones have a part in our lives, and they are wonderful when used in moderation. However, they should not take over our life or become our modern day idols.
Instead of updating your Facebook status multiple times a day, take a few minutes to drop a note or card in the mail to someone who is sick or recently had surgery. Take a meal to a family in need. Read to your kids or prepare a special dinner for your husband.
Don’t be afraid to turn off your cell phone. With the new smart phones, we have 24-hour access to the internet, email, and social media. Again, cell phones are wonderful inventions, but people have become so addicted to them that they are never disconnected from technology.
A few months ago, I had to slam on my brakes to avoid hitting a toddler who ran out into the street. The worst part of the incident was the fact that her mother never noticed, because she was walking and texting.
Young or old, it seems as if everyone is totally mesmerized by technology, and it is quietly destroying homes and families. How much more powerful we all would be in our walk of faith if we skimmed through the Bible as often as our social media sites and email.
She watches over the affairs of her household and does not eat the bread of idleness. (Proverbs 31: 27)
6. Not being a good steward of money
Buying things we don’t need, overspending at the grocery store, and too many trips to the local fast food place, are all ways for money to dribble away. I am guilty of all three.
It all begins when the grocery store sale flyer arrives in my mailbox. I see all the things on sale and decide to stock up on a few things. This isn’t necessarily a bad thing, especially when the price is good and it’s for items I will use. The temptation comes when I end up going through every aisle in the store and purchasing things I don’t need.
Eating out too often is costly. This includes hitting the dollar menu at the local fast food place. Money that is dribbled away little by little adds up to a big financial drain over time.
Financial problems can put strain on a marriage and family relationships.
What would happen if we saved small amounts of money instead of spending it? Proverbs 13: 11 has the answer.
Dishonest money dwindles away, but he who gathers money little by little makes it grow.
7. Viewing children as a burden rather than a blessing
Being a mother requires a lot of sacrifice. It’s hard work even on the best days. But it is also the most rewarding thing you will ever do. Children should never be seen as obstacles standing in the way of career advancement or as cramping your social life.
Children are a blessing, and whatever you have to give up to be a parent is worth it. A career can be started at any time in your life, but you only have one chance to raise a child. You can always have a social life, but your child will only have one childhood.
Children are a gift from the Lord, they are a reward from him. ( Psalm 127: 3)
8. Neglecting the home
Keeping house doesn’t mean you must adhere to a rigid cleaning schedule or have an immaculately decorated home. Caring for the home is overseeing what goes on in the home, as well as making it a safe and healthy environment for the family.
We’ve all heard the old saying, “If mama isn’t happy, nobody’s happy.” It’s true. As women, we have an amazing influence on our homes and families. We set the mood in the home and should take our role seriously.
A wise woman builds her home by working hard to meet the needs of those within her household. She is aware of what needs to be done and keeps her family well fed and clothed. She is available to offer faithful instruction to her growing children and others within her household.
She speaks with wisdom, and faithful instruction is on her tongue. (Proverbs 31:26)
9. Putting too much focus on outward appearance
It doesn’t matter how much makeup you wear, or if you dress in the latest designer fashions, if your inside is ugly it will show on the outside.
That doesn’t mean outward appearance doesn’t matter. It does. Dressing appropriately and attractively is a good thing, but it’s not everything.
Do you have a harsh spirit or a quiet and gentle spirit? Are you encouraging others or tearing them down through unkind words or gossip? Are you loving others when they make mistakes or being judgmental?
Like a gold ring in a pig’s snout is a beautiful woman who shows no discretion. (Proverbs 11: 22)
10. Failing to accept the seasons of life
This one seems like common sense, but it is a real problem among women. Single women wish they were married. Married women long to be single again. Women with small children wish they had the freedom that older woman with grown children have. Older women miss the days of mothering small children and wish they could go back.
Every season of life requires sacrifice. Every season has good and bad points. If you have young children, you are busy and very limited in how much free time you have. It’s part of the mothering process. Time will pass and your day will arrive when you have more freedom.
If you are single, use this time to serve God fully. If you are married and have children, you must set aside time to meet the needs of a husband and family.
We may have seasons of good health and seasons of poor health. We have a season when we are young and a season of being old. Some seasons will definitely be more challenging than others, but that’s part of life.
Accepting the season you are in, and allowing God use you right where you are, is freeing. Willingly accept your current season and let go of seasons you are no longer in.
There is a time for everything, and a season for every activity under heaven. (Ecclesiastes 3:1)
God entrusted women with the ability to build their homes. Brick by brick we can build a home that will impact future generations. Each decision we make has the power to build or tear down our homes.
When we act in wisdom, and allow God’s word to determine our priorities in the home, we will build a home with a solid foundation for the future. Likewise, if we fail to pursue wisdom and give in to our selfish needs and harbor discontentment in our hearts, we will tear our homes down brick by brick.
Are the choices you make each day building your home or tearing it down?
Do you ever look at your life circumstances and question God?
I often find myself questioning God. A lot has happened during the last five years. My husband of 34 years abandoned me and our entire family. He still has no contact with his children or grandchildren. He left without telling us, changed his phone number, and moved to another state to live with his girlfriend. The shock was immense, and the impact his leaving had on the entire family was huge.
I developed multiple health issues after he left, suffered an injury that put me in a wheelchair for several months, lost my job as a result of my injury, experienced financial hardship, lost my health insurance, lost two pastors I thought the world of (one to cancer and one to suicide), watched the church I loved fall apart, was heartbroken when two of my children went through divorces, and watched my dad’s health and mental state deteriorate.
Life continues to be a struggle, due to my health issues, and at times I am physically and emotionally wiped out just trying to make it through the day.
I often turn to the book of Job when I find myself questioning God. Job had gone through a lot of hardships, much worse than what I’m experiencing. He questioned God and got quite an earful when God responded.
As we see in the verses below, taken from Job chapters 38-42, God offers Job no answers, only more questions.
- “Who is this who darkens my counsel without knowledge? Brace yourself like a man; I will question you and you shall answer me.
- Where were you when I laid the earth’s foundation? Tell me if you understand. Who marked off its dimensions? Surely you know! Who stretched a measuring line across it?
- Have you ever given orders to the morning, or shown the dawn its place?
- Have you entered the storehouses of snow or seen the storehouses of hail?
- Where is the way to the place where the lightening is dispersed or the place where the east winds are scattered over the earth?
- Who cuts a channel for the torrents of rain, and a path for the thunderstorms?
- From whose womb comes the ice?
- Who gives birth to the frost from the heavens?
- Can you raise your voice to the clouds and cover yourself with a flood of water?
- Do you send lightening bolts on their way? Do they report to you, ‘Here we are’?
- Who provides food for the raven when its young cry out to God and wander about for lack of food?
- Do you know when the mountain goats give birth?
- Do you watch when the doe bears her fawn?
- Does the hawk take flight by your wisdom and spread his wings toward the south?
- Does the eagle soar at your command and build its nest on high?”
God continues questioning Job throughout chapters 38, 39, 40, and 41 for a total of 129 verses. It’s quite a humbling experience, not only for Job but also for me. Job’s meek reply in chapter 42 perfectly sums up how I feel after reading God’s response to Job.
“I know that you can do all things; no plan of yours can be thwarted. You asked, ‘Who is this that obscures my counsel without knowledge?’ Surely I spoke of things I did not understand, things too wonderful for me to know. You said, ‘Listen now, and I will speak; I will question you, and you shall answer me.’ My ears had heard of you but now my eyes have seen you. Therefore I despise myself and repent in dust and ashes.” (Job 42: 1-6)
The book of Job is a wake-up call for me when I find myself questioning God. I know God is sovereign over everything, but sometimes I just need to be reminded!
I still don’t understand the reason why I’m experiencing some of the things that are presently happening in my life. However, I’m filled with awe as I reflect on the majesty and power of God revealed in the closing chapters of Job.
Like Job, when I see God as He truly is, I can humbly accept each trial and difficult circumstance in my life knowing it’s all part of God’s sovereign plan.
God blessed Job immensely during the second half of Job’s life. God is like that. He specializes in miracles. He brings beauty from ashes, and he redeems those who are lost and without hope.
In fact, I’ve already experienced many blessings following the difficult events of the last five years. I’ve always felt led to women’s ministry. Since my husband left, I’ve been able to minister encouragement to several other women who were abandoned by their spouses.
God blessed me with two new grandchildren. He also blessed me with a wonderful family and friends who were there for me at the time of my injury and subsequent recovery time. They made my house wheelchair friendly, so I could recover at home, brought me meals, visited, helped with cleaning, ran errands, and drove me to doctor’s appointments.
My injury and the loss of my job was the launching pad for my new career. I’ve always wanted to write for a living, but was always too afraid to quit my job. Being in a wheelchair and housebound gave me the free time I needed to set up a website and begin freelance writing.
Due to my financial hardship, I was given a scholarship to a well-known writing course and lifetime membership to a writer’s group, which was totally unexpected. I was also given money to replace my outdated computer with a new one.
My oldest granddaughter, Amayah Grace, became interested in missions work and took her first week-long missions trip to Kentucky. She is now in the process of becoming a junior camp counselor at a Christian camp. This is truly a blessing from God, because very few members of our family are walking with God.
While my health issues continue to worsen, I thank God each day that I can work from the comfort of my own home doing something I truly love. I can nap when I need extra rest, and I can work outdoors surrounded by nature when the weather is nice.
Good things do come out of the bad stuff. At times, we may not even see the good until we arrive in heaven. However, as Christians, we know the best is yet to come. With God, every life story has a happy ending.
What blessings have come out of the bad circumstances in your life?
Nearly four decades ago, when I got married, my mom’s best friend insisted I take her copy of the book with me. I read the tiny book with delight over and over again. It became my mentor when I was a young military wife living almost 2,500 miles from home.
I was passionate about keeping house and being a stay-at-home mother. I often turned to the little book for ideas and inspiration. The tattered pages and wrinkled cover bear witness to the fact that it was well used.
We moved 13 times in 14 years, and I still remember each humble little apartment, trailer, and house we lived in. Each move became a new adventure, as we set off in our used Ford Pinto overflowing with cardboard boxes. I couldn’t wait to get settled in and make each new house a home.
I happily decorated each place with simple items, many of them handmade. Cross-stitched samplers, lovingly stitched during quiet afternoons while babies napped, adorned the walls of each room. Crocheted blankets brightened up worn second-hand furniture.
The kitchen table often sported a centerpiece of fresh flowers, lovingly picked by tiny fingers. Treasures found at yard sales and flea markets breathed life into humble military living quarters.
I remember the joy of setting the table for our evening meal with the dishes I had collected in my hope chest since I was a young girl. I searched food-splattered pages of old cookbooks and women’s magazines, most handed down from my mother and grandmother, for new recipes to try. We savored many comforting soups, stews, and casseroles on our meager grocery budget.
I loved smelling a pot of soup simmering on the stove or homemade bread baking in the oven while curled up on the sofa reading to chubby-fingered toddlers who insisted on turning each page and requested the same storybooks be read over and over again.
Finding happiness in homemaking is not something you’re likely to hear about today. It’s not likely to be the buzz on social media, and it probably won’t be trending on Twitter anytime soon.
Caring for your home is a gift of love you give to your family. It’s all in how you choose to see it. Joy, happiness, and contentment can be found in the daily routines of everyday life.
Even cleaning tasks, which may seem mundane, can be therapeutic . Seeing the rewards of a clean house makes all the work worthwhile. Laundry can seem like an endless chore, but you are providing your family with clean clothing.
I’m grateful I was able to experience the simple joys of keeping house and being a stay-at-home mom. I would not trade it for anything. I won’t dismiss the fact that raising children and staying home is not without its share of struggles. However, I can honestly say it was the most satisfying thing I have ever accomplished. I would not trade it for the highest paying career or position in the working world.
Life has changed now. The children are grown. My husband left unexpectedly. I have health problems, and I’m working full time to make a living. I enjoy writing and the part-time medical transcription work I do. I’m thankful to have work I can do from the comfort of home. However, I miss the days when I was just a homemaker and mother.
I look back with fondness on that time. I took great pride and pleasure in my homemaking and mothering role, and I felt a contentment and peace unmatched since that time. I believe I felt that way because I was doing what God had called me to do; I had accepted the high calling of motherhood and homemaking with joy.
As I gaze upon the tattered green book from days gone by, I’m once again reminded that happiness really is homemaking. Creating a comfortable and loving home is not drudgery or a menial task. It’s a high calling that God entrusted to women.
She watches over the affairs of her household and does not eat the bread of idleness ~ Proverbs 31: 27