Today's Insight from Chuck Swindoll

With the foundation laid by wisdom, the house built by understanding, and the home filled with knowledge, we have all the ingredients necessary for the cultivation of a happy, prosperous, emotionally safe, spiritually rich household. This is God’s ideal for every home, beginning at marriage. Your home, however, may not have started well. Your home may not have incorporated the three essential building materials—wisdom, understanding, and knowledge—and it may have been unhealthy for many years. So you might be asking, What can be done now?

I learned a great many years ago that it’s never too late to start doing what is right. With God, nothing is ever impossible. Today, we will discuss how those three elements of a good home can help ease the grind of domestic disharmony. As we do so, let me encourage you to think only of your own attitudes and behavior. You can’t control other people or compel them to do as God commands, but if you alter your own responses, you will be amazed by the profound effect it may have on others.

1. By wisdom a house is built. (v. 3)

Begin with a personal commitment to know God, study His ways, discover His plan for everyday living, and let this relationship be your guide in all matters. Hopefully, others will join you. If you are married, discuss this with your partner and share your desire to make this commitment an intentional part of your marriage. Regardless of the response you receive, resolve to lay this crucial foundation. This can only improve the emotional climate of your household.

2. By understanding it is established. (v. 3)

The word translated “established” can also mean “set in order.” In many contexts, the term expresses the idea of putting something back into an upright position, restoring something that was once leaning, falling, or twisted. In our context, the kind of understanding required involves the practical responsibilities of running a household—providing income, maintaining the assets, keeping everything in working order, and taking reasonable precautions against loss. Everyone should contribute something to the administration of the home, based on ability, of course. Clearly defined responsibilities followed by respectful accountability can do much to reduce interpersonal tension. Resolve to fulfill your own responsibilities without fail and without expecting reward or recognition. Extend to others this same dignity.

3. By knowledge the rooms are filled with all precious and pleasant riches. (v. 4)

When Solomon wrote these words, he used a term that can mean “ever-abundant satisfaction.” The constant pursuit of the truth makes that happen. And those “precious and pleasant riches”? Those would be the things that last. To name a few: happy memories; positive and wholesome attitudes; feelings of affirmation, acceptance, and esteem; mutual respect; good relationships; and godly character.

Others—even within your family—might not see the value of this. You do. Without making a show, begin a relentless pursuit of learning about others in your household. Use this knowledge to affirm and encourage whenever possible. Let’s face it: in the beginning, you might see a lot more negative than positive. However, harping on the negative has never helped anyone, so make the tiny scraps of positive your focus.

Is your home beginning to deteriorate? Do those living in the home lack a team spirit, a mutual commitment to relationships? Since you cannot force others to change, focus on changing yourself. Begin to demonstrate wisdom, understanding, and knowledge, those three ingredients that can transform a house virtually in shambles into a home of purpose and harmony.

From Living the Proverbs by Charles R. Swindoll, copyright © 2012. Reprinted by permission of Worthy Inspired., an imprint of Hachette Book Group, Inc.

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