In primary school, our teachers hammered the wisdom of the book of Proverbs into us. There was always a quote about the foolish son and how he brings shame to his mother. None of us wanted to be the fool.
So when did foolishness become so glam?
“A wise woman builds up her household, but the foolish one tears it down with her own hands.” Proverbs 14:1
A home is not kept by sex or beauty or food. It is kept by wisdom.
This verse came to mind recently when I encountered a woman who was doing everything possible to sabotage herself and her marriage. She was wasteful, she complained, nagged endlessly, insulted and demeaned her husband in front of other people, she secluded herself from her circle of support; she failed to appreciate her many blessings; she took her husband for granted and treated him like waste.
Her predicament disturbed me and I found myself thinking: “This is a foolish woman! The foolish woman tears her house down with her own hands.”
I wanted be a wise woman who does her husband good all the days of his life and whose children call her blessed and her husband praises her. I did not want to be the foolish woman destroying her home with her own mouth and hands. “By wisdom a house is built, and by understanding it is established.” Proverbs 24:3
Here are a few thoughts on what makes a wise woman:
She helps her husband. Gen 2:18. The LORD God said, “It is not good for the man to be alone. I will make a helper suitable for him.” Wives are first companions then helpers. Usually, people get help where they are found wanting, where they are weak or where they lack time. Look at the areas in your life where your husband needs someone to fill in the gap and meet his need. The job of being a helper will differs with each marriage. You were created to aid him not hinder him. Consider asking your husband areas he would like you to help him.
But we also talk of the Holy Spirit as our helper. God is our helper. In this context God is our strength, our rescuer, our protector, and our help! He acts on our behalf. He sends us help when we are in need. That is not subservient. And that is how God described the first woman. Wives are to provide valuable and vital strength and assistance to their husbands.
She loves her husband and children. Tit. 2:3-5. This should be a no-brainer but haven’t we have all heard of women burning their children for stealing Sh10. Don’t we all know someone who advocates for abortion? Where is the love? There is no greater love than a man laying down his life for another. Loving your husband and children will call for sacrifice and laying down your plans, comfort, sleep, manicured nails, pride, goals etc for them. Until you have put someone else’s needs above your own, you haven’t really loved.
She is chaste/keeps herself pure. A wise woman will stay within her marriage bed. The house of an adulterous woman is a highway to the grave, leading down to the chambers of death. (Prov 7:27)
She is a homemaker. There are many admonitions in scripture for women to watch over and manage their homes. A wise woman is in charge of the running of her household even when she has hired help. Prov 31:15, 27. She creates the right atmosphere for her children to grow up in and thrive, for her husband to find warmth and a place for retreat and for visitors to find hospitality. Prov 31: 27 She watches over the affairs of her household
and does not eat the bread of idleness. I have to say that for many of us, learning home keeping and hospitality is slow and calls for painful sacrifices because it involves the kind of work that gets no accolades. Hallo, no one notices the dishes are clean unless they are piled in the sink. Kids don’t say thanks mom for clean shoes. Few remember to praise or thank the one who made dinner magically appear on the plates.
She submits to her husband. Women have fought over and over about the biblical admonition to submit and I won’t get into that here. 1 Corinthians 11:3 But I would have you know, that the head of every man is Christ; and the head of the woman is the man; and the head of Christ is God. Ephesians 5:22-23, 33 Wives, submit to your own husbands, as to the Lord. For the husband is the head of the wife even as Christ is the head of the church, his body, and is himself its Savior… However, let each one of you love his wife as himself, and let the wife see that she respects her husband.Colossians 3:18 Wives, submit to your husbands, as is fitting in the Lord. 1 Peter 3:1-2 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. What does submission look like to you?
She dresses modestly. A woman must “adorn herself in modest apparel with propriety and moderation” (1 Tim. 2:9, 10), not with “fancy arranging of the hair, gold or fine apparel but her beauty is to be the hidden person of the heart, a gentle and quiet spirit” (1 Pet. 3:3, 4). a foolish woman dresses like a prostitute. Prov 7:10. This another hot wire topic. Mercy Masika in her latest song “Nifanane nawe” speaks of a desire to honor God with her dressing. Your clothes can also dishonour your husband.
She has a gentle and quiet spirit. A foolish woman is unruly and defiant. Pov 7.11. The woman of folly is rowdy; she is gullible and knows nothing. The foolish woman is loud, undisciplined, and without knowledge.Prov 9:13. A gentle and quiet spirit does not mean that you don’t talk or are shy and timid. Funny thing is that when I think of all the Christian women in my circle, even the sanguines and cholerics, I notice their gentle and quiet spirits. I see grace in their lives. It isn’t about disposition or personality but about trusting God who adorns us with the inner beauty of a gentle spirit. Gentleness is a fruit of the Holy Spirit. It is something you can pray that God helps you cultivate, especially towards your husband and children. A foolish woman is quickly irritated and quick on the tongue. And the tongue can burn your house if uncontrolled. I have taught myself to swallow my words a lot when relating with my husband when I discover that whatever I was about to say does not edify. I have learnt to let go of things, to forgive quickly even before it is asked of me; to not take offense. I am cultivating a gentle and quiet spirit.
She does not slander. You will not find gossip on her tongue. 1 Timothy 3:11 “In the same way, their wives are to be women worthy of respect, not malicious talkers but temperate and trustworthy in everything.” Trustworthy in everything! Mungu tuonekanie!
She is not quarrelsome. Sometimes as women we like to say one thing over and over and over because we feel as if we are not being heard or are being ignored. Sometimes we treat our husbands like our children– needling, pestering, nagging. It’s not cute. A wife’s quarreling is a continual dripping of rain. Proverbs 19:13 It is better to live in a corner of the housetop than in a house shared with a quarrelsome wife. Proverbs 21:9 If your husband is not meeting your needs, physical or emotional, talk it out. And if he still doesn’t, know that is why we need a saviour. No human being can perfectly satisfy our very need; otherwise we would not need God. Take your requests to God in prayer. He can remind your husband to be more thoughtful than your constant whining. He can change him better than you ever will with your ceaseless nagging. Gentleness will make him love to come home rather than hide in pubs and the office dreading the daggers from your mouth.
She is not idle. A foolish woman wanders aimlessly – kiguu na njia . Her feet never stay at home; now in the street, now in the squares, at every corner she lurks.Proverbs 7:12. She goes from house to house, being a gossip and busybody. I Tim 5:13
She has virtue, excellence and character. Proverbs 31. Proverbs 31:10 An excellent wife who can find? She is far more precious than jewels. Proverbs 11:16 A gracious woman gets honor. Proverbs 12: 4 A virtuous woman is a crown to her husband: but she that maketh ashamed is as rottenness in his bones. A valiant wife is the crown of her husband, and as a boring worm in wood, the woman that does evil things destroys a husband.
She is generous and kind. She opens her hand to the poor and reaches out her hands to the needy. Proverbs 31:20
She speaks kind words. She opens her mouth with wisdom, and the teaching of kindness is on her tongue.She trains her children and other younger women. Proverbs 31:26 Titus 2:2-5
She is self-controlled. Wise women are not to be given to drunkenness and addictions. Titus2: 3-5
She is industrious. Prov 31:13-19 She selects wool and flax and works with eager hands.
She is like the merchant ships, bringing her food from afar. She gets up while it is still night; she provides food for her family and portions for her female servants. She considers a field and buys it; out of her earnings she plants a vineyard. She sets about her work vigorously; her arms are strong for her tasks. She sees that her trading is profitable,
and her lamp does not go out at night.She makes coverings for her bed. She makes linen garments and sells them and supplies the merchants with sashes.
Also read Blue Print of a Godly Woman’s Life