Are We Destroying What We’re Trying to Build?

If we saw a woman tearing down her own house we’d doubt her sanity, but we do the same thing.

Imagine you’re looking at a beautiful house, a masterpiece of design and craftsmanship. As you admire its angles and features, you see a woman come outside, a sledgehammer in hand. You presume she is the owner stepping outside to see about a repair. But she does the strangest thing; she starts banging on the house, the sledgehammer going forcefully in to the brick side. Then she grabs a shutter and with force, pulls it out and slams it to the ground. You step away, glancing back with bewilderment, wondering why she seems bent on destroying something of beauty.

“Every wise woman builds her house, but a foolish one tears it down with her own hands.” – Proverbs 14:1

This verse gets me every time I read it, because it is crazy to think of a woman tearing down her own house. Now if the house belongs to someone else who has wronged sister girl, we might cheer her on in a movie! But who would tear down their own house?

Maybe me. Maybe you too. Without intending to.

We all have the propensity to tear down our houses with our own hands. If you don’t know the value of something, it’s easier to tear it down.

• You tear down your body with habits and lifestyle choices that disregard its value and potential.
• You tear down your marriage by fighting to be right rather than reconciled, by focusing more on your partner’s faults than your own.
• You tear down your children with constant criticism, forgetting there is only one perfect Father and even his kids don’t always do what is right.
• You tear down the church with divisiveness, forgetting that the body of Christ is made up of different parts that work together, not against one another.
• You tear down your workplace with gossip, constant complaining and being problem focused rather than solution driven.

That lady we think is insane for tearing down her beautiful home—well, we might be her.

A new year is a new opportunity to build, to let go of the sledgehammer, the finger pointing, the empty speech—whatever tools we’ve used to tear down.

Our bodies are sacred places of high value. May we treat them with reverence and care, knowing we are a masterpiece.

“Don’t you know that your body is a temple of the Holy Spirit who is in you, whom you have from God?” – 1 Corinthians 6:19

Marriage is a picture of Christ and his beloved bride. May we love and live together modeling the sacrifice Christ has given to us.

“And be kind to one another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, even as God in Christ forgave you.” – Ephesians 4:32

Children are a gift. May we treasure them and lead them in truth and grace.

“Behold, children are a heritage from the Lord; offspring a reward from him.” – Psalm 127:3

The church is the body of Christ. May we honor one another and work towards unity in the midst of our diverse gifts.

“From him the whole body, joined and held together by every supporting ligament, grows and builds itself up in love, as each part does its work.” – Ephesians 4:16

Jobs are an opportunity to earn, learn and contribute to a vision. May we be beneficial to our places of employment and do good work unto the Lord.

“So then, let us pursue what promotes peace and what builds up one another.” – Romans 14:19

Building is a tedious process. One brick, one stone at a time is laid on a firm foundation. With every conversation, every gesture, every new day, we have another small and significant opportunity to build. Let’s get to it.

“Wisdom has built her house; she has carved out her seven pillars.” – Proverbs 9:1

This article originally appeared on LifeWayVoices.com.