The wisest woman builds her house, but folly with her own hands tears it down. Proverbs 14:1
I want to be a wise woman who builds her house.
Chapter 14 continues with an admonition to uprightness, and fearing the Lord, and wise lips; just the good stuff you would expect in a book written by the wisest man who ever lived.
Then verse 4:
Where there are no oxen, the manger is clean,
but abundant crops come by the strength of the ox.
This kind of concrete illustration found throughout the book of Proverbs often seems random and out of place—but nothing in His Word is there by accident. I sensed my lesson for today was here, in these 4 verses. I paused and listened.
Then I chuckled and thought: where there are no people, the house is clean.
I sat for a few moments and meditated on that thought. In this house there are a lot of dirty dishes, dirty clothes, messy rooms, crumbs on the floor, and spots on the carpet.
Usually the messes are a result of a house full of family and friends who party and fellowship and laugh and cry. The dishes and clothes and rooms and floors get cleaned and stay that way for a moment or a day. But as life is lived messes are made.
The Oxen in the Manger and Our Messy Homes
- dishes in the sink reflect a meal enjoyed
- dirty clothes smell of sunshine and hard work
- shoes on the living room floor remind me they wanted to stay for a while
- messy rooms reveal a love for books and music and memories
- crumbs on the floor and spots on the carpet echo with conversation and laughter
I get it.
My manger is messy but my crops are abundant. Proverbs 14:4
There’s a time to clean and put away. But I am often guilty of missing the blessing of the messy.
The wisest woman builds her house with gratitude.
Lord, today I am thankful for the people who inhabit this home.
I am thankful for the messes we make.
I am thankful for the blessings of life.
I am thankful for the lessons in Your Word.
I am thankful for You.