If there is any biblical verse or passage that I have come to dislike it’s Proverbs 14:1 which states that “the wise woman builds her house but the foolish woman tears it down with her hands” and Proverbs 31 which talks about the virtuous woman – that woman who doesn’t seem to exist, at least, not in the way she is described in that chapter.
I am a practicing Christian and I believe that the Bible contains God’s word but I positively hate the way the above mentioned scriptures have been deployed to put the burden of building a home solely on a woman’s shoulders seemingly leaving the man free of all duties and responsibilities.
I hate how the scriptures are quoted during sermons and church/ women conferences in the bid to ensure that women remain the sole partner responsible for the state of their homes.
I hate that in almost every prayer meeting, held in churches and religious circles the speakers are passionate in advocating and teaching women how to be wise builders of the home. I hate that there are rarely conferences for men titled “How to build your home or be a good husband, or how to fulfill the needs of your wife” . When men meet, it’s often about business and winning in the market place because it is believed that the woman has more at stake if the home is failing and more work to do than the man when it comes to home affairs. I hate that no one is talking to the men about their relationships with their wives and children. I hate that it’s a man’s world even in the home.
My anger stems from the fact that those verses have been used to keep women who are victims of emotional and physical abuse stuck in the toxic environment that eventually kills their spirits and sometimes their bodies.
Those verses have been used to rebuke women whose marriages failed by implying that it is their fault that their marriages collapsed because they couldn’t keep a man or a home.
The verses have been used to berate women when their children make wrong choices implying that they weren’t virtuous and prayerful enough amandd they have also been employed to taunt women who can’t seem to successfully manage a work / life balance.
I have seen women staggering under the burden of being good and wise women, putting up with all sorts of nonsense because of the mistaken belief that God wants it so. I have seen those verses being used as handcuffs to shackle and bind women to a dead marriage and browbeat them into “submission”.
But things are changing; women are beginning to ask and inquire as to the role of the men in the success of their marriages. They are no longer willing to do all the work because history has shown that you can only keep a man that wants to be kept, you can only be so much and nothing more, you can only build with the tools and materials you’ve been given and you can only multiply the seeds that have been sown.
The question is Do men have a role to play in the building of a home? My answer is an emphatic YES !!!
Yes men have much to do with the building of the home. The truth of the matter is that it takes two to tango. It takes two persons to make a marriage and relationship work. It takes the sacrifices, understanding, cooperation, synergy, of both parties to make it a success. In marriage, there is no silent partner, both parties must roll up their sleeves and work and it is not enough to invest money or time into the marriage without being involved in the effort to make it work. There must be a give and take by both parties that will transcend duties and obligations such as school fees, rent, cooking, keeping house, provision of material things.
Men and women should be emotionally involved in the growth of their marriages, they should invest emotionally in one another and give of themselves, time and essence into making a success of their home.
I make bold to say that if indeed a woman is to build her home then she is to build it on the foundation laid by the man and the building materials he supplies her with.
One of the meanings of the word “husband” is someone who skillfully, carefully or prudently manages. It is a job with a great responsibility which goes beyond the act of providing and I am of the belief that Men have as much if not a greater responsibility to ensure that they have good homes especially if it is true that on a person’s death bed their expressed regrets are not about their jobs, status and wealth but their relationships .
So, enough of all this wise women build your home rhetoric being shouted up and down. The job of building a home lies on both the man and woman. Interestingly, I just discovered the message translation of Proverbs 14: 1 and I must say it’s refreshingly different. It goes thus
“Lady wisdom builds a lovely home; Sir fool comes along and tears it down brick by brick.:
I think I have fallen in love with PROVERBS 14:1 .