What materials does a wise woman use to build her house?
Before we discuss Lady Wisdom, the wise builder, I want to introduce you to her neighbor, Lady Folly.
Lady Folly lives next door to Lady Wisdom and grieves her considerably because her poor children are dressed in torn clothes and sometimes shoeless. Snack time at Lady Wisdom’s includes Lady Folly kids because they say their mother never buys them snacks.
Now you may be feeling sorry for the Follys, but here’s the thing, the Folly’s income is much more than the Wisdom’s. It’s well known in the neighborhood that Lady Folly is miserly and greedy. The Bible would call her covetous. She wears very expensive clothes and throws extravagant dinner parties for her husband’s clients at the neglect of food and clothing for her children.
She spends her money on herself to impress others. The Girl Scouts know better than to try to sell her cookies.
What she is doing is what Proverbs 11:29 describes. In context, the verses around 29 are dealing with finances and how people deal with them and people.
Whoever troubles his own household will inherit the wind,
and the fool will be servant to the wise of heart.
Word Studies for Proverbs 11:29
Troubles: stir up, disturb, harm
Inherit: to take possession, to acquire
Wind: breath, mind, spirit, vain, empty
Adam Clarke said in his commentary on Proverbs 11:29:
“He who dissipates his property by riotous living, shall be as unsatisfied as he who attempts to feed upon air.”
Emptiness will be the outcome for her and her family. Empty air will fill her house.
She is troubling her own household. She is tearing it down.
Lady Wisdom, on the other hand, is best described by Proverbs 24:3:
By wisdom a house is built,
and by understanding it is established.
What causes Lady Wisdom to differ?
She has gained wisdom from the fountain of wisdom, Jesus Christ and she is being conformed to his image.
God is generous. In all he does and all he is, he is generous. Where do we begin to see the generosity of God?
In the beginning.
God created the heavens and the earth. He created for us a perfectly beautiful and diverse place to live that even after the curse and several 1000 years its beauty is still breath taking. His creation declares his glory.
The heavens declare the glory of God,
and the sky above proclaims his handiwork (Psalm 19:1).
He did it for our pleasure as 1Timothy 6:17 says, God “richly provides us with everything to enjoy.”
But, the generosity of God is best seen in Romans 8:32.
He who did not spare his own Son but gave him up for us all, how will he not also with him graciously give us all things?
God graciously, generously gave us the ultimate: His Son. So, we can be sure he will give us all the rest that we need.
(Here are a few other verses that talk about “all thing”: Romans 8:28; 2 Perter 1:3; Hebrews 1:2, 2:10, 3:4; Titus 1:5; Ephesians 1:11, 1:22)
His generosity is the overflow of his lovingkindness and goodness. Out of his great love for us, he generously gave us Jesus as a sacrifice for our sins. The best gift of all.
So, this is what Lady Wisdom knows:
Her Lord is generous. .
She is to imitate him.
Therefore be imitators of God, as beloved children. And walk in love, as Christ loved us and gave himself up for us, a fragrant offering and sacrifice to God (Ephesians 5:1-2).
By wisdom gained from knowing Jesus and walking in his Spirit, in love, as a beloved child, she builds her house with wisdom and establishes or stabilizes it by understanding how to apply her God given wisdom.
He household is known in the neighborhood as generous. Her children have learned generosity.
As for her husband:
The heart of her husband trusts in her,
and he will have no lack of gain.
She does him good, and not harm,
all the days of her life (Proverbs 31:11-12).
Her building material: generosity. In everything she does.
You are loved!