Renovating Your Home
Tools to build with.
By wisdom a house is built, and through understanding it is established; through knowledge its rooms are filled with rare and beautiful treasures" Proverbs 24:3, 4
Often when we consider building a home we think in terms of material things. We think of a property, its location how we would like to decorate and what furniture we would like to put into it. But building a home is actually much more than a material project. A home is much more than a house; it is the place where a family resides, where they interact, where they build a relationship.
In Proverbs 24:3, 4 we see that to build a house we need three key ingredients.
This isn't a misprint! These three things are actually very different.
Knowledge is basically what we know, in other words the facts. For example I know my husbands height, weight, shoe-size and eye color. I know what he likes to eat and what his hobbies are but that doesn't necessarily mean that I really understand him.
Understanding is knowing how something works, in other words why someone is the way they are. If I understand my husband then I have gone beyond mere facts - I understand how he ticks. My husband hates shopping, that is a fact! It is something I know. I understand that he hates being in crowds and it is made worse if he is hungry or thirsty. With knowledge and understanding I have two valuable pieces of information but without wisdom they are worthless.
Wisdom is the application of knowledge and understanding. In other words I can take the facts I know, the understanding of why things are the way they are and I can ask God for wisdom on how to deal with issues as they arise for example...
- I know my husband does not like shopping.
- I understand he doesn't like crowds and the experience is made worse if he is hungry or thirsty.
- Time to apply wisdom!
- Only ask my husband to go on shopping trips were it is essential he comes with me.
- If possible make sure we go at a time when it won't be so crowded.
- Schedule in relaxation time, stop for a coffee or a bite to eat.
- Keep the trip as short as possible.
The principle of applying knowledge, wisdom and understanding can be applied to many different relationship situations. Knowledge is the easiest to attain, understanding is always much more difficult.
Ephesians 4:18 says "They are darkened in their understanding and separated from the life of God because of the ignorance that is in them due to the hardening of their hearts".
We often find couples struggle to invest the time and energy into understanding each other. This can be for many reasons. Couples often fear being vulnerable with each other, they are frightened that if their spouse really knew them they might not love them anymore. This prevents intimacy at a deep level and is damaging in the long term.
Other people just don't want to know, it is as if they are devoid of feeling. Ephesians points out that often we are dark in our understanding because of our hardness of heart. Sometimes our hearts wear armor because of the hurts and wounds of the past. This might prevent us getting hurt in the future but it will not allow us to develop a good relationship or renovate a poor marriage. If you can relate to this situation ask God to remove the hardness from your heart, ask forgiveness from your spouse for blocking them out and ask God to give you the understanding you have been lacking.
In recent years books have been written about the difference between men and women. "Men are from Mars and Women are from Venus" explores the difference in culture and language that men and women speak. We do indeed appear to communicate in different ways and we need to work at understanding each other.
A number of years ago I heard a story about a man who was home on furlough from the mission field. He was sharing with people how he had lived and worked in Spain and how much he loved the people. He spent many years telling them about how God loved them and had come home disappointed with little result. Someone expressed an interest in what he had been doing and asked him when he learned Spanish. The missionary responded "Oh, I don't speak Spanish".
This story might seem ridiculous. How could the man really love the Spanish people if he had never taken the time to learn their language? It is easy to then ask the question, "How can you really love your spouse if you have never taken the time to learn their language?"
Gaining knowledge, wisdom and understanding of each other is never easy but it is worth the effort. If you truly want to renovate your home build it with tools that will take it from just a house to a place where you can truly be a family.
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