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Women Who Win

Wisdom in Family Life!


Today’s families are teetering near the abyss of self-destruction. What we saw in movies 50 years ago was happening in our neighborhood 25 years ago. Today it’s happening in our own families. We need a lot of wisdom to defeat the devil. He did not spare even the first family. God had a plan to give them the fruit of the tree of knowledge; but they disobeyed God and made fools of themselves.

Two women are associated with house building in the Old Testament—The wise and the foolish. “The wise woman builds her house, but the foolish pulls it down with her hands" (Prov 14:1). Two men built houses in the New Testament—The wise and the foolish (Mt 7:24,26).

Jesus said, “Everyone who hears these words of Mine and puts them into practice," is wise. Wisdom is reading God’s word carefully and following it diligently. A family built on God’s word will not collapse. Noah built a house or the ark according to God’s word. He did not argue with God. When God said, “gopher tree," he said, “Yes Sir." When God said, so long, so broad, so high, he said, “OK Sir." Where did he lay the foundation? On the word of God. The ark had no other foundation. The floods came, the winds blew and beat on that house; and it did not fall, for it was founded on the rock of God’s word. The waters that drowned and shattered all the houses carried Noah’s to the safety of a mountain top. The Titanic was an engineering feat. It seems the captain remarked, “Even God cannot sink  it." Why God? A silly iceberg did the job!


Juggling the four house-builders we get four couples—

1. The wise man can marry the wise woman. This is ideal. We have the examples of Mary and Joseph, Aquilla and Priscilla, Elizabeth and Zachariah and others. They were committed to build their families according to the word of God.

2. The foolish man can marry the foolish woman. This is a disaster. Adam and Eve took the shortcut to wisdom and collapsed God’s plan for their lives. Ananiah and Sapphira fell dead. When two foolish people build a house it will be a ramshackle hut.

3. The wise man can marry the foolish woman. Even if one person is wise life can go on reasonably well like that of Job and his wife. He said, “You are talking like a foolish woman" (2:10). Though life was a struggle the end was good.

4. The foolish man can marry the wise woman. When the head of the house is foolish, life is very unpredictable because the wife cannot take the upper hand. But a wise woman can still save the family by her wisdom, like Esther or Abigail.

This is why the Bible speaks of choosing the right companion for life. That’s where the Christian family starts. Deciding whom you marry is the most important decision you will ever make. Failure in choosing the right partner leads to a lifelong
struggle. Marriage is no joke. It is building a mansion by two people. It is hard work. The foundation has to be deep into the rock. If one is foolish and the other wise, one keeps building and the other keeps breaking it down.

Life partner cannot be changed like an ill-fitting shirt or salwar you choose. Imagine wearing an ill-fitting dress all your life! It’s torture. Let not TV be your guide. It is not cash, colour, caste or career that matters. It is wisdom that matters.

First make a commitment to live by the teachings of the Bible. That will make you a wise person. Then wait for a partner who is similarly committed to God’s word. Then both of you can build a strong house that will stand the storms of life.

Before saying, ‘Yes’ to someone, find out if he is a good Christian, goes to church, respects his parents, has a good testimony, respects the opposite sex, if your pastor or spiritual leader and parents gladly approve of your choice.

Rightly, the mother of King Lemuel taught him, “A wife of noble character who can find? She is worth far more than rubies... She speaks with wisdom" (Prov 31:10,26). She was guiding him to look for a wise woman.

Now, for a simple exercise—Open your left hand and clap it with the little finger of your right hand. If you are a wise person and your partner is only 20% as wise as you, that’s how your testimony will sound. Now clap with two fingers, then three, then four, then clap both hands. That’s the loud testimony when both are wise.

The Family

There is a beautiful picture of a godly family in Proverbs 30:24,26. “Four things on earth are small, yet they are extremely wise... The rock badgers are creatures of little power, yet they make their home in the crags." The Psalmist writes, “The cliffs are a refuge for the rock badgers" (Psa 104:18). These are small rabbit like defenceless animals. The deers have horns, lions teeth and bears claws. But these little creatures have none of these. So they take refuge deep inside the clefts of the rocks and cliffs. Predators come looking for prey and see these coneys but they scamper into the rock. That’s how weak people become strong. This is extreme wisdom. What a beautiful picture of the defenceless believer! When one becomes a believer he cannot scratch and claw, bite and devour like when he was an unbeliever. No guns, no recommendations. His defence is his God. His refuge is the Rock, Christ (1 Cor 10:4). When the devil comes like a roaring lion to devour, he simply keeps himself and his family in the Rock. The wise person is one who makes his home in the Rock and keeps his family there. We ought to be called Rock Christians because we ought to live inside the Rock like the rock badgers.

We see other families inside the courts of the Lord. One day David walks into the tabernacle to worship God and is stunned to see some families there happily feeding the children and singing songs inside the home they have built inside the tabernacle.

The staff tremble, fearing rebuke from King David for their negligence in allowing these families to settle down inside God’s house. But David stretches his hands and signals, ‘No, let them be. I am jealous of these folks. I long to live in the presence of God 24 hours a day; but I cannot. But these little folks are here without anybody’s permission. Let them be.’ Let’s see this lively family: “My soul yearns, even faints, for the courts of the Lord... Even the sparrow has found a home, and the swallow a nest for herself, where she may have her young — a place near Your altar ... Blessed are those who dwell in Your house; they are ever praising You... Blessed are those whose strength is in You, who have set their hearts on pilgrimage. As they pass through the Valley of Baca, they make it a place of springs. They go from strength to strength, till each appears before God in Zion" (Psa 84:2-7). When you keep your family in the altar of God to dwell there, you are blessed. God is your strength. As you go on this life’s pilgrimage you will walk through the valley of tears and transform it to blessings. You will become stronger and stronger till you reach your eternal home.

Then we come to the husband and wife, the most important people in the family. “Houses and wealth are inherited from parents, but a prudent wife is from the Lord" (Prov 19:14). Prudence is thinking wisely before acting. “Young women ... be discreet" (Tit 2:4,5 NKJV). Discretion is the ability to decide the most suitable thing to be done. So we see wives need prudence and discretion. When a disaster happens in the family people blame the wife saying, “Don’t blame your husband. What happened to your common sense?" Similarly men need wisdom in family life. “Husbands, in the same way be considerate as you live with your wives, and treat them with respect as the weaker partner and as heirs with you of the gracious gift of life, so that nothing will hinder your prayers" (1 Pet 3:7 NKJV says: dwell with them with undersanding). David says, “I will behave wisely in a perfect way...I will walk within my house with a perfect heart" (Ps 101:2 NKJV).

How can a husband and wife be wise in their love-hate relationship? We find the answer in the book of Proverbs. “A man’s wisdom gives him patience; it is to his glory to overlook an offense" (19:11). Families have become battle grounds because of anger.

Husband and wife are from different backgrounds and it will be difficult for one to tolerate the transgression of the other. Transgression is crossing the limits or in plain words, disobedience. Overlooking is behaving as if you didn’t see it or saying to yourself, “It’s OK. I’ll put up with it." Bend a little, don’t break. It is keeping your mouth shut when you want to shout and scream and scold. We make ourselves fools when we do that. “A fool gives full vent to his anger, but a wise man keeps himself under control" (29:11). This is probably the hardest of all disciplines for peaceful coexistence. Learn to control your temper. Sobriety is the ability to control oneself. If you fear you’ll burst out, go for a walk, pray, cool down and come back. Avoid the futile and frustrating effort to change your spouse. Work on changing yourself.

“A quick-tempered man does foolish things" (14:17). Squabbles have led to murder, suicide, separation and similar foolish acts. “A patient man has great understanding, but a quick-tempered man displays folly" (14:29). When you refuse to get angry it is easy to understand and set right matters.

If blowing your top is bad, stewing silently is no better. What then is the healthy alternative? It can be done without fireworks. When you are angry you can tell your spouse calmly that you would like to talk to him/her, and fix a time. Prepare yourself prayerfully. Give an introduction and sit for a calm discussion. Learn to express your feelings without hurting the other person. Keep your emotions under control.

“A man of knowledge uses words with restraint, and a man of understanding is even-tempered. Even a fool is thought wise if he keeps silent, and discerning if he holds his tongue" (17:27,28). Never pour out words in your anger. ‘When you are wrong, admit it; when you are right shut up’ — is a good dictum to follow. Even if you feel you are in the right, keep your cool and your partner is sure to cool down. It takes hard discipline and many years to develop a calm spirit. Start early and save your family.

When there are contentions the wise partner will give in and put an end to the quarrel. When you know starting a particular subject will surely lead to boxing, don’t do it. Any fool can start a quarrel (20:3).

Husband and wife are not two independant people but two interdependent units of one body. So no more bachelor life. When the wedding bell rings the death bell also rings. You die to self and start living for another person.

Another important aspect of wisdom between husband and wife is the ability to listen calmly. “He who answers before listening — that is his folly and his shame" (Prov 18:13). More often when we are at loggerheads, we are focussed on getting our point across rather than what our partner has to say. We have difficulty admitting that the other person may be right. So we turn a deaf ear to her/his argument. Learn to listen without talking. If you have developed a calm spirit then it is easier to listen.

As James puts it, “Everyone should be quick to listen, slow to speak, and slow to become angry" (1:19). It is better to deal with a small problem rightaway than let it become a big issue.

Touchiness is detrimental to relationship. Learn to take things easy. If you are touchy, your partner has to walk on egg shells, carefully choosing words and exremely cautious in behaviour. Husband and wife should give the freedom to the other to be themselves. Brush off comments and criticisms and ignore insults. Crying for hours or days together, refusing to talk puts everybody in trouble. That’s ego and it only breeds quarrels. You may be stewing over a tiff your husband has long forgotten.

“ Reckless words pierce like a sword, but the tongue of the wise brings healing" (Prov 12:18). Take care of your words. Subtle remarks and cunning comments can leave deep scars. It is a game for husband and wife to make each other look foolish. Avoid the deadly game. Bury past mistakes, errors and sins. Instead learn to speak words of comfort, encouragement and appreciation that have instant and lasting healing effects.


Next we come to the aspect of bringing up our children. In child rearing there is a gap, in many cases approaching criminal negligence, between what we should do and what we are actually doing. Job 39:13-17 is a clear picture of a modern parent. “ The wings of the ostrich wave proudly, but are her wings and pinions like the kindly stork’s? For she leaves her eggs on the ground, and warms them in the dust; she forgets that a foot may crush them, or that a wild beast may break them. She treats her young harshly, as though they were not hers; her labor is in vain, without concern, because God deprived her of wisdom, and did not endow her with understanding" (NKJV).

Here the foolish ostrich is compared to the wise stork. The wise stork builds her nest in the tall fir trees and keeps her young ones safe (Psa 104:17; Jer 8:7,8). Though the ostrich proudly waves her wings they cannot be compared to the kind stork’s. Nowadays husbands and wives are keen on accomplishments—acquiring degrees, visiting countries, doing business, building mansions, becoming popular—at what cost? Is it at the cost of your children?

We just leave the children to the mercy of maids and don’t care for the harm that can be done. While staying with a family I was playing with their little girls. The parents used to leave them with a ‘brother’ when they went for meetings. The little ones told me of what the brother did and giggled. I was shocked! I warned the parents. Another two year old male child was sexually abused by the 13 year old maid. Children have become pregnant or suffered injuries, not to mention the pinches and beatings kids receive at the hands of their maids. Yet for all that parents bury their heads in the sand and think their children are safe. So many things can happen to children. Take care of them. Children are rarely abused by strangers. More often it is the near and dear ones and it can happen inside the house.

This mania to succeed is strangling the family lives of folk. Ambition is good, but don’t be over ambitious. It means taking the time to hug and kiss your children, attending their graduation ceremonies, spending time with your spouse and let the other fellow overtake you in the highway! Be content with a happy family and a simple life like the stork. Don’t gain the whole world and lose your own children. The Bible calls the ostrich a heartless bird (Lam 4:3). Subjecting your children to deprivation of parental time, attention and love is cruelty.

Teach them the word of God that they may grow in wisdom like Jesus. How we grill them to do their homework! Do we show the same diligence in teaching them God’s word? That’s how Jewish children learned the Scriptures and that’s why some of the wisest people are Jews. That’s how Jesus learned and grew in wisdom. Do you ever think of giving tuitions if they are weak in Scripture knowledge? The devil is carefully and subtly changing our focus.

By the side of the ostrich, the stork is a most unimpressive figure. So are caring parents by the side of their much accomplished counterparts. But the Bible calls them wise. We want attention! Our accomplishments may make us ostriches with the inevitable loss of wisdom. Compare the wise rockbadger with the foolish ostrich. Husband and wife accomplish so much leaving them with no energy for the children. What is your priority, accomplishment or children?

Teach your children to fear God, for that is the beginning of wisdom (Prov 1:7). Teach them to pray for wisdom for the Lord gives wisdom (2:6). Train them to walk uprightly for sound wisdom shall be their privilege (2:7). Guide them to love the Scriptures, for that makes the simple wise (Ps 19:7,8). Do not be afraid to use the rod, for it imparts wisdom (Prov 22:15). Teach them relationship skills, for that is a wise man’s trait (11:12). Let them learn to listen to counsel, that they may increase their wisdom (12:15). Never be slack in demanding obedience that they may be known for their wisdom (13:1). Choose them wise companions that they may escape destruction (13:20). Train them to control their temper so that they won’t act foolishly (14:29). Teach them not to fight, for that will make him a fool (18:6). Deal strictly with their perverse speech that they may not be labelled as a fool (19:1). What you do, do early, for later on it is next to impossible to remove foolishness (27:22). Never hesitate to rebuke, that will guide them in the path of wisdom (29:15). Teach them to work hard so that they will be exceedingly wise (30:24,25). Keep them away from
intoxicating drinks, that they may not become unwise and a laughing stock (20:1).

One way by which we can be cruel to our children like the ostrich is by provoking them to wrath or irritating them and making them angry or by over correcting them or over controlling them or by exasperating them by coming down hard on them (Eph 6:4).

Authoritarian parenting is treating children like subordinates, ruling by the rod. Disciplinarian parents forget gentle leading by love. Academically oriented parents push their children over the edge to shine in school beyond their ability. Angry parents take out their frustration on the children. All these can leave the children wounded, hurt, emotionally scarred, bitter, baffled and angry. Since they cannot match your muscle power they react in other ways. Some parents think, leaving their little ones in the hostel is best to discipline them. Absolutely no. Home is best. Hostel experience may leave the child scarred for life.

Expressive love, understanding, touch, hug, spending time with them, laughing, outing, friends, can help them grow into balanced mature adults.

The Wisdom of Forgiveness

A happy marriage is the union of two good forgivers. King David was very angry with his son Absalom. But the wise woman of Tekoa made peace. Her logic was, “We will surely die and become like water spilled on the ground which cannot be gathered again" (2 Sam 14:1,2,14,20). Life is so vain; God forgives, why not we? Life is too short to hold grudges. Most of us want to forgive our spouses and our children but hold back due to ego. Forgiveness is the jewel of family life, though it can be a long and bumpy process. Be the first to make the first move towards reconciliation.

The Foolishness of Adultery

The Canaanites had weird sexual practices and God called them “confusion" (Lev 18:23; 20:12 KJV). Today many are “confused" which is the opposite of wisdom because they have fallen for the Canaanite trap. God gave the Israelites commandments and said, “Observe them carefully, for this will show your wisdom and understanding to the nations who will hear about all these decrees and say, ‘Surely this great nation is a wise and understanding people’ " (Dt 4:5,6).

Of all the sins against the family, adultery is the most rabid. Solomon expounds its foolishness, in no uncertain terms: “A man who commits adultery lacks judgment; whoever does so destroys himself. Blows and disgrace are his lot, and his shame will never be wiped away; for jealousy arouses a husband’s fury, and he will show no mercy when he takes revenge. He will not accept any compensation; he will refuse the bribe, however great it is (Prov 6:30-35). There is no use saying, ‘I love you’ if you are not committed to your wife/husband. Solomon repeated these sacred words to 1000 women!

The thief has the excuse of hunger if he steals (V 30). But adultery has no excuse because God has provided for you. The pasture is always greener on the other side of the fence. The closest competitor to the word of God is the lips of the immoral woman. Both are compared to honey (Prov 5:3; Psa 19:10). When you drink her honey she drinks your wisdom and makes you a fool.

The wisest man on earth was made a dunce by women.

Why was Solomon a philanderer? God gave him wisdom but he failed to act on it. He saw a foolish youth. The young man thought he was doing something under cover of the night, out of anybody’s sight. But one man was watching the whole drama from somewhere and wrote it down for the whole world to read. That was number one foolishness of the young man (Prov 7:6,7). Be sure your sin will find you out.

“Say to wisdom, ‘You are my sister,’ and call understanding your kinsman, they will keep you from the adulteress, from the wayward wife with her seductive words" (Prov 7:4,5).

How to Escape

  •  Don’t carry live coals in your shirt pocket or sari pallu and pray for safety. Don’t walk on live coals with prayer (Prov 6:27,28).
  •  Don’t judge your holiness from the blessings of your ministry.
  •  Listen when others warn. Don’t defend yourself.
  •  Obey your spouse. Even if it is a platonic relationship, if your spouse resents, leave it. Family peace is destroyed by selfishness.
  •  Be careful about spiritual attraction.
  •  Avoid touch.
  •  If you are unmarried, get married. Widows and widowers of any age should contemplate marriage if they feel the need. Elders shoud encourage and help them.
  •  Don’t look for romance in marriage but settle for companionship and love.
  •  Enjoy sex with your life partner to minimize temptation.

The Home of the Wise

“Through wisdom a house is built, and through understanding it is established; through knowledge the rooms are filled with rare and beautiful treasures. A wise man has great power, and a man of knowledge increases strength; for waging war you need guidance, and for victory many advisers" (Prov 24:3-6).

When a house is full of treasures—fear of God, salvation, forgiveness, peace, children, husband, wife, good testimony, etc—the thief is certain to come. You may have wisdom. But you may have blind spots too. “Wisdom is found in those who take advice" (Prov 13:10). Do not be struggling all by yourself. Go to the pastor and his wife or professional counselors. When there is a terrible situation in the family, resist the tendency to give up or run away from it all. If you think your marriage is worth anything, fight for it. Take seriously your commitment to the permanence of your marriage. Proverbs 24, verses 10 and 14 give hope: “If you falter in times of trouble, how small is your strength! ... know also that wisdom is sweet to your soul; if you find it, there is a future hope for you."

Pray for wisdom. There is hope for your family. Stop thinking of your marriage as terminal. It may not be a hopeless situation. Wisdom is better than weapons of war (Eccl 9:18). You fight better, if you fight cleverer. Instead of using weapons of war, sit and plan what you have to do. In confusion, droplets of wisdom emerge which conglomerate to give you a solution.Trust God and use your common sense (2 Tim 1:7). A wise woman saved a city by throwing out evil (2 Sam 20:16,21,22). Throw out what is hurting your family. It is not easy. Atleast hold the fort. Survive bad times and you’ll live to see good times (Job 42:10).

If you are a single parent, separated, divorced or widowed, still you can follow God’s will for your life. Don’t worry. God cares for you.

The Wise use of Time

“Be very careful, then, how you live — not as unwise making the most of every opportunity because the days are evil. Therefore do not be foolish but understand what the Lord’s will is" (Eph 5:15-17).

Unless you distribute your time wisely, your priorities will be lopsided. Keep your priorities straight. God first, family next, work or ministry third, is a good rule to follow.

Stop and think. At each instance stop and think if you are wise or foolish.

“Who is wise and understanding among you? Let him show it by his good life, by deeds done in the humility that comes from wisdom. But if you harbor bitter envy and selfish ambition in your hearts, do not boast about it or deny the truth. Such wisdom does not come down from heaven, but is earthly, unspiritual, of the devil. For where you have envy and selfish ambition, there you find disorder and every evil practice. But the wisdom that comes from heaven is first of all pure; then peace loving, considerate, full of mercy and good fruit, impartial partial and sincere. Peacemakers who sow in peace raise a harvest of righteousness" (Js 3:13-18). Please bow down before the Bible and exhibit the wisdom from above, at home.

The wise man built his house upon the rock. The floods came; the waters rose and pummelled against the house. But nothing could move the house. But the stupid man put up his house on the sand. When a storm rolled in and the giant waves hit, it collapsed like a house of cards.

Are you building your home or breaking it?  

—helpline 09843011943


   Address for Correspondence & Contributions:

Lilian Stanley
13 Church Colony
Vellore 632006, India
Tel: +91 9843511943
Email: lilianstanley@gmail.com