Where do you call home? Is it the town where you grew up? Is it the city you live in now? Is it the physical address where you reside? Or is home more of an idea that embodies many different things? As we read through Proverbs 17 today, we are instructed in the way of wisdom in regards to the four walls in which we live on a daily basis. How do we maintain harmony within those walls and in the relationships that exist within them?
Is your home a place of harmony? Do you hate to leave it because you know that everything outside of it will pale in comparison to the joy you feel at home, and do you love to return to it, knowing that it is a safe place where love, peace, and harmony flourish? Ok, that’s a lofty idea maybe for some, but let’s take a look at what Scripture has to say about this. Considering the fact that much if not most of our lives are spent and built within our homes, wouldn’t it make sense to foster a desirable environment there? Wouldn’t it seem logical to spend your efforts in making home a place where you want to be?
“Better a dry crust with peace and quiet
than a house full of feasting, with strife.” Proverbs 17:1
Proverbs 17 is filled with wisdom for the fool. Sounds funny, doesn’t it? The foolish person who has no ear to hear instruction desperately needs to read these words of wisdom. BUT, so does the wise person. These truths reinforce what most of us (wise, foolish, and everyone in between) find difficult to apply to our lives when relationships get tough: living in harmony with others. When there is relational strife and strain, being kind and gentle are not our typical defaults. When disunity exists within the home, quarrels quickly follow. When harmony in the home is not prioritized, the family unit begins to deteriorate.
“A prudent servant will rule over a disgraceful son
and will share the inheritance as one of the family.” Proverbs 17:2
Let’s take back what the enemy has stolen from us. Let’s position ourselves to be teachable and humble today to receive this godly counsel from Proverbs 17, and let’s allow it to be the filter in our homes: the filter for our speech, our actions, and even our thoughts. A house of harmony awaits those who would walk in this way of wisdom.
“Whoever would foster love covers over an offense,
but whoever repeats the matter separates close friends.” Proverbs 17:9
Oh, to be grace-seekers and forgiveness-givers in a world that so often withholds both!
“Starting a quarrel is like breaching a dam;
so drop the matter before a dispute breaks out.” Proverbs 17:14
“Whoever loves a quarrel loves sin;
whoever builds a high gate invites destruction.” Proverbs 17:19
“The one who has knowledge uses words with restraint,
and whoever has understanding is even-tempered.” Proverbs 17:27
How much less would we quarrel and fight if instead we would choose to refuse to be offended? Food for thought today. Refuse to be offended, and offenses begin to roll off. When it comes to our words, less is often more. I want to live in a house of harmony. I want to pursue it with everything in me. Let’s do it together!