While seeing a female medical doctor, I mentioned keeping my then 2-year-old grandson. Since she had a 3-year-old little girl, she proceeded to inform me of what her pediatrician had recommended for temper tantrums. When the little girl had her next tantrum, she gave it a try which consisted of shutting her 3-year-old in her room and securing the door so she would be unable to get out. My doctor said besides screaming to open the door, the little girl tore the room apart, even turning over a huge stuffed rocking chair which made it hard to push the door open when the child had finally calmed down. My doctor said she had no idea how her daughter was able to turn over that chair.
As I read Proverb 14:1, that mental picture popped into my head, “A wise woman builds her home but a foolish woman tears it down with her own hands.” Children throw temper tantrums. It’s not unusual to see a young child act foolishly. Consider Proverbs 22:15, (NASB), “Foolishness is bound up in the heart of a child; The rod of discipline will remove it far from him.” David said, “For I was born a sinner—yes, from the moment my mother conceived me” (Psalm 51:5, NLT). That’s why the Bible says to “train up a child in the way he should go” (Proverbs 22:6a, NASB). We are all born with the sinful flesh wanting to go our own way, “There is a way which seems right to a man, But its end is the way of death” (Proverbs 14:12, NASB).
You hope by adulthood temper tantrums are a thing of the past. “People with understanding control their anger; a hot temper shows great foolishness” (14:29, NLT). But many adults still walk in the sinful flesh and do not choose the wisdom of God, “Fools make fun of guilt, but the godly acknowledge it and seek reconciliation” (Proverbs 14:9). Thus, a fool will unwisely tear their home down with the hands God gave them for building it. “Those who follow the right path fear the Lord; those who take the wrong path despise him” (Proverbs 14:2). “The prudent carefully consider their steps” (14:15b).
It’s one thing to see a 3-year old destroy a room, but it is altogether different when a full-grown adult destroys, not just the physical structure, but an entire family unit. How many times individuals act foolishly and end up destroying a marriage and a family. Unfortunately, in one congregation, we witnessed 4 young moms walk away from their homes, leaving husband and sometimes even children behind. Knowing one’s sinful heart causes one to see a need for salvation. After salvation, one must always be growing spiritually mature because the old foolishness will rear its ugly head at any moment.
“And you were dead in your trespasses and sins, in which you formerly walked according to the course of this world, according to the prince of the power of the air, of the spirit that is now working in the sons of disobedience. Among them we too all formerly lived in the lusts of the flesh, indulging the desires of the flesh and of the mind, and were by nature children of wrath, even as the rest” (Ephesians 2:1-3, NASB). The next verse begins with “But God” as He intervenes with eternal life.
Are you building or tearing down? Allow God to intervene!