A couple of months ago, I began using the devotional booklet Baptist Bread for my personal devotions. I've also been using the Bible-reading plan included in the devotions, because my chronological reading just wasn't going well, plain and simple. Now I read the morning passage listed in Baptist Bread, then at our family devotions we read the chapter in Proverbs that corresponds to the day's date. Which brings me to what I wanted to say! LOL
On August 14th, the Scripture passage for the morning was Romans 14, and the Proverbs reading was chapter 14. I like to write down a verse each day that particularly speaks to me, and on this morning I wrote down Romans 14:19, which teaches us not to judge what another servant is doing, but to "follow after the things which make for peace, and things wherewith one may edify another." To edify means to instruct and improve the mind in knowledge generally, and particularly in moral and religious knowledge, in faith and holiness (Webster's 1828 Dictionary). In the Strong's Concordance, the word edify carries the connotation of building (our English word edifice is similar). So instead of looking to judge another and tear them down, we should be looking for ways to build them up, to teach them faith and holiness.
When I turned to Proverbs 14 that morning, the first verse of that chapter begins, ""Every wise woman buildeth her house . . . " What a practical example of what I'd just read in Romans 14! The very first priority we have as wives and/or mothers is the building up (teaching faith and holiness), edifying of our children and the encouragement of our husbands to faith and holiness! I understand that we are to train our children, and that involves tearing down their sinful behavior and attitudes, but the flip side of that coin is building them up by teaching them correct behavior and attitudes. And how often do I tear my husband down with even just a look, when I should be building him up? With something as simple as a look that says, "I trust you" I can build him up, not to mention the words I say to him and the prayers I pray for him. I want to be a wise woman, edifying the ones closest to me, building them up in faith and holiness. What a privilege to have such a strong influence on their lives!