The men in my world–hubby, two adult sons, two grandsons–are all about tools. I always know what I can buy them at holiday time. Whether it’s a gadget for the garage, kitchen or barbecue, it’s a surefire way to make points. One Christmas, Les gave our sons each a fancy-dancy, fully loaded toolbox, and I must say I never saw either of them levitate over a gift like they did over that metal chest of boy-toys.
When I thought about different kinds of tools, I remembered a proverb about a woman building her house: Proverbs 14:14a The wise woman builds her house. It reminded me that women, too, have need of a select kit for the building of their homes. So I rustled around my toolbox and found a few tools that have helped me to be wise.
Faith: My faith in Christ is the cornerstone of my life and my home. I confess I haven’t always been the sweetest wife or hormonally consistent mom, but because Christ was the bottom line in our family’s relationships, we have all survived each other.
Love: Because love covers “a multitude of sins” (I Peter 4:8b), it’s the perfect all purpose tool for our kits. When all else fails, pull out love, and you will find it is able to do what no other tool can accomplish: it adjusts attitudes, hammers defenses, calibrates perspectives and covered offenses.
Humor: This is an essential tool that securely fastens down good mental health and helps to establish social savvy. Laughter disarms, relaxes, distracts, enhances, and connects us to one another. There is no sweeter melody than when our families laugh together!
Forgiveness: I keep saying each tool is essential, and quite honestly, the ones I’ve mentioned are, and this one is no exception. People hurt people. That’s just the way it goes in this kick-the-can world. And the more we care for someone, the deeper the potential for injuring that person. We set unfair expectations on others when we’re shocked that they hurt and disappoint us. Sooner or later, everyone disappoints everyone. God said we would do that to each other. That makes forgiveness key to a family’s ongoing survival.
Faith, love, humor, and forgiveness are God-given tools that help us build our homes and make us wise…very wise.
What’s in your tool kit?