The word ‘husband’ comes from an Old Norse word “husbondi”. This word is a combination of two words, “hus” and “bondi”. Hus means house and bondi means to bind or to band. A husband then is one who binds or bands a house. The role of a husband is to be the “house-band”. Men are responsible for keeping their homes together. God designed men to defeat domestic division, for it is division (only) that can destroy a family. Husbands must cover, protect and defend their homes.
Proverbs 14:1 says, “Every wise woman buildeth her house: but the foolish plucketh it down with her hands”. Men may band their houses, but its the wife who builds it. Woman are house builders. There is a certain construction in the family life which only a woman can serve as the contractor. Solomon seems to understand the power of women in the home and family. They can “buildeth” or they can “plucketh it down”. That’s a lot of power!
What a man is banding needs a woman building. Authentic biblical home life requires a wise woman. Wise women contribute to the well being of their husbands and homes. Wise women add value to their family life. Wise women edify the experience of every one in the home. Wise women build.
They tell us that purchasing a home is for most Americans the most important financial investment they will make in their lives. A wise woman knows that there is no greater investment than her family. She “buildeth” because building a home never ends. It requires remodeling. It requires renovations. It requires redecoration. The wise woman knows the seasons of her home and will do whatever is necessary to bless her family.
For every wise woman there is a foolish woman in waiting. Solomon makes us also consider the women who are poised and prepared to pluck down their homes. Feminine foolishness is a destructive dynamic that should never be unleashed against any family. “Foolish” in the Book of Proverbs is not linked to intellectual ability, it is a moral quality and ethical issue. The idea of a woman destroying her own husband and home is thought to be immoral and unethical.
The foolish wife “plucketh it down with her hands”. It is “plucketh” because you never destroy a marriage or home quickly. It is dismantled brick by brick, word by word, lie by lie, disrespect by disrespect, wound by wound, and hurt by hurt. The word “plucketh” means ‘to break down and to break away’. When a woman is not building her home everyone is beat down. Eventually the family will lose its house band and the family starts breaking away. This is dangerous stuff!
The strong hands of a woman are what every home needs. We need gentle hands that we can hold tightly. We need the hands that will love us with comfort, an embrace, discipline, and a hug. Every wise women has the power and knows exactly how to pick up her home.