The wise woman builds her house, but with her own hands the foolish one tears hers down. Proverbs 14:1
Do you know the expression, “a rolling stone gathers no moss”? It means that if you keep moving, you won’t accumulate excess baggage – stuff and things. Well, as it turns out, moss can be a good thing. Moss can be resources – both tangible and intangible – and we, as women, need to roll into one place and start collecting some of it. If we stay in the same house, city, relationship and job, we have a better chance at gathering the things we want in life than if we roll from one house, relationship or job to another.
Change can be good if it means upward mobility. It’s OK to change jobs if we’re moving from one right into another that pays better and builds our skills and resume. It’s OK to move from an apartment into our own home. And it’s great to sell that first home for a profit and move into a larger home. These are upward moves and they actually help us accumulate moss.
Yet often, we make moves not upward, but sideways or down, and sometimes we make them out of sheer boredom. The mobile character of our society breeds restlessness in us, making it harder to stay with something after the excitement has worn off completely. When we come to that point, instead of allowing our attention to be pulled to something new and exciting, we need to dig in our heels of commitment and remember how much we appreciated what we have when we first got it, how useful and good in our lives it currently is and how making a change will drain us of resources that we cannot afford to lose.
Constant wanting and acting to satisfy those wants – for a new car, new job, new clothes – will drain a person of resources. A constant wanting for material things has negative consequences, no doubt. They are mild, however, compared to how a woman can undo her progress and limit her own opportunity in life by being restless in romance.
Even without children, divorce is painful and costly, and despite what we may have heard, a woman usually comes out on the losing end of it. Except for those cases in which a woman is breaking away from an abusive spouse, divorce is a negative and devastating thing in a person’s life. The financial toll is the least of it. The real cost is emotional. And sadly this undoing often grows from the seed of discontent, tended and fed until it destroys what was once the most precious thing in a woman’s life.
One of the best financial plans we can make for ourselves, one of the best ways to ensure happy golden years, is to choose a husband wisely and then remain in that marriage. Should feelings of “I could do better” begin to ignite, we must quickly stamp them out as if they were sparks that could destroy our whole life by fire. We can’t allow ourselves to be entranced by the ephemeral beauty of those sparks of discontent, allowing them to start a small flame which, out of fascination, we watch as it grows, thinking to ourselves, “I can put this out whenever I want.” In an instant, we can lose control of the fire we allowed to start and it will destroy our home and family – all for a little fascination because we were bored.
It is a great skill to be able to appreciate the same old things anew each day. It’s called stability, and with it, we will gather lots of the right kind of moss.
Hold this thought: I make calculated moves to better my life.
Donna Lee Schillinger is editor of the recent anthology Purity’s Big Payoff/Premarital Sex is a Big Rip-off, winner of the 2012 Christian Small Publisher’s Book of the Year. In 2008 she founded On My Own Now Ministries to encourage faith, wise life choices and Christ-likeness in young adults. On My Own Now publishes the free, monthly online magazines, Single! Young Christian Woman and Genuine Motivation: Young Christian Man.