When my youngest son was 12, I started working full-time and six months later I started going to school full-time. The combination of working and going to school meant that I was away from home a lot and when I was there, I was completely distracted by what was going on in my life. Within four years, I obtained my masters degree. At work, I was promoted twice and increased my salary by seventy percent. The impact to my family was that my daughter became sexually active, my oldest son got into pornography, and my youngest son started using drugs.
It says in Proverbs 14:1, “Every wise woman buildeth her house: but the foolish plucketh it down with her hands.” To pluck something down with your hands means you take it apart. You break it down or unbuild it. The phrase building your house typically means having children or raising a family (1129). Therefore, plucking down the house you have built implies that you are having a bad influence on your children or hindering them from growing up in the Lord. The word foolish can signify disregarding God’s will and also represents acts of senselessness, impropriety, and stupidity (5039).
Work is good and working hard is commendable, but there is a point where work can become unhealthy. Some people are workaholics, unable to say no to the demands of their careers. In my case, I felt I had to make up for lost time when I had been out of the workforce. In many ways, I was just being selfish, doing what I wanted to do. The bottom line was that working fueled my desire for independence and made me less reliant on my husband for financial security. Unfortunately, I failed to notice that my effort to succeed was breaking apart my family relationships.