Wednesdays for Wives: Don’t Send Your Husband to the Roof

…A quarrelsome wife is like a constant dripping. Proverbs 19:13

Better to live on a corner of the roof than to share a house with a quarrelsome wife. Proverbs 21:9

Better to live in a desert than to live with quarrelsome and ill-tempered wife. Proverbs 21:19

Wow! That’s pretty straight forward. Every time I come across those verses in Proverbs I chuckle to think that wives have been nagging husbands as far back as Bible times. Then I always feel a little sheepish and convicted knowing that I too can be a quarrelsome wife sometimes.

As wives we are supposed to respect our husbands. Constant complaining, nagging and arguing is not respectful. But we do it because we think they don’t listen to us. We ask them to take out the trash. When we ask we mean , “drop what you are doing, I don’t care if it’s important to you, it’s not to me, and take out the trash immediately.” But they think, “I’ll do it after I beat level five of this video game.” Then 10 minutes later when they haven’t moved we ask again, and again and again. After our fourth or fifth time asking they aren’t listening anymore. And they’re probably mad at us and won’t do it all. Then it may escalate into an argument, “I spent all day cleaning your house, washing your clothes and keeping your children from killing each other! Can’t you at least take the trash out?!”

“You? I was at work all day. Making money for us remember? Can’t I just have a few minutes to sit down and relax?”

“Relax? When do I get to relax? Between endless diaper changes, a sink always full of dirty dishes and dirty laundry stacked to the ceiling do you think I ever get to just sit for five minutes?!!”

And the argument goes on and on, most likely never to be resolved.

Every woman has a bad day. We may get grouchy and yell at our husbands for no reason. Sometimes husbands give us good cause to yell. It’s forgivable once in a while, but we should strive not to, and we should be careful not to fall into a pattern of constantly telling him what to do, picking fights and pestering him with endless to-do lists.

When we nag our husbands we treat them like children, not men. They didn’t marry you because they wanted a different version of their mother. Even if it’s not our intention, it makes them feel like we believe they’re stupid and can’t think for themselves. On the other hand we might feel like we’re just being helpful, but we’re not. A husband constantly berated by his wife will become bitter towards her.   

Can you imagine how bad it must be to live with a nagging wife if it’s better to live on a corner of the roof? A corner of the roof where the author of Proverbs likely lived would have been hot, dusty and dry with no relief of shade. But yet it’s considered a place of rest compared to sharing the inside of that house with a woman who argues and pesters.

We should strive to be shade and rest and cooling water for our husbands. Our homes should be places of shelter from the world. Our husbands should find comfort and peace at home, not constant turmoil and pressure.

How do we do this? Even when it seems like our husbands aren’t behaving like we think  they should? First I think you have evaluate what it they’re doing that bothers you. It it really an important issue? All most every night my husband leaves his dirty clothes crumpled in a heap on the floor beside the bed. (Sorry for telling on you.) It drives me absolutely crazy! The laundry is practically across the hall. I have asked him on many occasions, “Would it really take you that much longer to walk down the hall and put your clothes in the dirty laundry?” Usually this question gets asked when I’m already tired and cranky for some other unrelated reason. One morning not long ago I found myself carrying his clothes to the laundry room and grumbling to myself over it. Then it occurred to me that it really wasn’t a big deal. It took me all of 30 seconds. Why not just do it and let it go? Ever since I have been trying to just quietly pick them up with out complaining and getting mad. The truth is it’s important to me, but he could care less. He’s a guy. He’s thinking, “So what if my clothes are on the floor? They’re already dirty. What does it matter where I put them?”

If it is an issue that is important discuss it with him. A discussion is a two-sided conversation in which both parties share ideas. Don’t do all the talking, and don’t brush his feelings and opinions aside. Remain calm and disagree respectfully with him using suggestions and be open for a compromise.

If you can’t come to some sort of agreement on an issue turn it over to the Lord. Ask him to show both of you the right thing to do, and make changes in both your hearts. One or both of you may be wrong. I’ve seen God change my husband’s behavior, but more often than not he points out that the problem isn’t my husband, it’s my attitude. Whatever the situation, give it over to God and stop the nagging.

Peter writes to wives, “Your beauty should not come from outward adornment, such as braided hair and the wearing of gold jewelry and fine clothes. Instead, it should be that of your inner self, the unfading beauty of a gentle and quiet spirit, which is of great worth in God’s sight.” (1 Peter Chapter 3 Verses 3-4) If we have a gentle and quiet spirit we won’t find ourselves being a quarrelsome nag. Now I know a lot of you are thinking, “That’s just not me! I’m out spoken, I’m bold, I’m sassy.” I think you can be a gentle spirit with out being a wall flower. It has more to do with choosing words carefully and speaking them with a gentle attitude than actually being quiet.

Ask the Lord to create a quiet and gentle spirit with in you. Ask him to remind you to check your words and your attitude before you speak. I challenge you stop the nagging. After all, you don’t want your husband living on the roof do you?

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