I’ve been reading through Proverbs and came across a few verses that kind of “stuck out” to me.
Proverbs 21:9 & 25:24 “Better to live on a corner of the roof than share a house with a quarrelsome wife.”
Proverbs 21:19 “Better to live in a desert than with a quarrelsome and ill-tempered wife.”
Proverbs 27:15-16 “A quarrelsome wife is like a constant dripping on a rainy day; restraining her is like restraining the wind or grasping oil with the hand.”
Yikes! Those are some pretty harsh words. I certainly hope my husband never has times when he would rather be living on a corner of our roof or in a desert.
I don’t know about you, but it can be easy for me to resort to being “quarrelsome,” or an even harsher word – “nagging,” if I feel that I am not being heard. But, contrary to what our natural instincts may tell us, repeating ourselves again and again does not necessarily mean we will be heard; in fact, we are probably heard less.
“Quarrelsome nagging, a steady stream of unwanted advice, is a form of torture. People nag because they think they’re not getting through, but nagging hinders communication more than it helps. When tempted to engage in this destructive habit, stop and examine your motives. Are you more concerned about yourself – getting your way, being right – than about the person you are pretending to help? If you are truly concerned about other people, think of a more effective way to get through to them. Surprise them with words of patience and love, and see what happens.” 1
Proverbs 10:19 says “When words are many, sin is not absent, but he who holds his tongue is wise.” Too many words can get us into trouble. Sometimes, it is better to say less, or maybe even nothing at all, but rather bring the matter before the Lord in prayer, and leave the results with Him.
In order to know what to say, when to say it, how much to say, and when not to say anything, we need to be in tune with His Spirit. I often remember the phrase that DeEtta taught me – “pause and pray.” Take a moment to stop and pray and ask the Lord for wisdom before we speak. And, may we strive, by God’s grace, to be like the Proverbs 31 woman who “speaks with wisdom, and faithful instruction is on her tongue” (vs. 26).
1 Life Application Bible – NIV by Tyndale House Publishers, Inc. (c)1991