Have you ever read a chapter in Proverbs a day? It’s actually a great way to get godly wisdom into your life on a daily basis, and it certainly isn’t hard to do.
As I (Alayna) read today’s chapter in Proverbs, two verses stuck out to me. From them, I have something for all of us wanna-be-godly wives and mothers to think about. Grab your bible and open to Proverbs 21, read verses 9 and 19. I’ll write them here for your convenience.
“It is better to live in a corner of the housetop than in a house shared with a quarrelsome wife.” Prov 21:9
“It is better to live in a desert land than with a quarrelsome and fretful woman.” Prov 21:19
Quarrelsome and fretful. Does that describe you? In case you aren’t sure, let’s dig into some word meanings.
Quarrelsome – adj. 1. Given to or characterized by quarreling
Synonyms – argumentative, disputatious, confrontational, pugnacious, combative, antagonistic, contentious, belligerent, cantankerous, choleric
Antonyms – peaceable
Fretful – adj. 1. Feeling or expressing distress or irritation
Synonyms – distressed, upset, miserable, unsettled, uneasy, edgy, agitated, worked up, stressed, irritable, bad-tempered, grumpy, crotchety, testy, cranky, crabby
Are you crabby, grumpy, irritated, cranky, and miserable with or toward your husband? Now we all have bad days, that much is true, but is this an everyday attitude? Or even a couple times a week? Or do you constantly argue and start quarrels with your husband? Are you belligerent, combative or antagonistic with him? If you answered yes to any of the above, I have some news for you… God says in Proverbs that your husband is better off living in your basement or on a desert land than to share a house with you.
Ouch, that smarts.
Sometimes we feel like they deserve the attitudes we give them, and perhaps that is true seldom or more often than not. Or maybe you feel like it’s their fault that you are in a cranky and agitated mood. But to make a marriage work well, grace and mercy are a much better choice to make than retribution and tit for tat.
Imagine if God gave us all that we deserve. We’d be in a heap of trouble. But that's the beauty of God's mercy and grace.
I know I have my days where I’m bad tempered or grumpy, but it’s not really fair to my husband if I let out all of my grumpiness on him. And other times I’m prone to playing devil’s advocate, which can sometimes feel like I’m being combative by always taking the other side. We don’t really fight over much, but he has said before that sometimes it feels like I always want to disagree with him.
But I never want my husband to feel like he’d be better off in a desert than with me, so I work to make our home a peaceable place, and I strive to treat him with kindness and love. For those times when my husband may feel like I’m being a combative wife, open and honest communication is always the most important avenue to resolve our disputes. But honestly, my husband reassured me that the time that I’m the most cantankerous wife of all is when I ask him what I should wear, and do the exact opposite of what he advises… ;)
If you find yourself to be a quarrelsome and fretful wife, ask God for help to change. Every interaction in marriage is a chance to make a choice. Start today to work toward being a peaceable wife, one who isn’t quick to start an argument or to be in a bad mood. Choose to fill yourself with God’s word, and His Holy Spirit, who gives us peace. When you are filled with good things and God’s peace, you can’t help but be a peaceable wife.