Proverbs 21:9 It is better to live in a corner of a rooftop than in a house shared with a contentious woman.
Proverbs 21:19 It is better to live in the wilderness than with a contentious and angry woman.
Proverbs 27:15 A quarrelsome wife is as annoying as constant dripping on a rainy day. 16 Stopping her complaints is like trying to stop the wind or trying to hold something with greased hands.
Proverbs 31:26 She opens her mouth with wisdom, and on her tongue is the law of kindness.
Okay, so Solomon was wise in a lot of ways, but he dated and married a lot of women. Towards the end of Proverbs, he points out that it’s the sound of a woman, not her looks, that’s important. Later in life, when he wrote Ecclesiastes, he recommended staying with the wife of your youth. I’m reminded of the saying, “Experience is the comb life gives you after you lose your hair.”
Men do it as well as women. How do we come across as contentious?
1. We know what someone should do, or what we want them to do, so we nag. Then we say, “Why do you make me say it more than once?” Logical? Absolutely. Effective? Not so much. Breaking the nagging habit is 100% mandatory for lasting happiness. I could write a book from my own experience, but for now I’ll recommend this link or this one.
2. We fear that someone doesn’t love us or is hiding something, so we pry or manipulate until we end up in a fight. Now do we feel loved? When they finally say what we want to hear, do they feel loving? Not usually, and molding your relationship around drama makes it unlikely to last. Just like God is our financial provider, God is also the fulfiller of our emotional needs. When we understand this, the pressure is off our partner. When do people fall in love? When they are both independent and free-spirited. Too often, after the words are said, fear takes over.
Romans 8:6 says, “Letting your sinful nature control your mind leads to death. But letting the Spirit control your mind leads to life and peace.”
2 Timothy 1:7 says, “For God has not given us a spirit of fear and timidity, but of power, love, and self-discipline.”
If you have not memorized these verses, do so. They will help you in those moments when your mind and mouth are off the leash.
3. We fail to recognize when our moods are just moods. Do you ever have times where you feel like everything is wrong and has always been wrong and you’re just DONE!!? Later, after you’ve blown up and regret it, you realize that while some issues need work, you were spurred on by a mood. Moods can be created by stress, lack of sleep, seasonal changes, hormones and even sugar fluctuations. Combine a natural state of vulnerability with some way your partner irritates you or some personal struggle you have, and you have the potential for bombogenesis.
I opened the window of my 6th floor room in Rhode Island. The governor called a travel ban because a “Bombogenesis” was coming—a blizzard term that comes from combining Cyclogenesis and, of course, Bomb. Everybody duck, right? So far it’s actually very peaceful, here in my heated room with my Chocolate Chili Chai and wifi. Out the window, the snow shushes the world, swirling fast and silent but looking nothing like a terrorist. Instead, the grace of it cushions my heart and floats light and soft to the cars below.
I want to have grace like that, so I’m giving my mouth-keys to the Holy Spirit. How can that help? Jesus referred to the Holy Spirit as the Comforter. In the creation story, the author of Genesis says in the beginning, the Spirit of God moved upon the face of the waters and the world was created. Paul says in Romans 8, 11 The Spirit of God, who raised Jesus from the dead, lives in you.
So inside me, there is a Spirit that gives me comfort I can share, a Spirit that creates functional beauty, a Spirit that can bring things back to life. Wow. Thanks, Lord!
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