Ladies, I hate to do this to you but if I didn’t write about the quarrelsome wife at some point during our Proverbs study then it really wouldn’t have been an accurate depiction of all that the book covers. I’m going to make this easier on you by focusing on my own experience as a nag.
I have a happy and fulfilled marriage….now. Let’s just say that hasn’t always been the case. Now I was always an excellent homemaker. My home was never dirty, the laundry was done daily, my cupboards were never bare and meals where prepared right on schedule. I was taking very good care of my man and providing for most of his needs. But, and you all knew the but was coming, I was not doing any of these things with a cheerful heart. My husband was coming home to a picture perfect house with a not-so-picture-perfect wife living in it. When it came to him, I was unpleasant.
However, I was a different kind of nag because I rarely vocalized my complaints. I preferred the make-him-read-my-mind-method. He knew I was agitated but I liked to mix things up by making him play a continual game of “guess what you did wrong today?!” Doesn’t that sound like a fun time? Even though I knew I wasn’t exactly being a good wife, I felt comfortable with the fact that I was a good enough wife by keeping up my home.
Wanna hear when my revelation came?
We had a marriage conference at our church and Joe McGee made a simple statement that was profound, convicting and freeing all at once: “You are your husband’s wife, not a house wife.”
“It’s better to live alone in the corner of an attic than with a quarrelsome wife in a lovely home.” (Proverbs 21:9 NLT)
And all the homemakers say…OUCH!!
Here I thought I was doing a bang-up job by providing a well-kept, comfortable home when truthfully I was tearing it down little by little with my own hands. A house is a home because of the people who live in it, not because of it’s appearance and I was neglecting my people. Yes, they were well taken care of but my little people could see and feel the tension between me and my spouse. What kind of example was I setting for my girls- So long as you take care of your ‘job’ then it’s ok to neglect your husband’s physical, spiritual and emotional needs? That is not the life I desire for my kids and I realized it was no longer acceptable for me either.
Both my husband and I made some changes in how we treated one another. Perhaps one day I can convince him to share with you but for now, I will let you in on what I did. First, I made a conscious decision to focus less on my to-do list and make my get-to list my priority. In other words, my chores took a back burner to conversation with Jamie, story time with the girls and rainbow tag with my older kids and their friends. Then I decided that rather than fuss about what my husband was not doing, I would praise him for the ample things he did for which I should be thankful. Lastly and most importantly, I stopped clamming up when I was upset. Ladies, our guys cannot read our minds! If you aren’t willing to speak up about what bothers you, then you really don’t have a right to be angry when it doesn’t improve.
Marriage is a gift and a treasure. Yes, there will be times in the valley but if we nurture our relationship we will survive the trials when they come raging in.
*This is day 21 of our chapter-a-day study of Proverbs. If you wish to read from the beginning, search 31 day in the tool bar to the right and go from there! Happy learning!