It is better to live in a desert land
than with a quarrelsome and fretful woman.
Consider Peter's counsel to wives in light of this proverb:
"Likewise, wives, be subject to your own husbands, so that even if some do not obey the word, they may be won without a word by the conduct of their wives– when they see your respectful and pure conduct. Do not let your adorning be external–the braiding of hair, the wearing of gold, or the putting on of clothing– but let your adorning be the hidden person of the heart with the imperishable beauty of a gentle and quiet spirit, which in God's sight is very precious. For this is how the holy women who hoped in God used to adorn themselves, by submitting to their husbands, as Sarah obeyed Abraham, calling him lord. And you are her children, if you do good and do not fear anything that is frightening" (1 Peter 3:1-6).
Wives, consider what fretfulness ultimately conveys. You may think it conveys that your husbands are not acting wisely or loving. But it further conveys that you cannot trust God. Scripture teaches us to be content in all circumstances. That includes marriage. That is a difficult command to observe, but nevertheless it is the call for wives and for husbands.
Husbands, consider seriously how you contribute to your wives' quarrelsomeness and fretfulness. You may wish you were in a desert, but you are not. You as head of your marriage have the obligation to help calm your wives' fears. Just as her resorting to quarreling and expressing her anxieties do not help you to achieve more and be more responsible, neither do your reprimands help to quiet her fears.
Women should not nag and men should not escape. And neither of them should blame the other for their behavior. Follow the command given in Ephesians 5:33: "However, let each one of you love his wife as himself (regardless of her behavior), and let the wife see that she respects her husband (regardless of his behavior)." You will be surprised how much respect and love positively affects behavior when they are given irrespective of behavior.
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Please include the following statement on any distributed copy: By D. Marion Clark. © 2020 Tenth Presbyterian Church. Website: tenth.org