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. Proverbs 27:15 NIV
A quarrelsome spouse can quickly turn the familiar phrase, “You complete me” to “you deplete me.”
Water torture, it’s when you are restrained, lying face up with water hitting you on the forehead between the eyes….one drip at a time. It has been known to drive people crazy. The craving for it to stop is maddening.
For thirty years I’ve been observing, operating and owning businesses. For seven years in the 80’s I owned a salon where six styling chairs rotated the days with cackling women. Stand back and objectively listen to the sound. The clatter would roll like a wave, first the low rumble of chit-chat, building with the latest gossip, and finally the uproar of laughter filled the room. Often the familiar refrain centered on the grumblings and shortcomings of their spouses. It was not uncommon to hear, “He came home from his business trip and I just let him have it.” Quickly the other women would chime in with similar stories until the shop noise escalated to a deafening crescendo.
A doctor of psychology did a study on why women tell their stylists more than their shrink and he discovered it is because they have a license to touch them. When you get into someone’s space close enough to touch them, the barriers often come down.
In the past two decades my business ventures have taken me into industries which are predominantly male. It has been interesting to hear, ‘the rest of the story’ from the men’s point of view. They have been at a trade show all week and yes they have stayed in a nice place and eaten good food, but they are exhausted. Required to be at the beckon call of not only the boss, but the customer as well; the mental and emotional drain of being ‘on’ all week has wiped them out. If it has been a good week, they are on top of the world, however if things didn’t go as planned, their chins may be dragging the floor. Bombarded with compliments, complaints and temptations at every turn, their emotional, mental and spiritual tanks may be empty.
They look forward to coming home. At one point in their life they courted you, they longed for you, and they married you. Now they work for you. They go out, kill the buffalo and drag it home for the family to eat… or at least that is the way they feel after a grueling week at work. However, they still envision their princess waiting for them with a warm smile, a gentle hug and an affectionate kiss.
The homecoming of the weary warrior is not always what he envisions. He is often greeted with a snippy remark, a screaming child and a frozen bed. Immediately he wants to turn and run back to the wilderness where at least he had a fighting chance.
In James the 4th chapter he poses the question, “What causes fights and quarrels among you? Don’t they come from your desires that battle within you? You want something but don’t get it.”
Are you practicing water torture on your spouse? Are you killing your marriage one drop at a time? Marriages don’t fail overnight; it takes months, sometimes years of maddening quarrels to finally snap the final thread of sanity.
It is a choice. Proverbs 31:11-12 tells us of a woman who saw the big picture; the health of her marriage. “Her husband has full confidence in her and lacks nothing of value. She brings him good, not harm, all the days of her life.”
Choose today to be the towel that wipes the sweat from your weary warrior’s brow, not the drip that drives him mad.
Father, we praise You for giving us Your words of wisdom. Teach us today how to be wives who encourage and not discourage; who hug and not harm; who lift and not drip quarrels onto our husband’s weary hearts. Forgive us when our homes don’t reflect Your Love. In Jesus’ name we pray, amen.