A favorite verse in any men’s meeting at church is always Proverbs 21:9:
It is better to live in a corner of the housetop than in a house shared with a quarrelsome wife
All you have to do is read that verse in a room full of men and you’ll get the head nods, an Amen or two, and a bunch of guys who are so impressed with the applicability of the Bible. Then, if you really want to impress the men with the usefulness of the Word, you can skip down to Proverbs 21:19:
It is better to live in a desert land than with a quarrelsome and fretful woman.
Before you know it you’ll have a bunch of men who love the bible and what it says about their wives.
Here’s the problem, we often love what the bible says about other people but we conveniently forget about what it says about us. Men, I’m speaking especially to you, the bible is true when it teaches that you don’t want to share your life with a fretful & contentious women. But it is is just as true when it tells YOU that it is your responsibility to shepherd your wife through these heart issues. She may be fretful and contentious but God gave you the job of patiently love her through those issues. For you to abdicate your duty or uses these verse as an excuse to move the bed to the roof or take a desert vacation is just as wrong as what she is doing.
Think about several verses that we men often skip over in Proverbs 21 so that we can talk about our wives:
v. 2- Every man is right in his own eyes…
How often to you assume that you are right and your wife is wrong?
v. 4 – Haughty eyes and a proud heart, the lamp of the wicked, are sin
How often does your proud heart frustrate your wife and encourage conflict?
v. 23 – Whoever keeps his mouth and his tongue keeps himself out of trouble
How often do you loose control of your tongue and not only hurt your wife, but also set a standard of contention for your house?
How about a few other verses:
Proverbs 15:1 – A soft answer turns away wrath
If an angry wife is so bad, then why do you keep encouraging anger with harsh words and tones when a gracious Spirit-filled answer would disarm the situation?
Matthew 5:9 – Blessed are the peacemakers
How often are you seeking to make peace with your wife rather than running to the roof tops? By the way, the point of the 2 verses in Proverbs 21 is not to run away from your wife. The point is 1) don’t marry a woman like this, OR 2) if you are married to a woman like this then graciously help her not to be like that. Running away is not an option.
Ephesians 5:25:-27 – Husbands, love your wives, as Christ loved the church and gave himself up for her, that he might sanctify her, having cleansed her by the washing of water with the word, so that he might present the church to himself in splendor, without spot or wrinkle or any such thing, that she might be holy and without blemish.
Are you having a sanctifying impact on your wife like Christ has on the church? Are you washing her in the word? Do you even read the bible with her? This verse makes it clear that if you love her your goal will be to see her grow in these areas. Not so that you won’t have to sleep on the roof, but so that she will might be holy. Your job is to lovingly help her to care more about the wrinkles in her sanctification than the wrinkles on her face.
Guys, next time you want to laugh and Amen at Proverbs 21:9 & 19 remember the words of the famous 1st grade philosopher,
For every one finger you point at some one else you have four pointing back at you
(although one of them is a thumb & depending on how you point it may not actually be pointing at you)