By Irvin Himmel
A Nagging Woman
A continual dropping in a very rainy day and a contentious woman are alike. Whosoever hideth her bideth the wind, and the ointment of his right hand, which betrayeth itself (Prov. 27:15,16).
Sometimes this proverb brings a smile. In 19:13 and 21:9,19 there are similar statements. Laying all humor aside, we need to see the seriousness in the comparison.
Have you ever lived in an old house with a leaky roof? On a day when there is heavy rain you set buckets and pans under the leaks. Drip! Drip! Drip! After a time this continual dripping becomes highly annoying. You empty a bucket and put it back under one of the leaks. Plink! Plink! Plink! Plunk! Plunk! The dripping never lets up. Soon it’s time to empty another container. You long for the rain to stop.
A comparison is drawn between the dripping rain and a contentious woman. In each case one is made uncomfortable by the unbroken continuity of something irritating. Delitzsch remarks, “An Arab proverb which I once heard from Wetzstein, says that there are three things which make our house intolerable . . . the trickling through of rain the contention of the wife and . . . bugs.”
Some women complain constantly. They persistently find fault with their husbands. They are belligerent in their attitude. They scold and chide, bicker and quarrel. A man who is married to a nagging woman has torment rather than joy.
This is one of many reasons for choosing carefully in the selection of a companion for life. The one thing that most courting couples do not want is advice. But a young man may avoid a long life of misery by heeding the counsel of a friend who cautions, him not to marry a girl who constantly nags. (And a girl invites a- life of trouble by marrying the wrong kind of boy.)
How to Avoid Nagging
Here are some suggestions to help a wife avoid being one who nags:
(1) Realize that nagging has a negative influence. Any member of the family – husband, wife, son,, daughter, grandparent, or in-laws who nags continually becomes a nuisance to others in the family. Everyone should strive for peace and harmony in the home. Each family member should pray:
Lord, this humble house we’d keep
Sweet with love and calm with peace.
Help us so that we may give
Beauty to the lives we live.
Let thy love and let thy grace
Shine upon our dwelling place.
(2) Contribute ideas in a logical way. A good husband wants to share his wife’s thoughts. He needs to know her feelings, wishes, and preferences. Her ideas will carry more influence with him when offered in a logical manner rather than by persistent scolding and urging.
(3) Learn contentment. Paul learned that in whatsoever circumstance he was, therewith to be content (Phil. 4:11). Godliness accompanied by contentment is great gain (1 Tim. 6:6). This includes learning to live within one’s financial means. “Many women have not been able to live within the means provided by their husbands. They have been extravagant and selfish, and they have lost the love and respect of their husband. . . While these wives have been dependent on their husbands’ salaries and have driven them relentlessly to earn more than they were capable, they have added to the unhappiness by constant complaining and comparisons of their lot with others around whom they considered,. more fortunate. Many homes have thus been torn with strife until they end in divorce” (Irven Lee, Good Homes In A Wicked World, p. 113).
(4) Be thankful. Gratitude deters discontentment. When tempted to fuss at your husband, pause to thank God that you have a husband. Before cutting him down by reminding him of his faults, be grateful that he has some good qualities.
(5) Radiate joy and love. “Marriage is a lifetime union of a man and a woman. This idea is widely derided today by those who point out that it is better to live in love, unshackled by vows, than to live in hatred because of vows that have ceased to be meaningful. If that is the alternative, one could scarcely argue. But there is another possibility: live in love that grows with the years” (Andrew W. Blackwood, Jr.). Resolve to be a loving wife, not a nagging wife.
(6) Show meekness with subjection. This was the recommendation of Peter to women whose husbands were not Christians (1 Pet. 3:1-5). A meek and quiet spirit is much to be preferred over a quarrelsome spirit.
No Hiding Nor Restraining
The man who is married to a contentious woman can no more conceal her than he could hide the effects of the wind. And restraining her is out of the question. “He who would restrain her restrains the wind, And grasps oil with his right hand” (NASB).
Mid pleasures and palaces though we may roam’
Be it ever so humble, there’s no place like home”
Unless a nagging woman puts leaks in the dome!
Guardian of Truth XXXI: 3, p. 73
February 5, 1987