When Jason and I got married, we heard plenty of seriously-kidding advice from men who meant well but made me cringe.
“The key to a successful marriage,” one shared, “is to just learn to say ‘Yes, Dear!'”
“You’ll learn soon enough to just go along with it,” another one said. “That’s how you’ll keep the peace.”
Or my personal favorite: “Just know that your way is the wrong way – always,” one guy said, disguising his frustrated truth under the guise of a joke.
I personally don’t love that men see our gender as bossy but I’m also not surprised. After all, the result of the fall of man as described in Genesis 3:16 was, “. . . you will desire to control your husband,but he will rule over you.”Obviously, it’s in our nature to want to be “in charge.”
Apparently, way back when, during the days of King Solomon’s reign, the word quarrelsome meant bossy.
Knowing this, let’s read the following verses about quarrelsome (bossy) wives:
A quarrelsome wife is like a constant dripping. – Proverbs 19:1b
It’s better to live alone in the corner of an attic than with a quarrelsome wife in a lovely home. – Proverbs 21:9
It’s better to live alone in the desert than with a quarrelsome, complaining wife. – Proverbs 21:19
A quarrelsome wife is as annoying as constant dripping on a rainy day. Stopping her complaints is like trying to stop the wind or trying to hold something with greased hands. – Proverbs 27:15-16
I don’t know about you but when I read these, I think . . . ouch.
I know I’ve been quarrelsome. I know I’ve been a complainer. I know there have been days when my husband would like to retreat to the corner of the attic thankyouverymuch.
The solid ringing of conviction can be so loud you can’t help but listen.
In her book, The God Empowered Wife, Karen Haught says, “Here’s a test: if you think you’re “just being helpful” when you tell your husband what to do, but bristle when he tells you what to do, you are quarrelsome. If you frequently tell him what he should do, what he shouldn’t do, how he could do better what he’s already doing, or how wrong he did something he’s already done . . . you’re quarrelsome” (p. 83).
Karen further explains there are seven different types of quarrelsomeness – what she calls the “Seven Deadly C’s.” They are:
Complaining: When you are dissatisfied with something your husband has done and you let him know it
Condemning: Disapproval of a choice he has made and a form of self-righteousness that pushes your husband away
Conjecturing: Conjecturing is gossiping. Do you say negative things about his family? Other people in general?
Contradicting: Challenging everything your husband says or does. This reveals pride, self-righteousness and lack of grace.
Controlling: When you want to control the way your husband behaves or choices he makes. Controlled husbands will often withdraw and become less affectionate. Oftentimes, when we feel the need to control, we are usually scared of losing contentment and joy.
Correcting: Challenging him on every little thing, especially in public, is exasperating. Pride and fear of criticism from others is often the root.
Criticizing: Communicating your disapproval of his actions, words, or him in general leads to his feelings of disrespect. When men feel disrespected by their wives, they often withdraw affection causing the wife to feel unloved. The love and respect cycle is the “crazy cycle” as I call it. Someone has to be willing to stick their toe in the water first to leave the circuitous pattern behind, right?
So let’s talk! Pick any of the questions below to answer in the comment section. Also, 1) you don’t have to be an “official” member of the study to comment, 2) You can still join our Facebook group by clicking here and requesting to be added, and 3) you can respond to what others have said below.
We will discuss chapters eight and nine on Thursday night at 9 p.m. in our Facebook group.