6/5/13 - PTC_Proverbs 27 - "A Hopeless Husband"
Priority Time Challenge 2013
To view the instructions for our journey through the Proverbs and the daily schedule, click here.
Proverbs 26:4-5 (ESV)
15 A continual dripping on a rainy day
and a quarrelsome wife are alike;
16 to restrain her is to restrain the wind
or to grasp oil in one's right hand.
This Proverb borders on seriously offensive to wives everywhere. Unfortunately I've heard this Proverb quoted as a means of trying to "correct" a man's own wife. That's a bad idea. As we tackle these two verses, let me say that God's word was never meant to be a club we beat one another with. My prayer is this post will raise awareness on some issues and bring some wives to a place of personal evaluation and willingness to change. If this is the first time you are reading my blog, I can assure you I'm an equal opportunity preacher - I go after the men too, so please receive this for what it is.
"A continual dripping" = annoying. This is not a difficult concept to understand. This "dripping" is likened to a "quarrelsome wife." Wives, let me ask you, are you a "quarrelsome wife?" Here's what I believe this means: God intends for husbands and wives to live in a relationship of mutual submission, which is very clearly stated in Ephesians 5 and 1 Peter 3. However, within this relationship of mutual submission, both husband and wife bring insecurities, fears and bad habits to the relationship. This is where love must be patient! To be "quarrelsome" means, to argue and be disagreeable. So, wives are you "quarrelsome?" If your posture toward your husband one of submission and believing the best or is it critical and unsubmissive. And there I go using the "submission" term with wives. Let me say this in grace - wives, God expects you to submit to your husband as the other half of a relationship of mutual submission. I know that if I fail to over-explain, I'll get hate mail from someone. My concern is in our society today, to say to wives, "be submissive to your husbands," is dismissed as antiquated and offensive. The truth is, I'd say the same thing to husbands - the expressions are different but NOBODY gets out of submission in marriage!
Wives, if your general posture toward your husband is critical or negative, your husband is moving toward (if not already there) hopelessness. That's the tone of verse 16 - "to restrain her is to restrain the wind or to grasp oil in one's right hand." Husbands are at a loss as to how to deal with a "quarrelsome wife." Here's the dilemma, a husband is designed and called to lead in the marriage relationship. This does not mean he makes all the decisions. It does mean he accepts the overall responsibility for the well-being of his wife and children under God. However, this leadership is never forced. It is not heavy-handed leadership, but rather a servant-leadership that his wife can believe in and follow. Wives, this does not mean perfect leadership. I urge you to ask yourself honestly, does my husband try to lead well according to his personality and gifts? If so, are you responding with respect, support and encouragement? Or do you criticize and see his deficiencies? If a husband has a quarrelsome wife, he is at a loss as to what to do. It's like trying to grasp oil. Everything he does fails. It feels hopeless.
Wives, most of you know that you can manipulate your husband with your attitude. If you want his agreement, you can turn on the charm and he's all yours. If you disagree with him you can give him the cold-shoulder, argumentative or passive aggressive treatment to either get your way or make forward progress miserable. In marriage, we all must constantly step in front of the mirror of the character of Christ. When you look in that mirror your sinful attitude, speech and actions will be evident. Wives, would you step in front of that mirror today? Would you be so bold to read 1 Corinthians 13:4-8 and ask God to convict you in the areas where you fail to love your husband well?
1 Corinthians 13:4-8 (ESV)
4 Love is patient and kind; love does not envy or boast; it is not arrogant 5 or rude. It does not insist on its own way; it is not irritable or resentful; 6 it does not rejoice at wrongdoing, but rejoices with the truth.7 Love bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things. 8 Love never ends.
I know many wives would say, "but you don't understand, my husband doesn't lead, he doesn't help, he isn't kind." There is no excuse for a husband failing to lead, failing to help or being less than kind. However, wives, the only person you can control is yourself. When you allow yourself to be a quarrelsome wife, you contribute to the dysfunction of your marriage, making things worse. Every married person, husband or wife, needs to be diligent to give their best to the marriage regardless of what their spouse is giving. Anything less is doing harm.
Wives, take a moment to think through these questions:
1. Are the majority of my words to my husband critical or encouraging?
2. Is my tone of voice critical or encouraging?
3. Based on my attitude, speech and actions, does my husband feel respected as the leader of our home?
4. What reasons come to mind for me NOT to submit to him?
5. Have these reasons been discussed? (If not, discuss them, if so they may need to be revisited with a counselor.)
6. What is one thing I know my husband appreciates? (make a plan to do this a few times this week)
7. Do I choose to believe the best about my husband or do I jump to distrust?
Lord, I pray for wives today. I am so grateful for Amanda and thankful she is a model for how a wife can be strong, independent and still submissive. I pray you bless her and give her a greater and greater voice with women. God, for the many marriages out there that are struggling, please help them see Your will. I pray that husbands and wives will take personal responsibility of their words and actions and give their best to their marriages. I pray for quarrelsome wives to become aware of how they are affecting their husbands. Restore the hope to hopeless husbands.
I pray that the Love Song series at Highpoint will help couples build marriages on the foundation of Christ-like character. I pray for Your help and wisdom as I craft and present the messages. God, please make it hard to get divorced at Highpoint Church.
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