I woke up early this morning. Very early. Way too early! It was 3:00 a.m.
I couldn’t go back to sleep because in the stillness of the night there was this constant, continual sound. Drip. Drip. Drip.
It had rained sometime during the night, which I did not hear, and now all that’s left is the ever so slight, but annoying sound of water dripping off the roof to the patio below.
It reminded me of a classic metaphor by the wise man in Proverbs 27:15.
“A continual dripping on a rainy day and a quarrelsome wife are alike.”
The word quarrelsome is also rendered contentious. Some translations use the English word nagging. It speaks to the problem of carping criticism. Constant complaining. And cutting comments.
Drip. Drip. Drip. Nagging is annoying. Aggravating. And irritating. Nagging is among the top complaints that husbands have about their wives.
Marriage Counselor Dr. Willard Harley, author of His Needs Her Needs offers this observation: “I’ve counseled many husbands who have been driven out of their homes by wives who simply won’t stop criticizing them. What these husbands want is peace, but what they get is war. What can they do to prevent the divorce that usually follows their escape? More to the point, what can they do to satisfy their wives so they’ll stop being so critical? ”
While Dr. Harley provides some detailed analysis and solutions for both husbands and wives on his website, let me suggest 9 simple steps.
3 Things Wives Can Do To Control Nagging.
(1) When you want to criticize, keep quiet.
I know. That’s too simple. And it’s easier said than done. But it’s the divine advice of the apostle Peter to wives of non-Christian husbands. Change them by your attitude, actions and inner beauty. Let the Word work in their lives. (1 Pet. 3:1-5)
(2) Respect his God-given role as the leader of your home. The Bible compares the husband-wife relationship to Christ and His Church (Eph. 5:22-33). Christ is the head of the church. He is to be respected. Honored. And obeyed. If such comparisons today seem old-fashioned, out-dated and chauvinistic, then open your Bible and carefully read this text. Again.
(3) Examine yourself to find the true source of your anger. Yes, anger. There is a component of anger in the critical spirit. What is it? Is it justified? Unrealistic? Or selfish?
3 Things Husbands Can Do To Solve Their Wife’s Nagging
(1) See her nagging from a new perspective. The Bible commands husbands to dwell with their wives in an understanding way (1 Pet. 3:7). Work to see her point of view. Why is she nagging? Is her nagging warranted? What actions can I take to please her?
(2) Love your wife as Christ loved the church. Ephesians 5 is NOT just about the submission of the wife. When a husband is the spiritual leader of his home and demonstrates unselfish, sacrificial love for wife, there should be little to complain about it. True love overcomes many problems. And eliminates many irritants in our relationships (1Cor 13).
(3) Work to be a better man. Do you have habits that give her cause for nagging? Are there character issues that you need to resolve? Are you engaged in self-destructive behaviors that are destroying your home? Examine yourself (2 Cor. 13:5)
3 Things Both Husband and Wives Can Do
(1) Pray together. Prayer not only brings you into a closer relationship with the Lord, but it builds a bond between marriage partners. Ask for God’s guidance in your relationship. (1 Pet. 3:7)
(2) Develop a policy of joint agreement. Dr. Harley advises, “Never do anything without an enthusiastic agreement of both you and your spouse.” He offers specific details on his website to accomplish this.
(3) Get help when you have a problem you can’t solve. There is no shame in seeking spiritual and marital counsel. The book of Proverbs is filled with the admonition to seek solutions from wise counselors (Prov. 11:14; 12:15; 1:5; 15:22).
It’s now 5:00 a.m. and the annoyance of the dripping has given birth to this post. So, maybe some good has come from it. In the same way, don’t allow the problem of nagging to destroy your home. Wake up. Look up. And learn from it. Use it as a means to make your marriage better than ever.
–Ken Weliever, The Preacherman