Wife or Wilderness

“A wife’s nagging is an endless dripping Better to live on the corner of a roof than to share a house with a nagging wife… Better to live in a wilderness than with a nagging and hot-tempered wife… Better to live on the corner of a roof than to share a house with a nagging wife… An endless dripping on a rainy day and a nagging wife are alike.” Proverbs 19:13b, 21:9, 19, 25:24, 27:15

I have been reading through the book of Philippians along with one Proverb a day. You know a Proverb a day keeps the devil away. J Well not really, but it does have a multitude of poignant sayings you can apply to your life. Scott unknowingly challenged me a few weeks back when he was sharing with me and my friend about one of the young ladies in our neighborhood who comes and visits and plays with our children. She is just a couple of years older than Hannah and has such a pleasant and sweet spirit. But one thing that stands out above all is her desire to talk about the Bible. She loves to have conversations about it. When my friend asked, “How do you teach that?,” Scott replied, “You don’t, it is caught.” We all agreed, but that small statement that I have heard many times before continued to play over and over in my head. I began asking myself questions like: What are my kids catching? How can I make them catch a love for reading God’s word? How can they catch a desire for godly things? Then it struck me. Our kids know a lot about the Bible and what it says, but somehow there seems to be a disconnect to what it says and how it applies to them. So I decided that as I read through Proverbs each morning if there were one or two that had significance to something they were dealing with throughout the day then I would share it with them. God was not short on giving me opportunities. Mainly dealing with issues of arguing and fighting and sometimes laziness, I shared with the kids the verse and had them write it a few times, memorize it and then share with me how it was going to affect their life. I wish I could tell you they did this with smiles and thankfulness to their mother for making them hide God’s word in their heart so that it could help transform them from the inside out, but unfortunately it was done more grudgingly.

After several days of this, I began to wonder if the kids were going to begin to think of God’s word as a punishment rather than a blessing and I began to ask how I could show them how God’s word also affected me. Well, I didn’t have to wait long. On the 19th the first verse about a nagging wife surfaced. A few days later on the 21st the next two verses appeared and the analogy of living in a wilderness instead of with a wife entered my blood stream and circulated for several days when on the eve of the 24th my nagging, selfish side broke through the surface. You see as I read over those verses on the 19th and 21st I kind of just let them slide and did not really think I needed to heed to those verses or give them a second thought. After all I was trying hard to concentrate on verses that my children “needed.” However, what I discovered on Tuesday night is that I was acting out the part of a nagging wife and driving my whole family to the corner of the roof top and into the wilderness so they would not have to listen to the endless dripping of the rain. Laying my head on my pillow that night, I knew what I needed to do. I asked God for forgiveness and first thing yesterday morning I asked Scott for forgiveness as well as from the kids. God allowed me the opportunity to share with the kids that God’s word also applies to their mother very specifically!

God’s mercies are new every morning and God allowed me a renewed spirit, but He gave me even more than that. Yesterday morning Hannah had picked up her bible to read it first thing in the morning. Peter and Nathan also did without being asked. They then began to spontaneously share with each other and with me the verses they were reading. Dawson woke up and seeing what was going on, sleepily said over his bowl of cereal, “I have a verse. I don’t know the exact one, but it is in Genesis and it says God rested on the seventh day and that is what I am ready to do.” J God is good despite our failures and mistakes. He takes all things and works them together for good. He can even take my selfishness and turn it into a teachable moment that prayerfully will last a lifetime.

My Heart’s Prayer: Lord, how I need your Word. How I need your Word to penetrate my heart and overflow into my family. Open my eyes to when you are speaking to me and help me to not overlook the lessons you would have for me to learn as I try to train your children up in the way they should go. Help me to not be a nagging, hot-tempered wife, but a loving and understanding wife and mother.

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