Audio: Chapter 6 "Contentious Woman"
Chapter 6 “Contentious Woman”
A constant dripping
on a day of steady rain
and a contentious woman are alike;
he who would restrain her
restrains the wind
and grasps oil with his right hand.
Ask Yourself, “Am I a Contentious Woman?”
Maybe that question is difficult to answer because you’re not exactly sure what a contentious woman is. If we check the Strong’s Concordance, the word contentionmeans a contest, a quarrel, strife, quarrelsome spirit, argumentative.
Were your conversations with your husband usually a contest to see who would win or get their way? Did you win many times? Let me share with you that I was a contentious wife and I won often, or maybe most of the time—but actually I lost! I lost my husband and the family life we had!
Do you ever quarrel with your husband? “The beginning of strife is like letting out of water, so abandon the quarrel before it breaks out” (Prov. 17:14). Yet, the world and so-called “experts” in marriage tell us that a good fight is actually good for the marriage. Don’t you believe it! Arguing willdestroy your marriage! If you continue to argue with your husband, you will lose your opportunity to restore your marriage!
Is there strife in your home?“Better is a dry morsel and quietness with it than a house full of feasting and strife” (Prov. 17:1). Are you the gentle and quiet woman that 1 Peter 3:4 speaks of who is precious in the sight of God? Are your children loud and unruly? Your husband will not come around to see you or the children if he feels strife in your home. Even if you change, but your children remain obnoxious or unruly, your husband will seek peace and solace in the arms and home of another.
Do you have a quarrelsome spirit? “But refuse foolish and ignorant speculations, knowing they produce quarrels. And the Lord’s bond-servant must not be quarrelsome but be kind to all, able to teach, patient when wronged” (2 Tim. 2:23). Are you a “know-it-all”? Do you have a contrary comment to the things your husband says? God tells us to “agree with thine adversary quickly while thou art in the way with him, lest at any time thine adversary deliver thee to the judge”(Matt. 5:25 KJV). Watch out for divorce court!
Are you argumentative?“Urge bond slaves to be subject to their own masters in everything, to be well-pleasing, not argumentative” (Titus 2:9). Are you Jesus’ bond slave? Has He bought you with a price? Then you owe it to Him to be well-pleasing. Now that we’ve seen what it means to be contentious, God’s Word mentions five times how awful a contentious wife is. Let’s take a look.
A Contentious Wife
Contentious woman. Have you ever had a dripping faucet that drove you crazy? “And the contentions of a wife are a constant dripping”(Prov. 19:13). Sometimes it takes someone calling attention to that drip (maybe a friend or your father-in-law) for your husband to notice the dripping, but once he has, that’s all he’ll be able to hear! Have you ever wondered why men move out of their homes and often in with a harlot? Proverbs 21:9 tells us that it’s because “it is better to live in a corner of a roof, than in a house shared with a contentious woman.”
Contentious and vexing woman. Again, a man would rather live without water and in the desert heat than live with a wife who challenges him and his authority. “It is better to live in a desert land than with a contentious and vexing [annoying or angry] woman” (Prov. 21:19). God is so adamant about this verse—He repeats it! Are you listening? “It is better to live in a corner of a roof than in a house shared with a contentious woman” (Prov. 21:9).
Constant dripping. God compares a constant dripping to a contentious woman eventually causing a person to move out. Why doesn’t the man just fix the roof? Because God says that it is impossible! “A constant dripping on a day of steady rain and a contentious woman are alike; he who would restrain her restrains the wind, and grasps oil with his right hand” (Prov. 27:15–16).
A lot of your contentiousness may be rooted in the fact that you believe that marriage is a partnership. This is what I believed and later found out was nottrue! Instead, God has put the family, along with the rest of His creation, in levels of authority. Our husbands are our authority. This is important for you to understand. “But I want you to understand that Christ is the head of every man, and the man is the head of a woman, and God is the head of Christ” (1 Cor. 11:3). “But as the church is subject to Christ, so also the wives ought to be to their husbands in everything” (Eph. 5:24).
What is submission or being subject? It is obeying without a word, even if your husband is being disobedient to God’s Word. It is not insulting in return for his insults or threatening him. First Peter 3:9 says, “not returning evil for evil, or insult for insult, but giving a blessing instead . . .” “But giving a blessing instead” means responding to an insult with a compliment and a good attitude “as they observe your chaste and respectful behavior” (1 Pet. 3:2).
Is submission applicable today? “Jesus Christ is the same yesterday and today, yes and forever” (Heb. 13:8). In Matthew 5:18 Jesus says, “For truly I say to you, until heaven and earth pass away, not the smallest letter or stroke shall pass away from the Law until all is accomplished.”
Christ is the head of every man. How can we be sure that God is over Jesus, and my husband (saved or not) is over me? “But I want you to understand that Christ is the head of everyman, and the man is the head of woman, and God is the head of Christ” (1 Cor. 11:3).
Respectful behavior. Now that we are sure that God is speaking to all wives, what does He command? “In the same way, you wives, be submissive to your own husbands, so that if any of them are disobedient to the word, they may be won without a word by the behavior of their wives, as they observe your chaste and respectful behavior” (1 Pet. 3:1–2).
Being Subject. “Wives, be subject to your own husbands, as unto the Lord. For the husband is the head of the wife, as Christ also is the head of the church, He Himself being the Savior of the body. But as the church is subject to Christ, so also the wives ought to be to their husbands in everything” (Eph 5:22–24). This Scripture explains that our relationship with our husbands is to be the same as Christ’s relationship with the church. Isn’t it sad that so many churches don’t submit to Christ and His teachings, just as so many women don’t submit to their husbands? Is there any correlation?
Holy women. Where is our hope in submission? “For in former times the holy women also, who hoped in God, used to adorn themselves, being submissive to their own husbands” (1 Pet. 3:5). Our hope and trust is in God, not in our husbands. Therefore, we do not need to fear if they are doing the wrong thing! “Thus Sarah obeyed Abraham, calling him lord, and you have become her children if you do what is right without being frightened by any fear” (1 Pet. 3:6).
Protector. When we women protect ourselves because we feel we can “fight our own battles,” why would we need husbands? Was it you who told the salesperson off or got rid of that guy at the door, probably with more gusto than your husband would have? Did your husband forget how to stand up for you since you usually took over? Who really wore the pants in the family? Who was really stronger?
Did you tell your husband to mind his own business when he saidto take it easy or to slow down? What did your husband do when you continued to rebel? First, he backed down because he didn’t want another fight; then he moved out of the “constant dripping” house; then he found another woman to give his affections to!
If you have remained contentious, then when he has come around or called or emailed, he has had a reminder of why he left you. This is the reason why so many women do not see their husbands.
You must be a “totally transformed into the image of God” woman the first time God brings your husband around in answer to your prayers. If your husband likes what he sees and hears, he will be back for a second look. This is what leads to restoration! If God turns his heart, but his will overrides it because of your lack of change, then you cannot blame God.
The Root of Our Contentiousness:
How did so many women become contentious? We women are contentious because we who are Christians imitate the world and the world’s thinking. The books we read, the counselors we seek, the classes we attend do not reflect God’s Word, which is pure and uncompromising. Most Christian women are full of psychology.
Poison dipped in chocolate is still poison! My sisters in Christ, psychology is more dangerous when it is dipped in Christianity because we eat it right up! We have been brainwashed into thinking that “self-love” and “self-esteem” are good things, but they are nothing more than pride! That was the sin that resulted in Lucifer becoming Satan!!
The contentious, prideful woman, the woman who “knows it all,” is the woman who argues and wants her own way—because she “thinks” she is right. And when she is wrong, her self-esteem needs to be protected. There is never a humble word or an “I’m sorry I was wrong”! The contentious woman has been conditioned to think that to make an apology would be too humiliating.
Our pride results in self-righteousness, which is why so many women reveal their husbands’ sins, because they can’t see their own sinfulness!
How to Rid Yourself of
Contentiousness and Self-Righteousness
If we confess. As we can plainly see, living with a contentious, self-righteous woman is nothing less than a nightmare, not just for our husbands, but also for our children. Let us pray as we ask God’s forgiveness. Let us seek His grace to help us become gentle and quiet women who are precious in His sight, as well as in our husbands’. “If we confess our sins, He is faithful and righteous to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness” (1 John 1:9). Too many misunderstand this verse and instead confess their husband’s sins. The verse says that we are to confess oursins.
Confess. When your husband comes home or comes to visit, ask him for forgiveness for your contentiousness and self-righteousness. If you no longer have contact with your husband, pray for an opportunity to tell him over the phone or in person. (Please, don’t call him!) “Therefore, confess your sins to one another, and pray for one another so that you may be healed. The effective prayer of a righteous man can accomplish much” (James 5:16). Again, this verse says that we are to confess oursins—not our husband’s sins—so that wecan be healed.
When confessing, don’t go on and on with your “little speech.” Just tell him briefly that God has convicted you of being loud and argumentative, which is because you are prideful and self-righteous. Tell him, with the Lord’s help, that you are praying to change the way that you have been. Give him a kiss and leave the room, or say good-bye and hang up! Then, confess to your children and explain to them how God is going to help you to change through humility. So often they see or hear only about their father’s sin; it is important that they see that the separation or divorce was far from one-sided.
First be reconciled. If you don’t feel “led” to go and get things right, never go back into church. “Therefore if you are presenting your offering at the altar, and there remember that your brother has something against you, leave your offering there before the altar, and go; first be reconciled to your brother, and then come and present your offering” (Matt. 5:23–24).
Grace to the humble. Also, be sure you are humble; don’t be too proud to come right out and say that you are a contentious woman. “God is opposed to the proud, but gives grace to the humble. Therefore humble yourselves, therefore, under the mighty hand of God, that He may exalt you at the proper time” (1 Pet. 5:5–6). Keep confessing every time you are contentious to anyone. Once you are tired of the sinful woman, and you really cry out to God to change you, you will cease to be one.
Here is God’s prescription. “And when they came to Marah, they could not drink the waters of Marah, for they were bitter; therefore it was named Marah” (Exod. 15:23). Moses threw a tree into the water, a representation of the cross of Calvary. You must also throw the cross into the sea of your bitterness. Christ died to free you from all sin, including your contentious arguing and prideful, self-absorbed behavior.
Jesus should be our example, always, in all things, in the way He walked on this earth. “Have this attitude [humility] in yourselves which was also in Christ Jesus, who, although He existed in the form of God, did not regard equality with God a thing to be grasped, but emptiedHimself. . . He humbled Himself by becoming obedient to the point of death, even death on a cross” (Phil. 2:5–9).
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