Chapter 6 "A 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 contention is “midyan” (mid-yawn) which means a contest, a quarrel, strife, or a quarrelsome and argumentative spirit.
Are your conversations with your husband usually or many times a contest to see who will win or get his or her way? Do you win most of the time? I confess 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. God warns us in His Word about the contentious woman. The Bible says that we perish for a lack of knowledge (Hosea 4:6). Are you aware of God’s warnings?
Abandon the quarrel. Let me ask this question: 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, tells us that a good fight is actually good for the marriage - don’t you believe it!
Full of feasting and strife. 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, spoken of in 1Pet. 3:4, who is precious in the sight of God? Or are you a contentious woman? Are your children respectful and obedient? Or are your children loud and unruly? Mothers, they are watching your example. (See lesson 14, “Your Mother’s Teachings” for “My people are destroyed for lack of knowledge. Because you have rejected knowledge….” Hosea 4:6.)
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 for many of 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 bondslaves 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 understand what it means to be contentious, let’s take a look at what God says about it. God mentions in His Word 5 times how awful a contentious wife is.
Constant dripping. 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!
The corner of a roof. Have you ever wondered why men move out of their homes and, many times, in with a harlot? “It is better to live in the corner of a roof, than in a house shared with a contentious woman.” Prov. 21:9.
Desert land. Again, a man would rather live without water in the desert heat than to 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 woman.” (Vexing is defined as exasperating!) Prov. 21:19.
Again, living on a roof. God is so adamant about this verse that He repeats it. Are you listening? “It is better to live in the corner of a roof, than in a house shared with a contentious woman.” Prov. 25:24.
Who would restrain her? Here again, God tells us about the dripping of a contentious woman. Can you picture how this would eventually become a leaking roof, causing the person to finally move out? But why doesn’t the man just fix the roof? Because God says that it is impossible. It is like stopping the wind or holding onto oil that drips right through his fingers! “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. Impossible!
As we can plainly see, living with a contentious woman is nothing less than a nightmare, not just for our husbands but also for our children. Let us pray to ask God’s forgiveness. Let us also pray for His grace to help us to become gentle and quiet women who are precious in His sight, as well as in our husband’s sight.
Her husband has no lack of gain. Another way we can lose our husband’s trust is to speak about him to others. “The heart of her husband safely trusts in her and he will have no lack of gain.” Prov. 31:11.
A slanderer separates intimate friends. Have you told others about a weakness of your husband’s? Or, have you told others something he has told you in confidence? Remember that, “A slanderer separates intimate friends.” Prov. 16:28.
A slanderer reveals secrets. One of the most common snares that women fall into is gossiping over the telephone. Obey God’s command: “He who goes about as a slanderer reveals secrets, therefore do not associate with a gossip.” Prov. 20:19. The Greek word for slanderer in the Strong’s Concordance is rakiyl (raw- keel) which means to slander, to carry tales; a tale-bearer. I had a friend who would share with me “prayer concerns” that were nothing more than gossip. I had to tell her that because of my weakness, we could no longer be the friends we used to be.
Him I will destroy. Within God’s description of a reprobate in the book of Romans, a slanderer is listed along with a gossip. (Rom. 1:29-32.) Others may not know that you’re a gossip, slandering others, but it says, “Whoever secretly slanders his neighbor, him I will destroy.” Ps. 101:5.
A slanderer is a fool. You don’t need to get into details to share a prayer request - don’t be a fool. “And he who spreads slander is a fool.” Prov. 10:18.
Put slander away from you. Let’s all put this type of talk away from us. “Let all bitterness and wrath and anger and clamor and slander be put away from you, along with all malice.” Eph. 4:31.
She who shames him. You may find as you get rid of this type of “sharing” that you have nothing to say to your friends. If you resist the temptation to slide back into your old ways, God will be faithful to teach you to edify instead of shame your husband. “An excellent wife is the crown of her husband, but she who shames him is as rottenness to his bones.” Prov. 12:4.
Never speak about your husband in a negative way or reveal his secrets.
God tells us:
That we will separate him from his close friends.
That no one should associate with us - especially, not other Christians.
That gossip is a characteristic of a reprobate!
That God will destroy us!
That we are acting foolishly.
Speaking to one another in psalms. Instead, let us put away this behavior and speak “…to one another in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing and making melody with your heart to the Lord.” Eph. 5:19.
Where Do We Begin?
Tonight, when your husband comes home, go and ask his forgiveness for your contentiousness. Don’t go on and on with your “little speech”; just tell him briefly that God has convicted you of being loud and argumentative, and, with the Lord’s help, you are praying to change. Give him a kiss and leave the room! Then, explain to your children how God is going to help you to change.
Be reconciled. If you don’t feel “led” to go and get things right, never go back into church. “If therefore 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 your way; 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 admit that you are a contentious woman. “God is opposed to the proud, but gives grace to the humble. Humble yourselves, therefore, under the mighty hand of God, that He may exalt you at the proper time.” 1Pet. 5:5-6.
The Source of Contentions… Your Self-esteem
“Now I, Nebuchadnezzar, praise, exalt, and honor the King of heaven, for all His works are true and His ways just, and He is able to humble those who walk in pride.” Daniel 4:37.
Why are so many women contentious? We women are contentious because we have bought the lie of self-esteem. We women who are Christians have imitated the world and the world’s thinking. The books we read, the counselors we seek, the teachers and classes we attend do not reflect God’s Word, which is pure and uncompromising. They have given us a “Christianized” worldly view.
Poison dipped in chocolate is still poison! My sisters in Christ, the deadly worldly views are more dangerous when they are dipped in Christianity because we eat them right up! We have been brainwashed into thinking that “self-love” and “self-esteem” are good. Instead, they are the high place where we put ourselves before our fall.
They are the source of our contentious attitude. A “know-it-all” will argue and want her own way, because she thinks she is right. When she is wrong, her self-esteem needs to be protected. There is never a humble word or an “I’m sorry.” The contentious woman has been conditioned to think that to make an apology would be too humiliating. Pride will train her to continue to climb up on her pedestal, only to fall again and again.
What is the cure? “And when they came to Marah, they could not drink the waters of Marah, for they were bitter; therefore it was named Marah.” Exodus 15:23. Moses threw a tree into the water, a representation of the cross of Calvary. You must also throw in the cross of your bitterness. Christ died to free you from all sin, including your contentions, your arguing and your prideful, self-absorbed behavior.
Here is God’s prescription. God told us that if we would humble ourselves, seek His face and turn from our wicked ways, He would heal us. Instead, we continue to “walk in the counsel of the wicked.” (Ps. 1:1) If we “trust in mankind” (Jer. 17:5) then we will have the consequence, which is only superficial healing! “The brokenness of His people is healed superficially.” Jer. 8:11.
Look at all the psychology in the church. It is extremely dangerous for Christians to act as if man’s ideas or psychology is God’s Word. It is also dangerous to use God’s Word to promote current worldly views in the church. “ ‘The prophet who has a dream may relate his dream, but let him who has My Word speak My Word in Truth. What does straw have in common with grain?’ declares the Lord…Behold, I am against the prophets, declares the Lord, who use their tongues and declare, “the Lord declares.” ’ ” Jer. 23:28, 30, 31. What does psychology (straw) have in common with God’s Word (grain)?
Are you training and encouraging your children to have self-esteem? The word “self-esteem” should make a Christian cringe since it is just another word for “pride.” This is a wolf’s word in sheep’s clothing! You will soon witness a child so self-absorbed that others don’t even like him. It is absurd to think that a child needs to be built up to feel good about himself, as if a child isn’t completely self-absorbed already! From birth a child wants his own way, so he cries. Won’t a two-year-old scream and pitch a fit until he gets what he wants?
Building your child’s self-esteem. There are books and books and more books written for Christians by Christians, but many of the teachings are not what God teaches in His Word. Let’s look at what God tells us about building our children’s self-esteem. Let’s find out why we should be careful not to say, “I have my pride!” and “I am so proud of you.”
Pride is a sin. The pride that was demonstrated by the angel Lucifer, who later became Satan, was the first sin ever committed. “Your heart was lifted up because of your beauty; you corrupted your wisdom by reason of your splendor. I (God) cast you to the ground.” Ezek. 28:17. Satan said,“I will make myself like the Most High.” Isaiah 14:14. Yet, we praise our children for their beauty and we teach them to “go for the top,” to “reach for the stars” and to “believe in yourself.”
“Self-esteem” is a lie formed by twisting Scripture. Satan used Scripture when he tempted Jesus in the desert; he uses it today. He just twists it a little by making it a half truth. But we know that anything that is half true is a lie, lest we forget Abraham and Sarah (“she is my sister” Gen. 12:19).
“Love your neighbor as yourself.” (Matt. 22:39) Those who have a psychology degree will try to tell you that this verse means you have to love yourself before you can love anyone else. In other words, “self-love” is needed first because some of us, or most of us, hate ourselves. Is this the Truth or a lie? It is a lie! Why? Because it contradicts God’s Word.
NO ONE ever hated! “For no one ever hated his own flesh, but nourishes and cherishes it….” Eph. 5:29. Instead, Jesus teaches that we who are humble will be blessed. We are to think of others as more important than ourselves. Those who contemplate or threaten suicide are told by the world that they hate themselves, but that contradicts the Word of God. Remember, God said, “no one ever hated his own flesh!” Those who want to commit suicide want no more pain. Their pain is so intense that they just want the pain to stop.
If there is a “spirit of death” in your home, see if this sin has been passed down from a family member. A person who threatens suicide is crying out for help. Help them with love and the Truth. Encourage them to memorize Scriptures pertaining to Christ’s love for them and the temporary nature of trials. Satan wants them to feel hopeless – give them some hope! (See lesson 10, “Various Trials.”) Then encourage them to pray with “thanksgiving,” thanking God for everything, including the trials, “knowing they are working together for good.” (Rom 8:28)
Selfishness or empty conceit. “Do nothing from selfishness or empty conceit, but with humility of mind let each of you regard one another as more important than himself; do not merely look out for your own personal interests, but also for the interests of others.” Phil. 2:3. “Blessed are the humble [gentle, meek] for they shall inherit the earth.” Matt. 5:5. These verses of Scripture are so contrary to the way Christians speak these days because of the influence of psychology among believers. If this complacency to God’s Word does not cause you to shudder, it should.
The last will be first. We teach our children that being first should be their goal and that we cannot please anyone unless we please ourselves. The Truth is, “But many who are first will be last; and the last first.” Matt. 19:30. “If anyone wants to be first, he shall be last of all, and servant of all.” Mark 9:35. Help your children to attain Christ-likeness by sharing these verses instead of rambling off the worldly clichés we have heard.
The world tells us to speak well of ourselves but Jesus said, “And whoever exalts himself shall be humbled; and whoever humbles himself shall be exalted.” Matt. 23:12.
Learn from Nebuchadnezzar; his grandson didn’t. Nebuchadnezzar (see this section’s opening Scripture), who was proud of his power and wealth, was made to be like the cattle of the field and to eat grass. His grandson knew of his chastisement from the Lord; yet, he still followed in his grandfather’s ways, “Yet you, his son, Belshazzar, have not humbled your heart, even though you knew all this, but you have exalted yourself….” Dan. 5:22-23.
Pride is evil - it will cause God to humble you. You may think that certain things you go through are humiliating, but God means it for your good. He doesn’t want to humiliate you; He wants to humble you. “For from within, out of the heart of men proceed the evil…pride.” Mark 7:21. “For all that is in the world, the lust of the flesh, and the lust of the eyes and the boastful PRIDE of life, is not of the Father, but is from the world.” 1John 2:16. Pride is not of God!
Shall be humbled. “For everyone who exalts himself shall be humbled, and he who humbles himself shall be exalted.” Luke 14:11. We tell others to speak highly of themselves only to set a net for their feet! “…unwilling to lift up his eyes to heaven…for everyone who exalts himself shall be humbled, but he who humbles himself shall be exalted.” Luke 18:14. We tell others to stand tall and be proud!
Why do you boast? “For who regards you as superior? And what do you have that you did not receive? But if you did receive it, why do you boast…?” 1Cor. 4:7.
Instead we are to die to self. “For you have died and your life is hidden with Christ in God.” Col. 3:3. “…He died for all that they who live should no longer live for themselves, but for Him who died and rose again on their behalf.” 2Cor. 5:15.
God’s interests. “But He turned and said to Peter ‘Get behind Me, Satan! You are a stumbling block to Me; for you are not setting your mind on God’s interests, but man’s.’ Then Jesus said to His disciples, ‘If anyone wishes to come after Me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross, and follow Me. For whoever wishes to save his life shall lose it; but whoever loses his life for My sake shall find it.’ ” Matt. 16:23.
Paul was a good example of how we must put Christ first. “For me to live is Christ, and to die is gain.” Phil. 1:21.
As we humble ourselves, then God is free to exalt us. “…clothe yourselves with humility toward one another, for God is opposed to the proud, but gives grace to the humble. Humble yourselves, therefore, under the mighty hand of God, that He may exalt you at the proper time….” 1Pet. 5:5-6. “God is opposed to the proud, but gives grace to the humble…Humble yourselves in the presence of the Lord, and He will exalt you.” James 4:6, 11. “I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me.” Phil 4:13. Exalt Christ above yourself.
Jesus should be our example. We must always look to our Lord, in all things, and 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 emptied Himself, taking the form of a bond-servant, and being made in the likeness of men. And being found in appearance as a man, He humbled Himself by becoming obedient to the point of death, even death on a cross. Therefore also God highly exalted Him and bestowed on Him the name which is above every name.” Phil 2:5-9
Daniel also. “…for from the first day that you set your heart on understanding this and on humbling yourself before your God, your words were heard….” Dan 10:12.
What shall we do if we have been prideful?
Learn from the Lord. “Take My yoke upon you, and learn from Me, for I am gentle and humble in heart….” Matt. 11:29.
Boast in the Lord. “But he who boasts, let him boast in the Lord. For not he who commends himself is approved, but whom the Lord commends.” 2Cor 10:17-18.
Don’t praise yourself. “Let another praise you and not your own mouth; a stranger and not your own lips.” Prov. 27:2.
And if you don't humble yourself?
“Woe to those who are wise in their own eyes and clever in their own eyes.” Is. 5:21.
“Do you see a man wise in his own eyes? There is more hope for a fool than for him.” Prov. 26:12.
“For anyone who thinks he is something when he is nothing, he deceives himself.” Gal. 6:3.
“Surely God will not listen to vanity, neither will the Almighty regard it.” Job 35:13.
“For all of us have become like one who is unclean, and all our righteous deeds are like a filthy garment; and all of us wither like a leaf and our iniquities, like the wind take us away.” Is. 64:6.
“An arrogant man stirs up strife, but he who trusts in the Lord will prosper. He who trusts in his own heart is a fool, but he who walks wisely will be delivered.” Prov. 28:25-26.
“And He said to them, ‘You are those who justify yourselves in the sight of men, but God knows your hearts; for that which is highly esteemed among men is detestable in the sight of God.’ ”Luke 16:15. “And He humbled you and let you be hungry….” Deut. 8:3.
Can you see any Scripture where God instructs us to build up our self-esteem? Are you able to find anywhere in Scripture where God instructs us to teach our children to have self-esteem? Are we to pride ourselves in what we have done, or made, or accomplished? What will our flattering do to others, especially our children?
Personal commitment: To put away my contentious ways. “Based on what I have learned from God’s Word, I commit to renew my mind and to be a doer of the Word by putting away my contentious ways.”
If you are ready to make a commitment to GOD to finish the course, by CLICKING HERE you've agreed, and are ready to document this next step along your Restoration Journey in your "My Daily Journal" form. Take your time, sit down, grab your coffee or tea, and pour your heart into your Journal.
As an “Older women likewise…teaching what is good, that they may ENCOURAGE the young women…” (Titus 2:3) you will have the opportunity to speak to the younger women who are still single as part of your ministry.