Wife-ing – complaining, nagging & unhappy
It wasn’t the very best day of your life.
The natives seemed to be a bit more rowdy than usual, the cat threw up on your bed, your kids washed a box of crayons in the washer machine, justifying it because, “they were in the hamper”. You and your swollen, pregnant ankles waddled into the kitchen craving Apple Jacks only to find, after pouring a bowl of cereal, that the kids drank all the milk and you realized a little too late that you are out of toilet paper.
Then your husband comes home from work just as you are finishing cleaning up the baby after he had a terrible poo that ended up on everything and the first words out of your beloved’s mouth are, “I’m starved! What’s for dinner? And what is that awful smell?”.
What was that loud cracking sound? Was it the kids breaking the 200 year old family air loom vase in the other room? No, worse. It was the sound of the camel’s back breaking.
Now, the typical wife would see no reason to bite her tongue, smile, and say something like, “Sorry, honey. It has been a long day. Why don’t you come in the kitchen and tell me about your day while I get something cooking on the stove”.
The typical wife has excuses. It’s either ‘that’ time of the month, she’s tired, or she is under appreciated by a man who has no idea what she just went through today. The typical wife complains, nags, expects, is contentious, angry, and quick to cause grief. When her day doesn’t go right she feels justified to blame everybody around her and takes her frustrations out on the closest person.
The Bible describes women like her through verses like these:
A continual dripping on a very rainy day and a contentious woman are
Better to dwell in a corner of a housetop, than in a house shared with a
Better to dwell in the wilderness than with a contentious and angry
Are you a contentious woman? Even a little? If you are anything like me you may thinking something like this:
Oh bother. Do I really have the room and time required for yet another conviction right now? I wonder if I can hide this one behind the couch and deal with it later.
Even though with years of practice I have grown quite slow to take out my frustrations on my husband, I do find myself with a spirit of complaint more often then I would care to admit. The results of which are never positive.
Let me clarify that there is a difference between having a nagging, complaining spirit and having a conundrum that you would like to bounce off your husband for advice or comfort. Having a complaining spirit means that you are almost pining for something to fuss about. You are not looking for advice or assistance, you just want to be heard. Typically, a complaining spirit will evoke tension in the home and all too often bring on strife.
When you are complaining your husband naturally wants to help. A good husband’s desire is to be the knight in shining armour his wife appears to need in this moment. When he tries to help but fails over and over again he will begin to feel insignificant, unworthy, and sometimes sulky – like he can’t be good enough. Often this will bring on feelings of resentment and your husband will be less inclined to even try to help you, or even listen to you in the future. The more you fuss the more he will tune you out and the less involved he will become.
The Bible doesn’t just talk about how wives ought not be, it also puts great emphasis on being a quiet and gentle person, forbearing with a humble spirit. The Bible does not go on to say that we should only do this when we have had a good day and are feeling well. Forbearing means to be patient and self-controlled when subject to annoyance or provocation.
Remember, you are responsible for your behavior. Your response to an unfair bad day is yours and yours alone. Being provoked to complaint or anger is no excuse.
Stopping the nagging being less critical and complaining may seem like an impossible task, especially in the moment of an ‘episode’ and for many of us it is, in fact, impossible. However, when we rely on God, who wants us to rely on Him when we come to the end of our ropes, we make the impossible suddenly possible. With practice and God’s strength we can endure even the most grueling of days. Our hearts can soften and we can find ourselves irritated less often and joyful even when faced with a 3 year old who painted the baby with nail polish.
Just remember to take a picture.
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