There are days when I would rather not have this blog due to the nature of the subject matter present. Today is one of those days. This is only because I would rather spend a thousand days dealing with men and their biblical responsibilities and their sin, than spend one having to point out sin to ladies. Too often in our perverted world women are bashed on these matters with caracitures that are unflattering at best, and just plain mean at other times. So ladies, today I will try to hug as closely to the text as possible - only using biblical examples as I seek to explain this passage.
This proverb begins with a funny picture. We have a man sitting on the corner of his roof. He has decided that this is the better place for him to live. That seems very strange to us. Considering the exposure to the elements - and the sheer uncomfortable nature of living on just the corner of your roof - we are bewildered at this man's choice. What could be so bad that he would make such a choice? According to this proverb, it is the prospect of sharing his house with a contentious woman.
What is a "contentious" woman? The Hebrew word used here is "madon" and it refers to someone who is filled with strife and dissension. It speaks in Proverbs 17:14 of a quarrel or dispute that cannot be stopped once it starts - or in Proverbs 18:19 of arguments and contentiousness that create barriers between people. It is usually associated with an evil heart and with a bad temper. Other sins associated with this sin of contention are lying, perversity, and hatred. These are pretty bad sins - especially when you consider that this is someone with whom you live on a regular basis in life. The relationship one has with their wife should be the closest in life - but when a wife is acting this way - it makes life miserable.
This lady is miserable herself - and honestly - is making everyone else around her equally miserable. Rather than be a woman with a quiet and gentle spirit (as is counselled by Scripture) she is filled with anger, resentment, hatred, and because of these things - a contentious spirit that is ready at a moment's notice to enter into strife and voice her continual dissent. No wonder this guy is sitting on the corner of his rooftop - it is the only place he may be able to get a little peace and quiet.
Ladies, if you would indulge me for just a brief few moments, God desires you to be your husband's helper. This is the same term that is used to describe the Holy Spirit. You are called to come alongside your husband and cheer him on - calling him to be the man God wants him to be - and cheering loudly for him whenever he shows the slightest inkling toward that call. Let me let you ladies in on a secret. (All men need to stop reading at this point - and if you do - please do not bring up a vote to have my man-card revoked).
Ladies, your words are so very impotant to your husband. You may think he doesn't listen - but he hears every word you say. Whether he chooses to admit it or not - your words are more important to him than any other that are spoken during his day. When you cut him down and constantly criticize him - it does more damage than a thousand comments made by anyone else. The reason this guy is living on the corner of his rooftop - is because he is hurting so bad that any indignity or discomfort would be better for him. He hurts because rather than being encouraged by his wife - he is torn down. That is something that honestly cannot be fixed by anything other than you changing how you speak to him. Yes, I understand that often men are lazy and not exactly taking up the mantle to be God's man. Yes, I understand that you get frustrated waiting for him to be that man. Yes, I also understand that it is not fair for him to dump the spiritual leadership of your home on you. BUT . . . being contentious will not help matters at all. Men will react to this by retreating further from their God-given task. If you would praise him and encourage him when you see the slightest advance, you might be surprised at what begins to happen. Who knows, you might even see him pack up his stuff from the corner of the roof (or man-cave, or garage, or shop, or wherever he hides) and emotionally and spiritually move back into the home. All I know is that wisdom tells me that we get more flies with honey than with vinegar. That means a sweet and gentle spirit will yield far more from your man than being contentious and filled with strife.