Monday, 12 December 2011

An Insight from the Book of Proverbs

The following post was written by Lindsey Webster. She was kind enough to share with us her personal experience in dealing with conflict.

I was recently reading Proverbs and came across a very funny verse that made me think about the early days of my marriage to my wonderful husband. Proverbs 21:19 says, “Better to live in a desert than with a quarrelsome and ill-tempered wife.” Some may interpret this as, “a wife cannot debate with her husband or argue her point”, but that is not how I read it. This verse is simply an observation from the writer. He is saying that he would rather live in an uninhabitable desert than with a hot-tempered woman, and I must say I agree with him. I would also much rather live in the desert than with a hot-tempered man.

When I first married my husband, we had a few months of post-marriage conflict. We were just learning how to live together under one roof. I was just learning about all his not-so-attractive habits that he had kept hidden from me when we dated. I was obsessed with keeping things clean and orderly, and he was quite content throwing his laundry beside of the hamper and not putting down the toilet seat. Needless to say, we annoyed one another.

One day, my husband said to me, “If you don’t change your attitude, I don’t think we are going to work out. You are negative and argumentative, and I don’t enjoy it.” Of course, I was heartbroken. How could he say that my attitude was causing our problems? He was the one who was driving me crazy! Then I realized the truth, if I were him, would I like me? My answer was “no.”

Just like the Bible verse, I had let my husband’s poor habits make me angry and argumentative. Instead of approaching the situation in a Godly way, I had been rude and disrespectful to the person I was supposed to love and respect always. My husband was not throwing his clothes beside of the hamper instead of in the hamper, because he wanted to start an argument with me. He never thought it would anger me or drive me insane, so he did not deserve to be “punished” by me.

Once I realized that my reactions were causing our marriage to crumble, I quickly changed my attitude. This was noted by husband, and he started putting his clothes in the hamper and putting down the toilet seat. Essentially, we stopped being argumentative and started being respectful and loving.

Lindsey has been a rehabilitation counselor for 15 years and also owns the site 
http://www.mastersincounseling.org/ 


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