Monday, 20 February 2012

"The Marriage Killer: Nagging"

I have written on the topic of nagging before. You may recall that I suggested that nagging was not a spiritual gift. Well a recent article in that bastion of theological wisdom, the Wall Street Journal, has caused me to address this topic again.

The Journal goes on to say that nagging “is more common than adultery and potentially as toxic.” More often than not it is a characteristic behavior more common to women than men. The Journal article contends that we nag because, “we have a perception that we won’t get what we want from the other person, so we feel we need to keep asking in order to get it.” The husband cited in the article described his reaction to his wife’s nagging this way, “…my muscles would get tense, I would become silent, and my eyes would glaze over…” Let me summarize that for you – he felt disrespected.

Actually Scripture deals with this issue. Proverbs tells us that the husband would rather sleep on the roof or hear the constant drip of water than live with a contentious wife. (that’s a paraphrase). James four verses one and two tells us that the reason we nag is because we are not getting our own way. We want what we want when we want it. The reaction of the husband in this case is understandable because one of the things that men most need is respect. You may recall that in Ephesians five verse 33 God tells the wife that she is to respect her husband. Since God is so explicit we can only assume that (a) it is difficult for the wife to give her husband respect and (b) respect is something he desperately desires.

You may ask, “How did I arrive at those conclusions?” You did ask that didn’t you? First of all can you think of any command that God has given us that is easy to carry out?  I think not. Perhaps it goes back to the Garden and the curse given to Eve. One interpretation of the Hebrew word for “desire” found in Genesis 3:16 is that the woman will want to control her husband. Next you must come to the realization that God, whose vocabulary far exceeds any dictionary known to mankind, selected one word, i.e."respect". This is how God commands a wife to interface with her husband. That tells me that the Creator of the universe and designer of man is well aware that being respected is extremely important to man.

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