Dripping Rain
by Jana Kennedy-Spicer on February 18th, 2015

Stopping the Dripping Rain of Negative Words

I’m embarrassed to admit it, but my husband and I argue.  My kids and I argue.  Even happens with friends and co-workers at times.    

But it’s not just us, fact is, people argue.  We have differing beliefs and thoughts and opinions and we want them heard.  Not only heard; we want them believed and acknowledged as truth.  

Is that so wrong?  Maybe it’s not the wanting of those things that is the issue, maybe it’s not even what those beliefs, thoughts and opinions represent that is the issue, maybe the issue is how we are conveying these things to others…  Our words, our actions, our means of communication.
 
So I asked God for guidance, for a desire to break the habit and empowerment to do so.  So He sent me to visit Solomon… well to read some passages in Proverbs.
​“A foolish son is ruin to his father, and a wife's quarreling is a continual dripping of rain.”
Proverbs 19:13 ESV
​The ESV Study Bible explains:  This is the recognition that family life can be painful and some wives are a great burden to their husbands. (Of course, some husbands are a great burden to their wives.) The continual dripping brings to mind a leaking roof. This is not a minor irritation but a source of structural damage that can make a house uninhabitable. The point is that such a woman ruins her house. 
 
Burden?   Irritation?  Structurally damaging?    Not words I want used to describe me, especially by my husband.
“It is better to live in a corner of the housetop than in a house shared with a quarrelsome wife.”
Proverbs 21:9 ESV

“It is better to live in a desert land than with a quarrelsome and fretful woman.” 
Proverbs 21:19 ESV
​Let me understand this, Lord.  So it is better to live utterly alone than with a quarrelsome wife?   He is better off without me?  Not an opinion I want others to have of me, especially my husband.
“The wisest of women builds her house, but folly with her own hands tears it down. Whoever walks in uprightness fears the LORD, but he who is devious in his ways despises him. By the mouth of a fool comes a rod for his back, but the lips of the wise will preserve them.”
Proverbs 14:1-3 ESV
​>> “with her own hands tears it down.”   Sinful people sometimes become highly irrational and foolishly destroy the fruit of many years of work.  ESV Study Bible
Although Solomon specifically refers to a wife in his writings in Proverbs, in truth, the continual “dripping” of negative thoughts, negative words and negative actions will eat away and deteriorate any relationship.  
 
His example of living with a quarrelsome wife could be substituted with:
  • Living with a quarrelsome husband
  • Living with a quarrelsome family member (child, parent, etc.)
  • Working with a quarrelsome co-worker (boss or employee)
  • Dealing with a quarrelsome customer
  • Interacting with a quarrelsome friend
  • Living next door to a quarrelsome neighbor
  • Serving with a quarrelsome church member (pastor, teacher, attender) 

While there is no doubt, God intended Solomon’s words for wives, the lesson for wives to learn from these scriptures are applicable to everyone.   
​My personal take away from studying these scriptures is that as a wife, I am not to present my thoughts and opinions and desires in such a nagging and irritating manner, for when I do, it negatively impacts the relationship I have with my husband. 
 
If my words are always a ‘constant dripping’ then they will never be heard and serve no useful purpose; and over time will cause damage to the structure of our marriage.
 

But I'm not only a wife...

I am a daughter, I am a mother, I am a grandmother, I am an aunt, I am a cousin, I am a friend, I am an employee,  I am church member, I am a teacher, I am a writer, I am a customer… I am many things.   So should it not stand true that if “a WIFE’S quarreling is like a dripping rain” that a mother’s quarreling, a friend’s quarreling, an employee’s quarreling, a church member’s quarreling, is just as much a dripping rain?
 
Solomon may have written the word “wife” but couldn't the practical application really be “my”?  Is nagging and quarrelling only an irritant to my husband?  Only damaging the marriage relationship?  No.  The behavior is an irritant and destructive to any relationship.
 
So God’s personal challenge to me, and my challenge to you, is to list who you are, what are your rolls, just like I did above, then re-read all of these scriptures substituting the words “wife” and “husband” to fit your other rolls and relationships.   Ask God to bestow His wisdom and open your heart to receive His teachings.
"But if any of you lacks wisdom, let him ask of God, who gives to all generously and without reproach, and it will be given to him."
James 1:5 NASB
​Now men, this is for you too.  Again, Solomon is speaking to wives, but a wife represents only half of the marriage; so isn’t it true that a quarreling husband would be just as irritating and damaging to the marriage relationship?
 
This is truly a lesson for all of us.  And one I ask God to keep fresh on my heart, so that my words cannot only be a blessing to my husband, but to all those around me. 

Heavenly Father, may my words and actions always reflect the love and mercy and compassion You have bestowed on me and I pray that they bring You glory.  Amen

Blessings Soul Friends 
​​Linking up today with Meredith Bernard 
and friends for #woman2woman,
where women come together
to spur one another on to truth in love.

 


Posted in Gracious Words    Tagged with words, wife, husband, argue, proverbs, #woman2woman, James


4 Comments

~ linda - February 18th, 2015 at 10:53 AM
Yes, this is a wonderful and powerful lesson. Using all the Scripture and the substitution and your insights lends itself to a study in and of itself.
I have never liked arguments and really struggle when I am in one so my lifelong tendency has been to avoid them and be silent. Sometimes that is good and sometimes not. I needed to speak up at times but "hated" the fact that I would lose the argument or would not know how to back myself up. So I was quiet. But learning to speak up with God's wisdom and being Christ-like is the way I needed to be. I am still in this school learning but am! Thanks for blessing me and encouraging me this morning.
Visiting from Woman to Woman.
Caring through Christ, ~ linda
Meredith Bernard - February 18th, 2015 at 1:48 PM
Yes, Jana, this is a problem for me too many times to count!! I love your prayer and echo it myself..."Heavenly Father, may my words and actions always reflect the love and mercy and compassion You have bestowed on me and I pray that they bring You glory. Amen" Thank you for sharing soulful words today, as always. xo
Ginger Harrington - February 18th, 2015 at 4:33 PM
Our words can be dripping rain, but they can also be acid rain. What a great reminder to choose our words with love and care. How lovely to discover your blog via Holley's today.
Anne Dahlhauser | Front Porch Inspired - February 20th, 2015 at 2:24 PM
I have been studying in James lately, especially James 3 which so powerfully deals with this topic of controlling one's tongue. In the moment, it's so. very. hard. to hold back, to choose words that have life and hope rather than negativity. Thank you for this post - a great reminder here. Visiting you from #w2w today! Glad to be your neighbor there. :)
God bless,
Anne
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