Often life is hard, but God is always good

Posts tagged ‘relationships’

How Important Is It? Foolish, Stupid Arguing

Photo Credit: Adam Arroyo

Photo Credit: Adam Arroyo

“Don’t have anything to do with foolish and stupid arguments, because you know they produce quarrels.” 2 Timothy 2:23

I confess to engaging in “foolish and stupid arguments”. Often. My lack of good judgement arises out of a mixture of pride in my own opinions and a lack of foresight about what will result from the argument.

Here’s a clear example of a “foolish” altercation I started recently: I didn’t approve of a decision made by a leader, so I went alone to confront her directly with my dissatisfaction, but when the argument became heated I stayed in the fray and kept repeating my discussion points.

I saw her eyes glaze over. I heard the frustration in her voice, but I didn’t back off. I felt my blood pressure rising and the heated flush creep up my neck and face, but I pushed on and argued (then yelled) which brought other leaders into the room to shush me. With calm hindsight, I was “foolish”, i.e. unwise and shortsighted.

I am fresh from a “stupid argument” too: My cat threw up on our family room step (wooden, not carpeted, thank the Lord). I had been first up to bed the night before and I thought our teen girls, or perhaps my husband, had seen the yuck and not cleaned it up – i.e. They had left it for me – the pet poop, pee and vomit patrol – a job expectation I especially resent.

Incensed, I wanted to keep the “evidence” on the step until our girls woke up so I would have a gross visual aid for my life lesson (“Clean it up when you see it. Do not leave it for Mom”).

I got “stupid” when my husband, disgusted by the vomit, insisted on washing it immediately. I blew a gasket because he was interfering with my educational moment. He was angry that I would even consider leaving such a unsanitary mess.

Wasn’t that a trivial argument?

In the Bible passage above, the Apostle Paul warned Timothy that these types of foolish and stupid arguments lead to quarreling – a serious type of dispute that is “marked by a temporary or permanent break in friendly relations” (www.dictionary.com).

I definitely don’t wish to break relationship with those I work with or live with. So how do I back off from this “I have to be right and prove it” attitude?

Before entering into a dispute – or continuing in one – I think I’ll ask myself, “Is this really important?” Or put another way, “Is it is trivial, senseless, pointless, not worthy of consideration?” (www.dictionary.com definition of “stupid”) “Is it unwise, short-sighted, trifling, and lacking in caution?” (www.dictionary.com definition of “foolish”)

To sum up, I am not advocating keeping perpetually silent and continually smiling no matter the interpersonal problem. However, I believe that disagreements that are kind and calm – and stay that way – work best to resolve conflicts.

“And the Lord’s servant must not quarrel; instead, he must be kind to everyone, able to teach, not resentful.” 2 Timothy 2: 24

Let’s keep in mind that in some cases, we just can’t make the other person calm down, hear us, understand us, or work with us, even when we are avoiding those pesky foolish or stupid arguments.

“If it is possible, as far as it depends on you, live at peace with everyone.” Romans 12:18

I stopped short of foolishness today. Score one for me!

What is My Value? The Wife of His Youth

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Photo Credit: flickr.com “slgckgc”

“A wife of noble character who can find?
 She is worth far more than rubies. Her husband has full confidence in her
 and lacks nothing of value.  She brings him good, not harm, all the days of her life.” Proverbs 31: 10-12 (NIV)

I fight the battle against wifely insecurity as I get older. Even as a young thing, I knew I couldn’t physically compete with the pole dancer or the enhanced internet photo. So how valuable am I now?

Here’s the reality: a good wife is good for her husband. Wifely love benefits a husband for his entire lifetime. Remember the research that shows this with numbers? Men live longer more fulfilled lives when married: 

“A major survey of 127,545 American adults found that married men are healthier than men who were never married or whose marriages ended in divorce or widowhood. Men who have marital partners also live longer than men without spouses; men who marry after age 25 get more protection than those who tie the knot at a younger age, and the longer a man stays married, the greater his survival advantage over his unmarried peers.” (Harvard Men’s Health Watch, July 2010)

Author Evelyn Waugh gives us a humorous declaration of this truth in his real-life marriage proposal to Laura Herbert in 1936. “Of course, you haven’t got to decide, but think about it. I can’t advise you in my favour because I think it would be beastly for you, but think how nice it would be for me!” (excerpt from Patches of Godlight by Jan Karon)

Women search for good men and moan at the slim pickings. Let’s turn that around and look at what a great catch we are; good, faithful women are a treasure. We help our husbands, we praise them, and we do much of the hard work of parenting. We put funds in the family financial pot and even cook and clean!

So, let’s quit viewing the wife as “the old ball and chain” or “the old lady”.   Our feminine value appreciates with time, it doesn’t depreciate like a car, despite what our culture says.

God clearly esteems the wife chosen in a man’s youth and tells husbands the following: “Drink water from your own cistern, running water from your own well…Let them be yours alone, never to be shared with stranger. May your fountain be blessed, and may you rejoice in the wife of your youth.” (Proverbs 5: 17, 18)

I want to say that it is taking a terrifying risk to love and commit to one person. We wonder will he remain faithful?   We know a husband should keep his marriage covenant, but the question remains, will he?

Many women have received harsh rejection from husbands. One friend told me these stinging words came from her husband’s lips during the divorce proceedings: “You added nothing of value to my life all the years we were married.”

I am counting on God to keep his promise to bind up the broken hearts of women everywhere, for so many walk around in public, smiling, with very private and painful heart wounds.

Despite the risk and pain, committed love is wholly good: “Let love and faithfulness never leave you; bind them around your neck, write them on the tablet of your heart. Then you will win favor and a good name in the sight of God and man.”

Women, let’s see our value as wives – current or prospective. We are prizes.

 

 

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