Thursday, August 25, 2011

August 25th – Proverbs 25: Peace > Pride

“Better to live on a corner of the roof than share a house with a quarrelsome wife.” – Proverbs 25:24

Coming from a man with all the wealth in the world, massive palaces that spanned acres and who also had 700 wives and 300 concubines, I think we can take this wisdom to the bank. Solomon KNEW what he was talking about! He says it would be better to camp out on the corner of a roof than to share a palatial estate with a contentious or brawling woman. I have seen grown men reduced to tears because they don’t know how to lead their wives. These are good guys, strong physically, strong in business and respected in the community that crumble when their spouse starts fussing.

Marriage can be tough, but it doesn’t have to be like this. Part of the reason it can be so tough is because some people like winning arguments more than they like peace. Those are the kind of people that are always fighting. They don’t like to fight, but they don’t like to humble themselves either. As men, we have GOT to learn how to lead our way through conflict. Early in my marriage I realized this. If I were to “win” every argument and “assert my dominance” we would fight all of the time! We started our marriage with a commitment to DO this verse:

“Be angry, and do not sin. Do not let the sun go down upon your wrath, neither give place to the Devil.”- Ephesians 4:26,27

What that meant was that if we were having an argument or fight, we wouldn’t go to bed until that argument was resolved. Sometimes that meant LATE nights and early mornings. Many times in the first couple years of our marriage we would be up until 2 and 3am, having to get up around 6am the next morning. It made for a HORRIBLE day after, but at least we weren’t fighting!

One of these times we had STARTED an argument around midnight and I had the feeling this would be an all-nighter. I had a legitimate beef, but it was covered up in my bad behavior. She would NEVER hear what SHE was doing wrong while I kept being a jerk about it. While she was fussing at me I thought to myself: “Wow, here we go again. Man I SO don’t want to be up all night again… but I can’t let her win!” Then the Holy Spirit interrupted my thought process and said, “What’s more valuable to you? Being right? Or having peace in your home?” 

I knew right then and there that having a home with peace and joy and without contention was WAY more important than me being “right”. I wasn’t prepared to capitulate and compromise, telling her she was right for what I knew she was wrong in, but what I could do was take responsibility for MY bad behavior. So I interrupted her fussing with, “I’m sorry, you’re right, I was being a jerk. Please forgive me.” Her mouth fell open and she stopped talking. She was totally shocked. She kept at it for another minute or two, just to make sure I was “really” sorry and I ate humble pie, not telling her she was right, but owning MY failure. 

The fight was over in less than 5 minutes and a few minutes later we drifted off into a peaceful sleep, well rested for the day to come. 

That day, I learned that my PEACE was more valuable than my PRIDE.

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