Better to live in a desert than with a quarrelsome and nagging wife. (Proverbs 21:19 NIV)
I always had a bit of a problem with the phrase, "Happy wife, happy life." It made me feel as if I could disrupt an entire place of solitude if I was unhappy. That my husband would forever have to walk on eggshells to ensure a peaceful home. Because heaven forbid I get upset; I would make life miserable for everyone in our household. Those are the thoughts I would get anytime I heard this phrase. It made me mad and yet confused. Is it true that the entire well being and happiness of my house depends on me? That if I get mad or upset everyone is doomed to suffer?
Well I decided to look at what God says... So I stumble across the verse above Proverbs 21:19. By the way, this isn't the only verse like that. In Proverbs there a few verses that state it's better to live on the rooftop then share a house with a quarrelsome wife. I guess that is the equivalent to sleeping on the couch back in the day. Wow! So even the Bible warns about an unhappy nagging wife. But what does that mean for me? Am I never to have bad days or never argue my point?
WRONG! There's only a handful of verses on the nagging wife part, however there's a whole lot more on what a good wife is. And although many of us have looked at the Proverbs 31 woman as daunting and unrealistic, there is some great concepts on what a good wife is. Here are some of the things I've learned:
1. What she says is worthwhile and kindness is on her tongue. The key here is: Think about what you are going to say. Your words have impact and can bring life or death. Even if you are correcting your children or husband, watch your words. Notice it says the "law" of kindness. The Greek word for law here is Tworah meaning direction or instruction. She gives direction and instruction through kindness. Whether that means you have to take a breather to calm down from the situation or you have to speak softer without harsh words. You can give instruction and correction without belittling or tearing down.
2. She brings him good not harm all the days of her life. This goes hand in hand with the previous point. Your husband is counting on you to be a blessing to him. "But you don't understand how he frustrates me!" Okay, maybe he does things that bug you or maybe there is a lack of things he doesn't do. Whatever it may be, speak to the man who you want him to become. Treat him as though he is everything you could ever want in a husband. Do it even when he doesn't deserve it. Because chances are, he gets frustrated with you too. Give grace and uplift him. Before you know it, the man you treat him as won't be able to hide anymore. If you see the gold in him he will begin to believe it. If you say and treat him as the best husband in the world, he will begin to see himself like that. Do the same with your kids. See the gold in them and bring it out.
3. And last, she laughs at the days to come. This indicates to me that all of her days are not easy. Yet she doesn't let the circumstances determine her joy. She is filled with joy in all situations. Noticed I said joy, happiness can be circumstantial, but joy is a way of being. It is choosing to stay joyful even in frustrating or difficult situations. Sure there may be days that you cry, days that you shout, but at the end of it all you know that your joy runs deep. It runs deep with roots into the everlasting joy of knowing that you are a daughter of an incredible Father who loves you.
I think for me the saying "Happy wife, happy life" is totally true. However, I don't depend on my husband or children to determine my happiness. I choose to stay joyful and happy in all things. Do I have my bad days, sure, we all do. But I know that my state of happiness is dependent on my choice to stay joyful. And yes I am a happy wife, therefore I choose to bring life to everyone around me. Be a Happy Wife, Bring Life.